West Lothian Angling Association bosses, who look after a nine-mile stretch of The Almond from Newbridge to Kirkton in Livingston, have urged their permit-holding anglers to stay at home.

Bruce Hope, chairman of West Lothian Angling Association, said in a statement: “Whilst we are in the midst of what the Prime Minister calls a national emergency, and the world health organisation has classed as a world-wide pandemic, I urge all of our valued members to adhere to the strict Government orders.

“There are arguments for fishing as it is a sport and that by it’s very nature practices social distancing and it could be classed as your one period of exercise a day. It is the club’s position that we advise you to stay indoors.

“Our concern is that you may inadvertently be putting undue stress on the NHS if you become injured whilst wading, slip on the bank, or hook yourself.

“I fully appreciate it’s a long winter with no fishing, but three more weeks won’t make much of a difference to you but it will allow the river to switch on.

“So please stay home, stick to the Government orders, stay healthy and our beautiful trout will be waiting for you when this blows over and we bounce back.”

Cramond Angling Club look after the stretch downstream from Newbridge to the foreshore at Cramond and their secretary Joe Arndt said: “Right now the Governments advice is that we all should stay at home and if it is not essential don’t do it.”