The fish ranged between 4lb and 12lb and were found in a poacher's net on the River Tyne, near East Linton in East Lothian. The net was retrieved by a team of water bailiffs who act for the Forth District Salmon Fishery Board in partnership with the local Police Wildlife Crime Officer.
Illegal netting of salmon and sea trout is a criminal activity treated as a serious wildlife crime. The nets used are largely invisible, and capture fish by the gills; the fish suffer a slow death, according to the Association of Salmon Fishery Boards.
Constable Gavin Ross, Wildlife Crime Officer, said: "This incident should underline to the public that poaching is not about 'one for the pot', but rather it is mainly an activity for financial gain committed by criminals who are causing long-term environmental damage."