ON WEDNESDAY August 30,1871, a case was brought at Dunblane Sheriff Court regarding two men from Kincardine who appeared before Sheriff Grahame on charges of poaching salmon.

William Gibb, a retired sea captain, and William Henderson, a labourer, both from Kincardine, had been charged by Joseph Napier, the superintendent of the Forth Fisheries, with illegally taking two salmon from the River Forth by using a boat and a drift or hang net between Kennetpans and Kincardine Pier.

Both Kincardine men represented themselves and pled not guilty to the charges, while Napier engaged solicitor Mr Chalmers of Dunblane.

During the proceedings, Gibb claimed William Anderson, a retired wood merchant from Kincardine, had given permission to fish and that Henderson was a servant of Anderson's.

The first witness was Peter Cameron, a river watcher, who testified that he and Mr Tait, another river watcher, were on the north bank of the Forth at Kincardine on the day in question at around ten o'clock at night.

He saw the two men fishing with the driftnets and watched until around midnight when they came ashore at Kincardine. They had fished around a mile and a half.

When they came ashore, he challenged them and asked if they had permission to fish for salmon in the Tulliallan waters. Gibb said he had.

However, Anderson claimed that he was not a salmon fishery proprietor and that he had not given permission for anyone to fish.

He did say that he had lent Gibb the net he was using but the boat was Gibb's own.

Cameron saw Gibb bringing the two salmon out of the boat when they landed so had challenged him.

Gibb told him he had fished there since his childhood and had never asked permission from anybody and had never been asked about his fishing there before.

It was clear to Cameron the salmon had been caught in a driftnet.

Cameron then spoke to the factor of the Tulliallan estate Mr Ferme who was allowed to fish on the Forth at that part of the estate.

During their conversation, he discovered that neither Gibb nor Henderson had approached him for consent. Tait corroborated Cameron's statement.

Sheriff Grahame found in favour of the complainants. The penalty he meted out was modest, considering the charge.

He told to Gibb and Henderson to each to pay ten shillings fine, and on top of that, each had to pay £1 14s 9d towards expenses, or ten days imprisonment.

They also had to forfeit the fish.