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2023 Salmon & Sea Trout Conservation Policy

The Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulations 2016 manage the killing of salmon in rivers based on categorising the conservation status of their stocks.  The Scottish Government has categorised the Don as a Category 3 river and therefore all salmon must be returned throughout the 2023 season.

Legal Requirements

A.  The salmon fishing season will run from 11th February to 31st October.

B.  It is a criminal offence to retain a salmon or grilse throughout the whole of the angling season. By law salmon or grilse that is caught must be returned to the river, whether dead or alive.

C.  It is illegal to sell rod caught wild salmon or sea trout, or use knotted nets, tailers or gaffs.

D.  It is a legal requirement that proprietors must report catches and

fishing effort, so all anglers in turn must report to the beat 

proprietor.  Failure to report catches or effort could influence the

future category status of the river.


Conservation Code

E.  Anglers are encouraged to practice 100% catch and release for the

entire season for sea trout and finnock.

F.  Anglers are encouraged to fly fish throughout the river


G.  It is recommended that all hooks should be barbless or crimped.

H.  Spinning is permitted  at the beat's discretion. Maximum of one treble hook (barbless) on lure.

I.  It is recommended that bait fishing, using the worm only and barbless hooks, is only permitted for junior anglers at the beat's discretion.  There should be no worming in October.

J.  Fish returned to the water should be handled carefully with wetted hands and held facing upstream until sufficiently recovered to swim free.  Fish should remain in the water at all times.

K.  All anglers are requested to disinfect waders and landing nets prior to fishing to prevent the introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris and other diseases to the Don.  Further information is available


L.  Any pink salmon that are caught must be retained and reported to the River Office on the 24-hour number - 01467 642121.

For guidelines on how to safely release fish or information on fish stocks, please visit our website 


24 Hour Emergency Contact Details - 01467 642121




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