Fish Stocks & Habitat

Looking after our fish stocks and managing the habitat lie at the heart of the work of the Board and Trust

Atlantic salmon is the dominant fish species on the Dee. The River Dee’s designation as a European Special Area of Conservation is partly in recognition of the importance of this salmon population. There are significant numbers of brown trout, generating a sea trout run and supporting a small sea trout fishery. There are also pike and perch present in the few lochs within the catchment, which are targeted by coarse anglers but, generally, do not support a fishery. There are also eels, lampreys (sea, river and brook species), flounder and stickleback.


River management is focused on the protection of salmon and sea trout stocks, improvement to the in-stream and riparian habitat and ensuring free passage of migratory fish. The Board is a competent authority under the EU Habitats and Species Directive in terms of the Atlantic salmon component of the Special Area of Conservation designation on the Dee.


Our work has focused on ensuring the river is healthy, as a thriving natural environment equates to healthy, sustainable fish stocks. For example, our work has helped maximise good quality salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Generally, where habitat is good, juvenile salmon numbers are good. The converse is always true; where habitat is poor, numbers of juvenile salmon are always poor and that is where we target our resources.




A Million Trees to Save Our Salmon

January 30, 2020

The River Dee Trust has announced plans to plant a million native trees in one of the biggest nature restoration projects in the Cairngorms. The project will recreate areas of landscape that have been lost for 2000 years.

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