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 instream 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 maximize 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. 

See: 2016 Dee Stock Assessment

        2015 Dee Stock Assessment




Pink salmon update

September 07, 2017

​With the news and social media rife with the invasion of Pacific pink salmon, we want to give people an update on the situation on the Dee and what we are doing about it. The situation has developed rapidly in the last month.

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Smolt Tracking Report Shows Interesting Results

October 11, 2016

The smolt tagging and tracking project is a three year programme of work. Fifty smolts, captured in the lower catchment, were fitted with internal acoustic tags and tracked in spring 2016. These smolts were tracked as they migrated through the lower 22 miles of the Dee and inner harbour.

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Tackling Non Native Invasives

July 05, 2016

Tackling invasive non-native plants along the banks of the River Dee – such as Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed, Himalayan balsam and North American skunk cabbage - has become a priority for the River Office because of their potential impact on our river and its existing, native species.

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