Reducing Exploitation

Reducing Exploitation in the rod and line and commercial fisheries is a vital part of salmon conservation

Our work to reduce salmon exploitation has taken two forms - encouraging Catch & Release fishing and lobbying for the cessation of mixed-stock coastal salmon netting.

We have been promoting Catch & Release (C&R) angling on the Dee for over 20 years and, thanks to the support of anglers, have a release rate of 99%. This has delivered millions of eggs into the river, which would otherwise have been lost. The overwhelming number of fish survive C&R and go on to spawn successfully.

Read more about how to practice effective C&R

We have also been very active in reducing the impact of coastal salmon netting. Over the years, we have been buying up the netting stations - something which has been going on since the 1850s. The Board has bought out all the nets in the Dee district and has supported leasing and buy outs to the north and south of our district.

In the early 2010s we lobbied the Government stating that Mixed Stock Fisheries (MSF) do not allow for sustainable management of wild salmon. MSF can intercept fish from a whole host of rivers - some of which may be in good health while others in poor health. We argued that MSF must be regulated and where there are conservation issues, like we have on the Dee, then they should cease operation.

From 2016 the government ceased netting operations in the vicinity of the Dee and the whole of Scotland, initially for the three years. Advice from the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO) states that if salmon stocks are below conservation limits then management measures should be put in place to protect them. As a MSF is unable to separate healthy from unhealthy stocks it is inherently unsustainable and, consequently, the government has continued the prohibition of coastal netting until stocks have recovered.

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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