Reducing Exploitation

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

Reducing exploitation takes two forms . We have been practicing Catch & Release ( C&R) on the Dee for over 20 years and now 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 to go on to spawn successfully. Read more about to practice effective C&R.  Read more about how to practice effective C&R

We have also been very active in in reducing the impact of 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. 

Over the last few years we have been lobbying hard that  Mixed Stock Fisheries (MSF) don’t allow for sustainable management of wild salmon. MSF can intercept fish from a whole host of rivers- some of these rivers may be in good health and others in poor health. A MSF can't separate that: it’s the indiscriminate killing of fish. 

We have been arguing that MSF must be regulated and where there are conservation issues, like we have on the Dee, then they should cease operation. It’s hard for us to ask for our anglers to practice C&R when they know somebody else is killing our fish. Thankfully, from 2016 the government has seen sense and has ceased netting operations in the vicinity of the Dee and the whole of Scotland for the next three years.

This is the first time in history that salmon will be able to come back without running a gauntlet of coastal or in-river nets. This has got to be a good thing.

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