The Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019

27th Feb 2019
by Jamie Ribbens

Last week the Scottish Ministers laid regulations in the Scottish Parliament setting out the provisions to regulate killing salmon in Scottish waters for the 2019 fishing season.

Un-hooking and releasing
Un-hooking and releasing

2019 is the fourth year that the Scottish Government has undertaken conservation assessments for salmon to grade each river across Scotland.  The river categories for the six Galloway river have now been set for the 2019 season and are listed below.  GFT, the Luce DSFB and the Dee DSFB raised concerns during the consultation regarding these river gradings. 

While we support the concept and use of Conservation Limits they still need some refinement.  We feel that the Dee should not be given a category 2 status as that allows the killing of salmon by anglers.  The salmon stocks on the Dee are very low and need to be conserved.  On the Luce, light fishing pressure has resulted in the river being given a category 3 status even though electrofishing results and angler reports all suggest it is one of the healthiest salmon populations in SW Scotland. Grading for individual rivers can be checked here.

River Luce – category 3 (salmon anglers must not kill any salmon)        

River Bladnoch – category 3 (salmon anglers must not kill any salmon)

River Cree – category 1 (salmon anglers can retain salmon)

Water of Fleet - category 3 (salmon anglers must not kill any salmon)       

Kirkcudbrightshire Dee - category 2 (salmon anglers can retain salmon)       

River Urr - category 2 (salmon anglers can retain salmon)       

For more information on how the river categories and conservation limits are worked out then check  

Through this same link there is an interesting document produced by the Scottish Government and Fisheries Management Scotland which identifies 12 high level pressures impacting salmon and outlines activities being undertaken to address them.  Also it is well worth checking out the NASCO website if you want a bit of salmon themed reading!

This website contains a wealth of information including reports on impacts on wild salmon stocks from hydropower, hatchery activities and fish farming – see

Further Information

Latest News

Bladnoch Hatchery Update

The GFT and Bladnoch DSFB are running a hatchery programme this year to stock the upper Tarf to help ameliorate acidification problems and help recover salmon stocks in key areas.

Opening of Sparling Bridge marks the end of the Saving the Sparling Project

The long awaited Sparling Bridge successfully opened on Saturday 30th November. Crowds gathered either side of the bridge on the sunny afternoon to celebrate the grand opening of the new pedestrian and cycle bridge connecting the communities of Minnigaff and Newton Stewart.

New Inner Solway Marine Conservation Zone Designated to Protect Smelt

The Galloway Fisheries Trust is working with Natural England to produce a detailed Smelt Restoration Management Plan for the inner Solway Firth, to be the framework for European smelt (sparling) recovery in designated Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) around England and Wales.