The salmon and sea trout fishery statistics are published by Scottish Government in accordance with the code of practice for official statistics. Please visit About Statistics in Scotland for more information, and to download the code of practice for publishing official statistics.
Fishery statistics for a given season are published in the following April. Historical data will be updated each April with the publication of the following year’s data. The exact date is pre-announced at least one month before publication and future publication dates may be found by checking for updates on the Forthcoming Publications page.
Salmon Conservation Regulations
The Scottish Government has introduced a range of measures designed to improve the conservation status of wild salmon by managing their exploitation through fishing within Scotland’s domestic waters.
The consequences of the Spring Conservation Measures are that no salmon should be retained in Scotland before 01 April each year, although there are a number of exceptions to these measures.
Further Conservation Regulations were introduced for the 2016 season.
Key aspects of the regulations are:
- Salmon should not be retained by fisheries operating beyond estuary limits
- The retention of Atlantic salmon in inland waters will be managed on an annual basis by categorizing areas according to the conservation status of the associated salmon stock. These areas, together with the conservation status of the salmon stock for the 2016 season, are set out in 'The Application of Conservation Limits for Atlantic Salmon in Scotland'.
Fisheries operating in Category 3 areas are not permitted to retain salmon. All catch should be returned to the river and such fish should be reported in the catch form as released fish, regardless of the condition of the fish when returned to the river.
CL compliance is generally assessed by fishery district, with the exception of SACs, although we are currently running a consultation exercise with a view to compiling reported catch data by individual river.
Collecting Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Data
The fishery data held by Marine Scotland Science (MSS) are obtained from returns made annually by the proprietors, occupiers or agents of salmon and sea trout fisheries throughout Scotland. Around 2,000 forms are issued annually, of which over 90% are returned.
The MSS Topic Sheet no. 67, Collecting the Marine Scotland Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics describes how the annual survey of salmon and sea trout fisheries is carried out and summarises the available data.
A copy of the blank catch form is available to download.
Topic sheets provide summaries of the fishery statistics for both salmon and sea trout for the most recent fishing season. These data are presented together with a commentary which places the reports in the context of a time series of information which has been collected since 1952. Fishery statistics for a given season are published in the following April. Historical data will be updated each April with the publication of the following year’s data.
In addition, reported fishery statistics for the most recent fishing season may be downloaded for all 109 Scottish fishery districts. Marine Scotland Science (MSS) will continue to respond to direct requests for Scottish salmon and sea trout fishery information if the data provided within the publication scheme does not meet specific needs. We will do our best to supply the information required consistent with our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
If you have a specific request for Scottish salmon and sea trout information please contact Marine Scotland Science (address and telephone number below).
Recent Scottish Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics
Topic sheets and data downloads are available for:
Trends in adult return and abundance indicators for Scottish salmon and sea trout stocks
Marine Scotland Science has produced a report summarising the trends in adult return and abundance indicators for Scottish salmon and sea trout stocks. The report is based on reported rod catch data together with information from fish counters and fixed traps. The report will be updated annually, in April, together with the publication of the salmon and sea trout fishery statistics.
Until the 2009 fishing season, salmon and sea trout statistics were summarised annually in the form of Statistical Bulletins. Fishery statistics from the 2009 season onwards have been summarised as topic sheets. Copies of these reports for the seasons 2001 onwards are available on the Marine Scotland web pages. These publications provided an accurate summary of salmon and sea trout fishery data at the time of issue. Our records are amended when further information is provided, however, and the most accurate historical data may be obtained directly from Marine Scotland Science.
In addition, for most years between 2002 and 2008 MSS produced leaflets to accompany the annual survey of salmon and sea trout fisheries - Salmon and sea trout catch statistics, 2002-2008.
Following the introduction of the current publication scheme in 2010 MSS conducted a feedback exercise, and subsequently reported the findings. You can still let us know what you think by getting in touch using the contact details below.
If you would like to receive information on Scottish salmon and sea trout fisheries in the future, please get in touch using the contact details below.
MSS Salmon Assessment Group
Freshwater Laboratory Field Station
Inchbraoch House, South Quay
Phone: 01674 677070
Fax: 01674 672604