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Freshwater

Salmon leapingThere is little commercial exploitation of freshwater and migratory fish in Scotland. Today, around 30% of salmon and sea trout are taken by commercial fixed engine and net and coble fisheries. There is little commercial trapping of eels, which although common in Scotland, grow slowly and are easily over-exploited.

Around half of Scotland's 40 freshwater and migratory fish species are exploited by anglers. In contrast to England and Wales, where fishing for coarse species dominates, the most valuable angling sector is undoubtedly for salmon, sea trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. Pike, perch, common carp and grayling also have their devotees.

The true value of angling to the Scottish economy has been recently estimated at more that £100 million per annum and the rights to exploit freshwater fish are in private ownership, and may be leased to individuals or clubs.