Conserving wild salmon

Regulations to further protect salmon stocks.

New conservation measures to protect wild salmon have been issued for the 2017 fishing season.  

The revised regulations follow the introduction of the Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulations 2016 in April, which outlined a system of managing the fishing of Atlantic salmon in inland waters on an annual basis, by categorising their conservation status. 

In response to feedback from stakeholders, the 2017 approach has been progressed at river level, where possible.  The regulations have been extensively consulted on and outline the conservation status of 168 rivers/groups of rivers. Where there are conservation status concerns, the river will be designated for mandatory catch and release.

The changes, which  come into force on April 1, 2017, have been laid in Parliament today, giving angling clubs and proprietors more time to prepare for the season.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“Scottish wild salmon is a valuable and important asset but fish numbers have been declining for a number of years.

“We need to take action to protect stocks for future generations, and these revised conservation regulations strike the right balance between conservation and the interests of those who fish for salmon.

“After listening carefully to the views of the sector, we have made changes to the conservation status of rivers for 2017. This will iron out inconsistencies in river gradings and help ensure wild salmon have a sustainable future in our waters.”


2017 categorisations:
• 73 category 3 areas (poor conservation status)
• 48 category 2 areas (good conservation status)
• 47 category 1  areas (good conservation status)

This is the second year there have been conservation limits on wild salmon so it is too early to evaluate their impact.

The measures were introduced to meet Scottish Government obligations under the Habitats Directive to protect salmon.


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