Salmon and sea trout catch data for rivers since 1952: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

the salmon and sea trout catch data for the following rivers from 1952 to present:

  • Barbreck
  • Nell
  • Oude


I am releasing a copy of some of the information you requested.

Due to the large number of documents (127 items), I will separately email you an invitation to a shared Workspace in an online storage facility called “Objective Connect.” This facility is the Scottish Government's preferred way to share documents that are not suitable for release via the website (e.g. large and/or numerous files). To access the documents via Objective Connect you will need to click on the link provided in my accompanying email. In order to access documents in the shared Workspace you will need to enter your email address and a password of your choice. You will then be able to enter the Workspace and click on each item to download them.

Access to Objective Connect may be removed after 20 working days so please ensure you access the folder and download the information provided by 10 April 2023. If further access is required subsequently, please contact us at to arrange for access to be restored.

Reported data that are out of scope of the request (catches not from within the named rivers) were redacted from the scans of the catch return forms, as were personal data, such as names and addresses.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

Some of the information you have requested (data for the years 2017-2021) was published as part of the Official Statistics and is available from: area

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The reasons we do not hold the information are:

  1. prior to 2016, fishery owners could report catches from different rivers and/or stretches of coastline from within the same District on one form and we cannot separate catches to the level of individual rivers where this has occurred; and
  2. data from prior to 1986 are not held at form level in our electronic database. For the years 1952- 1985, we have provided copies of individual catch return forms where we have them and where we are able to relate the catches to a specific river (as explained in (a) above).

This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about salmon catches, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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