Salmon fishing: proposed river gradings for 2023 season

Seeking your views on the proposed river gradings for the 2023 salmon fishing season.

Background to the assessment 

The conservation status of stocks is assessed on a river by river basis, except for those areas where fishery catch cannot be assigned to individual rivers. In such cases rivers are combined to form assessment groups. The annual assessment is explained in our video. 

The conservation status of each stock is defined by the probability of the stock meeting its conservation limit over a five-year period. Rather than a simple pass or fail, stocks are allocated to one of three grades, each with its own recommended management actions: 

Category 1 

At least 80% probability of meeting the conservation limit. Exploitation is sustainable therefore no additional management action is currently required. This recognises the effectiveness of existing non-statutory local management interventions. 

Category 2 

Between 60-80% probability of meeting the conservation limit. Management action is necessary to reduce exploitation. Catch and release should be promoted strongly in the first instance. The need for mandatory catch and release will be reviewed annually. 

Category 3 

Less than 60% probability of meeting the conservation limit. Exploitation is unsustainable therefore management action, including mandatory catch and release (for all methods), is required to reduce exploitation. 


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