About the Don

About the Don

The Don is a river situated in the north east of Scotland flowing from Cockbridge downstream to Aberdeen. The Don rises from its source in the Ladder Hills, between Glen Avon and Cockbridge. It flows eastwards for 82 miles meandering through Strathdon, Kildrummy, then flowing through the lush agricultural landscape of the Howe of Alford, Kemnay and Inverurie, before passing through the flood plains of Kintore and Fintray.

As the Don flows through the Grandhome stretch on the lower river, it gains volume before flowing through the historic Brig o' Balgownie, which dates back to c1290 and is located on the edge of Old Aberdeen. The river finally enters the North Sea between the River Ythan to the north and the River Dee to the south.

The Don's largest tributary is the Urie, which enters the Don at Inverurie. The Don's upper tributaries include the Conrie, Ernan, Nochty, Carvie, Buchat, Kindie and the Lochiel at Craigievar.

The first record of the Don was in the 2nd century AD by cosmographer Ptolemy of Alexandria as Anouav Devona, meaning 'goddess', an indication the river was once a sacred one (perhaps he was a trout fisher!). Not far from the Don, near Kintore is the ancient roman camp of Deer's Den. In 1750 the Don's lower reaches were channelled to the sea, moving the river mouth with the sea northwards.

Who looks after the Don?

River Don District Salmon Fishery Board
The River Don District Salmon Fishery Board, a statutory body, administers the Don. A team of bailiffs cover the Don system managing the river fish stocks and their habitat.



View from the top of beat 5 at Castle Forbes






River Don Trust
Rivers & Fishery Trusts are independent charitable trusts briefed to contribute to river and fishery management for the benefit of all fish species living within the aquatic habitat of their catchments. By definition of their constitutions, Trusts are equally representative of proprietarily and community interests. They have a broad based agenda for the improvement of freshwater aquatic species and their habitat and the consequential environmental, economic and political benefits derived from their works.

River Don Brown Trout Improvement Association (RDBTIA)
The RDBTIA's function is to monitor the Protection Order and report on what measures are being taken to improve the access to reasonably priced Brown Trout fishing, habitat management and the policing of tickets on the water (a requirement of the PO) although this function is principally met by the bailiff team of the River Don District Salmon Fishery Board it is within the remit of the RDBTIA to have Wardens on the river.