When booking fishing you need to be aware of what you can and cannot do when you fish. There are legal requirements, conservation codes, individual beat rules, and all need to be taken into account.
Brown trout fishing in the Don is protected by legislation, as a protection order has been granted to conserve trout stocks. The 'Don Protection Order' covers from the Upper Don at Allt Tuilea downstream to the Brig 'o Balgownie. Part of the Urie is also protected, from Howford Bridge downstream to the river Don. Written legal permission is required to fish for brown trout in these protected areas.
River Don Conservation Policy 2013
SALMON & SEA TROUT
With a view to conserving and protecting the stocks of salmon and sea trout in the River Don and its tributaries, the District Salmon Fishery Board has developed the following Angling Code which is an integral part of its overall Conservation Policy.
All salmon caught before 1st June to be returned - Thereafter:
- Maximum of 1 fish per week throughout the river catchment
- Maximum of 4 fish per season throughout the river catchment
Recommended that all fish over 32 inches (12lbs), whether coloured or not, are returned.
Recommended that all sea trout and finnock are returned
Anglers should be encouraged to fish with a fly throughout the river catchment.
Barbless (pinched) hooks should be used before 1st June then recommended as standard thereafter
All coloured fish to be returned carefully to the water
All foul hooked fish to be returned
Only knotless landing nets to be used - no gaffs or tailers
Fish returned to the water should be handled carefully with wetted hands and held facing upstream until sufficiently recovered to swim free
All floy tagged fish to be returned and details of information on the tag sent to the Board (01224 790005 or 07836 645510)
No rod caught fish to be sold by Law
Baits and lures
No multiple hooks (e.g. Rapala) - maximum one treble (barbless) on the lure
No shrimp/prawn - prohibited by law
No form of live or dead bait (including worm) to be used
No spinning upstream of the Bridge of Alford
No upstream spinning anywhere
No spinning in designated fly only water
No ledgering or bubble/bob floats to be used
To help prevent an outbreak of Gyrodactylus Salaris which has had catastrophic effects on some foreign rivers, all visiting anglers who have been using their fishing tackle abroad must make sure they have sterilised all their equipment including waders, landing nets and tackle
** 90% CATCH & RELEASE TARGET **
The River Don is renowned for its brown trout populations with arguably some of the best wild trout fishing in Scotland and the UK as a whole. The brown trout populations are being studied by the River Don Trust and from early work it appears that many of the tributaries of the Don are well populated with juveniles. Much less is known about the current status of older/mature trout in the main stem which are the target of anglers. Scale reading from rod caught fish has revealed the age structure of the fish, with first spawning generally in the 3rd or 4th year of life (1.5-2.5lb). It is of course hoped that the excellent trout fishing will long continue, however with increased population growth on Donside together with changes in main stem river habitat, we must do all that we can to preserve and nurture our precious stock of wild brown trout. Ideally, a total catch and release policy is the answer, already employed in many rivers around the world. If however you do decide to kill fish, please observe the following recommendations:
Fly fishing only / barbless hooks preferred
Season: 1st April to 1st October.
Bag limit of 2 trout per angler per day (not transferrable)
Bag limit of 8 trout per angler per season
Return all fish under 12”
Return all fish of 18” and over (2lbs +) (mature fish which directly contribute to the spawning stock)
Use only knotless landing nets
Return all fish to the river carefully with wetted hands, held facing upstream until recovered.
No stocking of the river will take place unless as part of a mitigation procedure or in the event of a catastrophic event and if so with river Don brown trout.
In order to increase our knowledge on the River Don Brown Trout, please report all catches along with any useful related information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Scale samples from brown trout forwarded to the River Don Trust email@example.com will assist in the scientific research into our precious wild trout resource. Volunteers please contact Jamie Urquhart at the Trust, on 01330 830080.
Any waders/tackle which have been used outwith the UK are subject to anti-GS precautions.
Prepared by: River Don Brown Trout Improvement Association. (RDBTIA)
The top pool at The Place of Tilliefoure and Beat 6 at Monymusk
Individual owners may also have their own individual conditions, such as the hours that fishing is allowed on that beat, provision of ghillies (if any) and what fishing methods you can use.
FishPal Booking Conditions
This site uses the FishPal booking engine, so if you use our online booking system, or our call centre on 01573 470612, you need to agree to FishPal's booking conditions
You will be given another opportunity to read all these conditions before doing any online booking, where you have to indicate your agreement to them. They will also be included in the joining instructions you are given when your booking has been completed.