Anglers should be aware of the legal requirements in place before they book fishing. Each of the rivers within the Nithsdale area have separate sets of rules and/or recommendations outlined below. There are also conservation codes, individual beat and booking agency conditions to be considered. Fundamental legislation requires that all anglers have written permission to fish for salmon and sea trout anywhere in Scotland.
Fishing Regulations for the River Nith
1. Anglers should make themselves aware of individual beat regulations prior to the commencement of fishing. All beats have different regulations regarding methods of fishing and gear used.
2. River wide (with the exception of a tidal stretch of the Burgh Water in Dumfries) there is a ban on the use of natural shrimps and prawns.
3. Nith District Salmon Fishery Board promote the conservation policies of returning all Spring Salmon caught up to the 1st May in any year. All Sea trout over the weight of 3lbs to be returned to the River. A maximum of 2 sea trout under 3lbs may be taken in any day. These conservation measures are considered to be a minimum bench mark and individual beats may apply more stringent conservation measures.
4. Salmon angling season on the River Nith runs from 25th February to 30th November. Some beats restrict methods and close to angling prior to the 30th November and anglers should ensure they read their rules prior to the commencement of angling (see 1 above.)
River Nith Angling Code
A guide to legal restrictions and good practice for fishing on the River Nith and its tributaries.
All salmon, sea trout and trout anglers should know and understand both the written and 'unwritten' rules which govern our sport. In this way, we will set a good example to others and exercise care for the wild fish stocks, wildlife, the environment and other anglers.
The Code has been produced by the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board ('NDSFB') and the Nith Fisheries Improvement Association ('NFIA') to give guidance to all proprietors and anglers who visit the river. It aims to develop good practice and good sportsmanship on the river. It should also encourage behaviour which will not bring the sport into disrepute.
The legal requirements
The following regulations or conditions are contained within various statutes or Acts. Breach of any of these could lead to criminal proceedings.
1. The Nith Fishing season starts on 25th February and closes on 30th November.
2. No Salmon or Sea Trout fishing is allowed on Sundays moving through the water at all times.
It is illegal to:
Deliberately attempt to foul hook fish or to take a fish which has been foul hooked i.e. those not hooked in the mouth.
Kill kelts, smolts or parr.
Take unclean or unseasonable fish.
Use natural shrimps or prawns on any part of the river above Kingholm Gates at the bottom end of the Dumfries Town Fishings.
Fish for Salmon or Sea Trout without written permission (or permit) from the beat's owner or their representative.
Fish with any form of salmon roe.
Fish with a fixed line'.
Use gaffs, tailers or knotted mesh nets.
Sell salmon or sea trout which have been caught with rod & line.
The NDSFB and the NFIA recognise that the various Associations and Beat Owners on the river will wish to exercise their own rules and that many of these will necessarily vary. They strongly recommend the following rules and conditions to anglers and to owners or associations for inclusion in the beat's own rules.
1. Respect boundaries between adjoining beats.
2. Anglers must show permits, tackle and catch to Bailiffs, Police Officers or other anglers if requested.
3. Anglers under 12 years of age should be accompanied by an adult when fishing.
Methods & equipment
1. Do not use sweep nets, ground bait or rod rests.
2. Do not fish from trees, bridges etc. or use assistance from anyone in such a position.
4. The maximum permitted line breaking strain for all types of fishing should be 20lbs.
5. The maximum permitted hook size for bait fishing will be No 4.
1. Fly hooks or tubes should be properly dressed - with a coloured body and a reasonable quantity of hair/fur/feather in proportion to the hook size.
2. Anglers should not use weights or lead-core lines of any kind when fishing with the fly.
3. No retrieve, other than slow hand-lining should be made until the cast has been fished out.
1. Foulhooked fish i.e. those not hooked in the mouth, must be returned to the water.
2. Ripe or darkly coloured fish should be returned to the water. If in doubt, RETURN it!
3. Fish being returned to the water should not be handled by the tail and should be released as quickly as possible. Remove the hook with forceps and return the fish facing upstream and gently support it until it swims away.
4. Fish being retained should be killed as quickly as possible using a priest or appropriate instrument.
5. Catches should be limited to no more than 2 salmon or 2 sea trout in any day.
6. Sea Trout over 3lbs should be returned to the water.
7. All fish under 9 inches / 23cms must be returned to the water.
Keep a watch out
We encourage anglers to have an active regard to their own safety and security on the river. To protect yourself and the fishings.
Don't leaving fishing tackle exposed in your car.
Keep an eye out for suspicious characters.
Report strange goings-on immediately to the River Enforcement Staff (07785 743663) or Police (08456 005701).
It is important that all anglers know how to behave on the river and surroundings and that all participants are conscious not only of their own needs, but also the safety, welfare and enjoyment of others.
With this in mind, they should:
Always fish in a sporting manner.
Give consideration to anglers on the opposite bank.
Fish down through pools in rotation, taking at least one full step between casts.
Avoid unnecessary wading or any avoidable disturbance to the water.
Always respect the environment, wildlife, other anglers and members of the public.
Not park vehicles so that they obstruct gateways or cause a hazard on the roadway.
Remove waste nylon and personal litter from the river banks and parking places.
Follow the Country Code. Always respect farm animals and crops.
Not light fires or allow dogs to roam free.
Always be conscious of and alert to hazards and look after their own safety and the safety of other anglers.
© 2008 Nith District Salmon Fishery Board and Nith Fishings Improvement Association
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.