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  1. Scotland
  2. Ayrshire
  3. River management

River Management


The River Ayr District Salmon Fishery

The Board manages the protection, enhancement and conservation of the Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks in the River Ayr. It also has a duty to ensure the general protection and enhancement of the fishery.

Aims Of The Board

  • To set and collect fishing levies from proprietors and tenants to allow effective management of the river by those appointed to the District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Provide fishery protection
  • Police the purchase and sale of illegally caught and unseasonable fish
  • Improve fish passage over man made obstructions and barriers
  • Protect juvenile fish and spawning redds
  • Reverse the trend in the decline of adult Atlantic salmon by implementing policies that safeguard and enhance the natural spawning stock and the freshwater habitat
  • Conduct habitat, population and migration assessments to guide management strategies
  • Encourage good conservation policies to stop over exploitation of salmon
  • Conserve and establish sustainable fisheries for the River Ayr
  • Extend fishery awareness
  • To ensure anglers are aware and abide by Scottish Government Conservation Measures
  • To find ways to improve the Conservation status of salmon stocks within the catchment whilst meeting necessary government requirements.

Ayrshire’s largest river rises at Glenbuck Reservoir on the boundary of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire and flows westwards 63 kilometres to its estuary at Ayr on the Firth of Clyde.It has a catchment area of 574 sq. kilometres and its principal tributaries include the Greenock Water, Lugar Water, Water of Fail and Water of Coyle.

Principal land uses in the catchment area are agriculture, forestry, mineral extraction, leisure and recreation and urban development, the largest settlements being Ayr, Cumnock, Catrine, Ochiltree, Muirkirk and Sorn. Notable features include Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) at Howford by Mauchline and the Failford Gorge, and an opencast coal mining industry. Fish species include salmon, sea trout, brown trout, grayling, eel, stickleback, minnow and stone loach.

River management is undertaken by the River Ayr District Salmon Fishery Board riparian owners and numerous angling clubs either as riparian owners or tenants.


The Ayrshire Rivers Trust

The aim of the Trust is to promote and support initiatives designed to conserve, enhance and develop our fisheries and rivers for the enjoyment of both current and future generations. We achieve our objectives by providing advice, carrying out research, and practical skills to protect and enhance the freshwater rivers and their surrounding habitat. View more of our work here

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