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  1. Scotland
  2. Dee
  3. River management

River Management

Dee District Salmon Fishery board

The Dee District Salmon Fishery Board is the statutory body tasked with protecting and enhancing stocks of salmon and sea trout across the district. The district encompasses River Dee and the neighbouring of the Carron and Cowie rivers.

This Board has been recognised as being at the forefront of fisheries management in Scotland with an established track record in innovative conservation and enhancement policies.





The River Dee Trust

The River Dee Trust is a community-based charitable company, set up in 1998 and tasked with the following aims and objectives:- Improving our knowledge of the ecology and associated fish stocks of the River Dee so that practical improvements can be made to the biodiversity and management of the River.

Our work is guided by the principle of how we can better understand and improve the River so that we may look after it for this and future generations. To achieve these aims the River Dee Trust must raise sufficient funds so that these works can be achieved to the highest standard. With your support, we will be able to meet our aims and continue looking after the Dee and the surrounding area, for many years to come.


Fishing regulations



A. The season will run from 1st February to 15th October up to Aboyne Bridge. Above Aboyne Bridge the season will close on 30th September.

B. Salmon and Grilse: Prior to 1st April it is a criminal offence to retain a salmon or grilse. By law any salmon or grilse that is severely injured or damaged, dies or is killed before this date must be returned to the river. After 1st April there should be 100% catch and release for the entire season.

Sea Trout (inc. Finnock): There should be 100% catch and release for the entire season.

C. At the beat's discretion spinning is a permitted option for the whole river between 1st February and 15th April. In addition spinning is permitted in August and September from the top of Maryculter Beat downstream. It is recommended that fly fishing should always be given a fair try in preference to spinning. Note spinning is not permitted anywhere in October. No more than 1 hook per lure to be used.

D. It is recommended that all hooks should be barbless or crimped. No treble hooks should be used.


E. On the Dee after 1st April all severely injured or damaged fish should be handed to the proprietor. This applies to all beats.

F. On the Cowie and Carron it is illegal to kill a salmon or grilse throughout the entire season. This is due to the Scottish Government classifying these two rivers as Category 3 under the terms of the 2016 salmon conservation regulations.

G. Irrespective of the date of capture all fish handling should be kept to a minimum to avoid damage and stress. Guidelines on how to do this are available on

H. It is illegal to sell rod caught wild salmon or sea trout.

I. All anglers are requested to disinfect waders and landing nets prior to fishing to prevent the introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris and other diseases to the Dee. Further information is available at

J. All pink salmon must be killed, retained and reported to the River Office on the 24-hr number, 01339 880411.

Remember, the Dee DSFB needs the vital help and support of all Proprietors, Ghillies and Anglers to realise the twin objectives of sustaining and enhancing the river’s fish stocks and maintaining a viable, thriving fishery.




Our salmon and sea trout stocks are a precious resource and we, collectively, must do all we can to protect them from infection and disease.

Anglers should follow the beat ghillies' instructions on disinfection.

'All anglers are requested to read and act upon the biosecurity measures in place for each beat to prevent the introduction of Gyrodactylus salaris and other diseases to the Dee. This will involve the disinfection of waders and landing nets prior to fishing. All beats have the appropriate facilities on site but it may be necessary to check whether you will be required to disinfect the equipment prior to arrival or at one of the disinfecting stations listed on FishDee.'

All River Dee fishing beats have been provided with equipment to disinfect waders and landing nets quickly and free of charge prior to fishing.

Alternatively, facilities are located in the following venues where the staff will be happy to disinfect your fishing equipment and provide a receipt to show that you have had this process carried out.


Somers Fishing Tackle
Tel (44) 1224 210008


Orvis Banchory
Tel (44) 1330 824319



Catch and release

Catch and Release has been common practice on the Dee for many years and our anglers have a good track record for safely releasing fish. It is important that every fish returned alive to the river is given the best possible chance to survive until spawning time.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust has produced an excellent guide to good catch and releases practice, including a film which shows how it is done. Click Here



For more Dee specific information, please take a few moments to read the Conservation Code


  • Use strong tackle
  • Play the fish quickly
  • Always use a knotless net
  • Keep the fish in the water at all times
  • Never lift a fish by the tail
  • Use long-nosed forceps or a hook releasing tool to gently remove the hook
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