Anglers should be aware of the legal requirements in place before they book fishing. Each River in Galloway has its own set of regulations set by the river's District Salmon Fishery Board and its fisheries. Legislation requires that all anglers have written permission to fish for salmon and sea trout anywhere in Scotland.
Under the Conservation of Salmon (Scotland) Regulations 2016, the conservation status of the Galloway rivers is accessed on a yearly basis.
Grade 1: Cree
RIVER CREE DISTRICT SALMON FISHERY BOARD CONSERVATION CODE 2023
PART 1 – LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
All salmon and grilse caught between the 1st March and the 31st March (inclusive) MUST be returned to the water as soon as possible and with the least possible injury. This means that any badly bleeding fish or any fish which dies after being caught between these dates must still be returned to the water.
- No prawn/shrimp fishing AT ANY TIME.
- No livebaiting AT ANY TIME.
- All beat owners shall keep a record of salmon angling effort for the season, indicating the numbers of rod days fished in each month of the season, and shall enter that record on their catch return form sent to Marine Scotland.
PART 2 – CONSERVATION MEASURES
- All salmon and grilse caught after the 31st March but before the 1st June MUST be returned. Any badly bleeding fish caught between those dates which are killed are to be the property of the beat owner.
- ALL sea trout OVER 2lb in weight MUST be returned – for the ENTIRE SEASON.
- ALL salmon OVER 10lb in weight MUST be returned – for the ENTIRE SEASON.
- NO worm fishing before the 1st June.
- NO worm fishing after the 30th September.
- Between the 1st June and the 30th September worm fishing shall be permitted only using a hook with a minimum size of 1/0.
- Fishing with a bladed spinner (such as a “flying C” or Mepps) shall only be permitted if the spinner is fitted with one single hook – for the ENTIRE SEASON.
- A maximum of 1 salmon/grilse to be killed per angler per day PROVIDED that if the angler is a non-syndicate or visiting angler he or she has booked a minimum of THREE days fishing (which do not require to be consecutive days).
- A maximum of 2 salmon/grilse to be killed per angler per week SUBJECT to paragraph 8 above.
- A maximum of 2 sea trout (under 2lb) to be killed per angler/day.
- A maximum of 4 sea trout (under 2lb) to be killed per angler/week.
- ALL FEMALE salmon to be returned after the 30th September.
Grade 2: Urr Water
Salmon season: 15th March – 30th November (no salmon fishing on a Sunday).
- The Urr has been designated as a Category 2 river under the new Salmon Conservation Regulations for the 2020 season. This means the killing of salmon is permitted (within the conditions outlined below). This categorisation is reviewed annually.
- To follow the River Urr Management Plan to enhance and improve habitats and water quality.
Grade 3: Water of Luce, Water of Fleet, River Bladnoch SAC and River Dee (Kirkcudbrightshire).
Rivers which are grade 3 are mandatory catch and release and all salmon must be returned unharmed to the river. For grade 1 and 2 rivers please see beats and District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB) regulations for conservation measures currently in place.
District Salmon Fishery Board regulations
Each District Salmon Fishery Board (DSFB) has its own set of regulations. Below is a set of regulations for all Galloway Rivers. However, please read the regulations for the Urr DSFB, Water of Luce DSFB, Water of Fleet DSFB, River Dee (Kirkcudbrightshire) DSFB and River Bladnoch DSFB at: this page.
Minimum legal regulations:-
1. It is illegal to sell rod caught salmon and sea trout
2. No Sunday Fishing
3. No angler fishing for salmon, sea trout or trout may fish with more than one rod at any one time
4. No set lines
5. No prawn, shrimp or live bait fishing. No ledgering or gaffing. No fishing by net, hook or other illegal instruments, including snatching.
6. Any American signal crayfish caught accidentally must be killed immediately and left on site as required by Scottish legislation. (Only relevent for the Kirkcudbrighshire Dee).
7. All fry, parr, smolts, kelts, foul hooked and coloured fish caught must be returned unharmed immediately.
8. The killing of any gravid salmon is ILLEGAL and the water bailiffs duty includes strict enforcement of this law
9. Fishing permits must be carried at all times whilst on the river
10. You must show your permit when asked by any watchers or other authorised persons and allow inspection of your tackle and fish
11. All rods must make a return of fish caught at the end of each day/week to the owner (even if this is a nil return) and should include any fish involved in catch and release.
12. You must do everything you can to help prevent poaching and illegal fishing
13. Dogs are not allowed except by express permission of both the landowner and the fishing proprietor
14. People are requested to leave NO LITTER. Lengths of nylon or equivalent are to be discarded as this is a danger to wildlife
15. Anglers must ensure that they do not cause damage to property, fences, dykes etc and always leave gates as found.
16. No permit holder shall, in the event of a pool already being occupied, fish that pool in front of the angler already in possession and must go behind them and the angler in front shall move on one step with every cast. Members and permit holders are expected to fish in a courteous manner at all times.
17. In all Scottish Rivers, all salmon caught before the 1st April must be returned carefully to the river even if the fish is badly bleeding.
18. In the interest of conservation, the catch and release of migratory salmonids is encouraged throughout the season. In rivers which are grade 3, catch and release is mandatory.