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  1. Scotland
  2. Nith
  3. Fishing regulations

Fishing regulations

Statutory Regulations

Fishing seasons
Rod and Line 25th February - 30th November

Net - 25th February – 9th September

  • No fishing for salmon or sea trout on Sundays by rod and line

  • No fishing for salmon or sea trout from 6pm Friday to 6am Monday by net

  • No salmon to be killed within the Nith catchment

It is illegal to:

  • Breach of any of the above could lead to criminal prosecution, seizure of fishing equipment and vehicles.
  • Deliberately attempt to foul hook fish or to take fish which have been foul hooked i.e. those not hooked in the mouth.

  • Kill kelts, smolts or parr.

  • Take unclean or unseasonable fish being baggots, highly coloured, black or red fish and fish about to or in the process of spawning.

  • Sell salmon or sea trout which have been caught with rod & line.

  • Use natural shrimps or prawns on any part of the river upstream of the Kingholm Gates at the bottom end (tidal area) of the Dumfries Town Fishings.

  • Fish for any fish without written permission (or permit) from the beat’s owner or his representative.

  • Fish with any form of salmon roe.

  • Fish with a “fixed line.”

  • Use gaffs, tailers or knotted mesh nets. All fish caught must be recorded with the beat proprietor with the exception of:

  1. a)  Kelts, i.e. fish that have spawned.

  2. b)  During spring only, sexually mature fish that have not yet spawned.

Nith Voluntary Regulations

  1. The Board notes the existing voluntary catch and release practices for sea trout on many beats throughout the Nith catchment.

  2. The Board recommends that if sea trout are to be taken, the following guidance should be adhered to.

  3. All sea trout under 10” and over 3 lb must be returned.

  4. Sea trout retained should be limited to no more than 1 Sea Trout in any day.

  5. Barbless hooks be used when the intention is to Catch & Release.

  6. Foul hooked fish i.e. those not hooked in the mouth, must be returned to water.

  7. Ripe or darkly coloured fish should be returned to the water. If in doubt, RETURN it!

  8. Fish being returned to the water should not be handled by the tail or gills 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.

  9. Fish being retained should be killed as quickly as possible using a priest or appropriate instrument.

General 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.

  3. The maximum permitted line breaking strain for all types of fishing should be 15lbs.

Spinning and Bait fishing

  1. Bait/spinner must be kept moving through the water at all times.

  2. The maximum permitted hook size for bait fishing will be No 4.

Fly Fishing

  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.

General Conduct

  1. Always fish in a sporting manner.

  2. Give consideration to anglers on the opposite bank.

  3. Fish down through pools in rotation, taking at least one full step between casts.

  4. Avoid unnecessary wading or any avoidable disturbance to the water.

  5. Always respect the environment, wildlife, other anglers and members of the public.

  6. Do not park vehicles so that they obstruct gateways or cause a hazard on the roadway.

  7. Remove waste nylon and personal litter from the river banks and parking places.

  8. Follow the Country Code. Always respect farm animals and crops.

  9. Do not light fires or allow dogs to roam free.

  10. Always be conscious of and alert to hazards and look after your own safety and the safety of other anglers.

Report strange goings-on immediately to: 
River Enforcement Staff - 07785 743663 
Police – 101


Beat conditions

Individual owners will also have their own individual conditions, such as the hours that fishing is allowed on that beat, what ghillies are provided (if any) and what fishing methods you can use.

FishPal booking conditions

This site uses the FishPal booking engine, 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.

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