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  1. Scotland
  2. Spey
  3. River management

River Management


The Spey Fishery Board

The Spey Fishery Board was established under the 1862 and 1868 Salmon Fisheries legislation. This was subsequently amended and presently stated in the Salmon Act 1986 and the Salmon Conservation (Scotland) Act 2001. This legislation has more recently been amalgamated under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003. There are 42 District Salmon Fishery Boards around Scotland, of which the Spey Fishery Board is considered to be one of the “Big Four”, alongside the Tweed Commission and the Dee and Tay District Salmon Fishery Boards. The Board is empowered under the legislation to take such acts as it considers expedient for the protection, enhancement and conservation of Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks and their fisheries.


The Spey Foundation

The Spey Foundation is the research branch of the board, its main remit being to provide the Board with scientific evidence to assist with their management decisions.

The Spey Foundation, like its predecessor the Spey Research Trust, is administered by a Research Committee which was set up under a Deed of Trust in June 1982, and is a charitable organisation.

The Foundation’s main role is to undertake research in a range of topics and provide scientific evidence to the Board which they can use to base management decisions on. The Foundation staff carry out surveys and projects which are aimed at producing results and evidence for what the river needs to be a healthy and supportive environment for the many species that live in and around it. Regular monitoring work includes the annual electrofishing surveys, which we use as a way to check the population of juvenile salmon and trout in the river. During the spring we run smolt traps on tributaries to assess the number of juvenile salmon and trout migrating to sea. Although the marine phase of salmon and sea trout is largely out with our control, our aim is to ensure we are fully aware of the threats and what can be done to mitigate them, as well as ensuring the river is producing the maximum number of smolts possible, and thus contributing to the returning adult stock. Education is a further important part of our remit, covering a wide range of subjects which work with the Curriculum for Excellence in schools, and give pupils the chance to learn new and exciting information relevant to their local community.

Collectively, the Spey Foundation is, or has been involved in a wide range of activities:

  • Electro-Fishing Surveys & Monitoring
  • Scale Reading & Data Collation
  • Fish Counter operation – acoustic counter on mainstem at Delfur and a vaki counter on the Dullan; adult traps on River Fiddich and mainstem at Spey dam
  • Catch Data Analysis
  • Smolt Trap Operation
  • Habitat Management
  • Education – “Salmon in the Classroom” and general presentations on aquatic wildlife
  • Thermal Discharge Monitoring for Distillers
  • Water Sampling/Monitoring for Wind Farm developments
  • Preparation and Implementation of Fishery Management Plans, including for Wind Farm Developments
  • Collation and Preparation of samples for the FASMOP Genetic Analysis project
  • Bio-security Planning for Invasive Non-Native Species
  • Co-ordinator for the Scottish Mink Initiative in the Spey catchment, aiming to eradicate the non-native species American mink

Do support this local Foundation by making a donation to the Trust when you book through

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