River Don Monthly Report January 21

Whilst carrying out routine foot patrols Fisheries Officers came across evidence of recent rod and line poaching taking place at Grandhome and Alford. Trail cameras have been positioned around the offending areas to monitor and collate information on the offenders.
Increased patrols and a visual presence over the locations curbed any further illegal activity and no other incidents were found or reported as the month ended. Officers have observed small numbers of spring fish going over the weirs on the lower reaches while on patrol and visual checks on fish passes have taken place to ensure free passage up and downstream
for fish.
Annual Report
The River Don Statutory Annual report 2019/20 is now available to read Here
Angling / Fishery Development
Guidance for anglers during the Coronavirus
As things currently stand, the Don fishing season will commence as usual on 11th February. Beats and anglers alike will need to follow the government guidance on fishing activity during the restrictions occasioned by the coronavirus. Information from Marine Scotland Science confirms that angling is permissible provided this is within a single household group, or the group contains no more than 2 people from 2 different households. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number. You can travel for local outdoor sport or exercise such as angling but must stay within the more general requirements with regard to travel and ensure that you abide by the rules on meeting other households. In general, stay as close to home as possible – within your local authority, or no more than 5 miles from the boundary – and stay away from crowded places. The full guidance can be accessed Here

Opening Ceremony
Unfortunately, due to current COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and travel Inverurie Angling Association has taken the decision to cancel their annual March/Opening Ceremony this spring, hopefully this popular event will resume next year.

As the new salmon angling season approaches reports of spring fish being seen on the lower reaches is encouraging news for all however current numbers of spring salmon continue to remain low in all rivers across the country. To help protect this valuable resource from illegal poaching please contact the Fisheries Officers if you witness or suspect that any suspicious fishing activity is taking place on the 24hr number – 01467 642121 All information received will be treated in strictest confidence.

A gentle reminder for proprietors who let their fishing through FishPal to update their rod availability, permit prices, and any revised beat rules for the season ahead. A growing number of beats are currently advertising through the website and it continues to be an extremely helpful addition to visiting and local anglers wishing to book online permits, the FishDon pages also offer additional information for anglers. Please click on Here for further information.
The David Paton trophy

The David Paton trophy was launched last year and will again be awarded to the successful angler who lands the first fresh salmon of the upcoming 2021 season. Entries will require information on the catch, location, date, time and angler. Alongside an image of the salmon being returned for verification by the Fishery Board before a final decision is made. Please contact Martin Webster on martin@riverdon.org or 07836645509

In line with the River Don Conservation Code Here and to further promote good catch release practice the landed fish must remain in the water.
Photos of fish lying on the riverbank will not be accepted under any circumstances and be excluded.

Last season’s winning fish at 7lbs landed from Grandhome Estate, alongside the trophy.

Compiled by Martin Webster
Fisheries Officer DDSFB