River Don Report January 22

River Don Monthly Report

January 2022


Fisheries Officers maintained regular foot and vehicle patrols across the catchment checking for any signs of illegal activity. Spring fish have started to appear on the lower reaches, and a few were reported running the weirs as the month ended. Foot patrols have increased over the lower reaches to cover the main holding pools. Trail cameras remain positioned on the riverbank to help monitor various areas. The recent storms have caused an increase in debris floating downstream, Fisheries Officers have been carrying out checks on passes to ensure free passage up and downstream for fish. No poaching incidents were reported over the month.

David Paton Trophy

The David Paton Trophy will again be awarded to the successful angler who lands the first fresh salmon of the upcoming 2022 season. Any angler who wishes their name to be put forward must in the first instance contact Martin on 07836645509. They will also be required to send in a photo of the landed fish for verification by the Fishery Board before a final decision is made. In line with the River Don Conservation Policy and to further promote good catch and release practice the landed fish must be photographed in the water or be kept in a wetted landing net.

Photos of fish lying on the riverbank will not be accepted under any circumstances and will be excluded.

Richard McHattie took last seasons honours landing a 7lb springer from Grandhome Estate.

Willow Bank Protection

Works are underway to make repairs to a section of riverbank on the Loechel burn adjacent to a former restoration site. Erosion of the unconsolidated bankside begun because of the installation of a pre-weir to improve fish passage at the location. A quick remedy is to use a tried and tested technique to stabilise the bankside using live willow spiling. Work is underway to tackle this short section whilst being mindful of the spawning substrate in the area.


A drier spell of weather over the month with very little rain falling across the catchment. River levels have continued to drop away and currently remain low and clear. No ice has been observed on the water and temperatures over the month were above average for the time of year. As a result, any fresh fish coming into the system will be encouraged to push on upstream to the middle reaches. 

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

Compiled by Martin Webster

Fisheries Officer Don DSFB