River Don Monthly Report September 22

September 2022


Much improved landings of salmon and grilse were reported from many beats over the month, assisted by a series of lifts in water levels the dormant fish which had been held up in the lower pools for the past few months pushed upstream and provided some much-needed sport to anglers from Parkhill upriver to Kildrummy. Those landed were mostly coloured grilse with the odd silver fresh fish amongst them. Weather and water conditions for angling remained good over the remaining weeks, combined with an increase in angling activity throughout the river several days saw upwards of 20 fish reported up to 19lbs.

Fresh September grilse


Fisheries Officers maintained patrols across the catchment, with an increase in angling activity throughout the river patrols were regularly carried across many beats to ensure anglers were carrying an authorised permit on their possession. Two separate incidents were reported and dealt with over the month. All fish passes were inspected and kept clear of debris to allow free upstream passage for fish.

River Predation

The first of three autumn predator bird surveys were completed on the 21st of the month. A total of 117 goosanders were recorded from Poldullie bridge at Strathdon down to the estuary limit. Adult and juvenile goosanders were most noticeable on the Monymusk to the Inverurie stretch with flocks of 20+ birds spotted. The new licence to control predator birds is expected to arrive soon, thereafter marksman will be contacted with the required documentation to become a marksman. If you know anyone wishing to come onto the license as a marksman, please contact jim@riverdon.org

Three in river sightings of a single common were reported over the month. The furthest upriver being in the pools at Lower Parkhill. Where possible the seal has been displaced back down river with the assistance of anglers and Fisheries Officers.

Habitat Improvement

Gravel washing has taken place across several sites of the Cluny burn near Monymusk. The presence of large amounts of heavy silt on the riverbed can reduce spawning activity and subsequent hatching success of deposited eggs for salmon and trout. Cleaning of potential redd areas prior to spawning can significantly increase incubation success and can help boost numbers of hatching fry. A heavy-duty leaf blower is used to break up the compacted gravel and remove as much silt as possible leaving clean gravel for utilisation during the upcoming spawning season.

   Cleaning the compacted gravel area.                                                 Completed ‘washed’ gravel site.

Compiled by Martin Webster

Fisheries Officer DonDSFB