The River Don Monthly Report April 2023

River Don Monthly Report

April 2023


Three rises in water over the month helped keep river levels in good order for angling, despite this only the odd fresh fish was reported off the beats, mostly off the middle beats from Inverurie to Monymusk. Those landed have ranged from 5-12lbs with several carrying sea lice. It ended up a disappointing period for catches after such a promising previous month and a few beats are still to get off the mark for the season. Encouragingly better runs of salmon and sea trout were spotted running over the lower weirs in the final days of the month.  

The first of this year’s sea trout begun to appear off the coast, a few were landed to 3lbs off Cruives and Seaton beats on the lower river. Over the final week of April salmon smolts were evident in the pools from Parkhill down to Grandhome, aided by the higher water flows they are already further downstream this year, hopefully numbers increase as we move into May.

Fresh run salmon landed from Monymusk water


The quality of brown trout angling on offer continues to attract numerous anglers from across the country and further afield to the river. Despite some cold blustery days good sport was reported throughout the beats. Improved hatches of march browns were appearing most days in the earlier part of the month, although sometimes short lived on colder days the trout quickly switched onto them providing action for dry fly enthusiasts. Some nice catches were had from several beats with plump conditioned fish up to 5lbs reported.     


Throughout the month Fisheries Officers maintained foot and vehicle patrols across the catchment checking for any sign of illegal activity. Three separate rod and line incidents were attended too resulting in warnings being issued to the offenders. Over the Easter weekend several anglers targeting brown trout across various beats were checked and a few removed from the river for failing to adhere to the regulations on their permit. The Brown Trout Protection Order granted to the Don in the early 90’s is still of great assistance and makes it illegal for anglers to fish for brown trout and other freshwater fish covered by the PO without written permission.

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.

River Predation

The second spring bird count was completed on the 18th of the month. A total of 71 goosanders were counted from Poldullie bridge at Strathdon down to the estuary limits with most birds counted on the lower section of river. No large flocks of birds were seen mostly pairs and singles. 

The current license for controlling birds expires at the end of May please contact for any updates on this years remaining goosander/cormorant quota.

No seals were reported in river over the month.

No mink were captured over the month.

Compiled by Martin Webster, Fisheries Officer DonDSFB