The River Don Monthly Report August 2023

River Don Monthly Report

August 2023


A small but welcomed rise in water levels started off the month, as a result salmon catches picked up for a few days giving sport to anglers fishing from the Cruives upriver to Kintore area. Dormant resident fish were also encouraged to push further upriver, anglers on the middle and upper beats reported seeing salmon and sea trout appearing in their pools off the rise. Unfortunately for another month no great number of grilse ran in river and only a handful were caught up and down the beats which was disappointing after last seasons improved runs.

Currently catch tallies remain low across the system, this isn’t being helped by the low salmon angling effort seen across many beats. As we enter the autumn phase of the season the river badly needs a decent spate which will hopefully coincide with the arrival of back-end fish not only to improve catches but also to help bolster in river stock before the breeding period commences. Brown trout angling continues to provide steady sport for local and visiting trout anglers, several beats reported an abundance of smaller trout landed including a few hefty specimens up to 6lbs.

A fresh run salmon being returned from Kintore AC


Fisheries Officers maintained foot and vehicle patrols across the catchment checking for any sign of illegal activity. Again, this month any illegal activity was concentrated around the lower reaches of the river. Fisheries Officers dealt with 7 separate incidents which saw several offenders issued with a one-off warning for illegal fishing with rod and line. The north Don coast from Balmedie to the estuary was walked to check for any sign of illegal netting activity, nothing suspicious was found.

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

Two mink were captured for the month, one each at Kintore and the Lochter burn where rafts are regularly monitored by volunteers. This brings the total to 7 so far for the year. There were also several sightings reported on the lower and middle reaches.  Please report any sightings to

Only one seal was reported in river at the Cruives beat, this was quickly moved back downstream by anglers fishing on the beat. Please report any in river seal sightings into the Fishery Board – 01467 642121

The first of three autumn Goosander and Cormorant counts commence next month.

NEPS (National Electrofishing Program for Scotland)

Continued dry weather and low water have greatly assisted surveys and only a handful of sites remain to be completed. Varying results have been found, the upper reaches and middle tributaries sites saw good numbers of healthy salmon fry and parr present however the Urie catchment sites produced poor salmon counts.  A full report on findings will be available once all the data has been gathered.

Trout (top) and Salmon fry from an upper catchment site

Compiled by Martin Webster, Fisheries Officer DonDSFB