River Don December Report

River Don Monthly Report

December 2023

Redd Surveys

December was plagued by heavy rainfall which kept river levels running high and coloured. This restricted redd counting surveys at all sites. As a result, it was difficult to ascertain if any number of late fish had come into the system. The predated remains of a fresh fish were found on the lower reaches early in the month but with poor visibility no additional redds were found on the lower sites after the 9th. A summary of this year’s redd count surveys will be available soon. Shown below is the December River height graph from Parkhill monitoring gauge which would normally average flows between 1 – 2.5ft for this time of year.  


Throughout the month Fisheries Officers carried out sporadic foot and vehicle patrols across the catchment checking for any sign of illegal activity. No incidents were discovered or reported over the month.  Fisheries Officers have been dispersing small groups of Goosanders and Cormorants across the catchment using non-lethal methods whilst out on patrols and during redd counts.

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

All piscivorous bird licences have now been handed out to those registered marksmen. Please contact jim@riverdon.org with any queries or updates on the remaining Goosander/Cormorant licence quota.

One in river seal was reported in the pools at Grandhome, it was quickly displaced back down river. Please report any in river seal sighting into the Fishery Board – 01467-642121

Two mink were captured over the month, one on the Lochter burn beside Oldmeldrum and one on the Durno burn on Pitcaple estate both on the Urie catchment. These captures were both young females from this year’s litters. Trapping at this time of the year where conditions allow helps us to remove potential breeding females reducing the population further. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer to monitor a raft click on the link. https://www.invasivespecies.scot/mink-control-project

Juvenile female from the Lochter Burn image by Jan Simpson (Dee/Don Invasives Officer)

Compiled by Martin Webster, Fisheries Officer DonDSFB