River Don Report January 24

River Don Monthly Report

January 2024

Angling Prospects

As a result of heavy rainfall and snowmelt off the upper catchment river levels have remained on the high side for another month. Hopefully this prolonged spell of steady water flows will have encouraged any fresh fish arriving on the coast to run upriver. Its been a relatively open winter period and any early running fish could already be lying in the middle reaches of the river by the time the season commences. Last seasons first confirmed spring fish was landed at Alford AA water on February 18th  by Stuart Mathewson, Stuart will receive the David Paton trophy at the annual opening “March to the River” next month.

Entries for the David Paton Trophy for the first fresh salmon of the upcoming 2024 season will be open to all anglers from February 12th. 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. In line with the River Don Conservation Policy and to further promote good catch and release practice the landed fish should always remain in the water and the photograph should demonstrate this.


Throughout the month Fisheries Officers carried out daily foot and vehicle patrols across the catchment checking for any sign of illegal activity. Fisheries Officers from the Don and Dee teamed up to carry out several night patrols using thermal imaging devices to scan for any possible illegal activity under the cover the darkness. As the new salmon angling season approaches 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. 

River Predation

Two mink were captured over the month one on the Durno burn on Pitcaple estate and another on the Shevock burn. 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

Please contact jim@riverdon.org with any queries or updates on the remaining Goosander/Cormorant licence quota.

No in river seals were reported or seen over the month.

Compiled by Martin Webster, Fisheries Officer DonDSFB