River Don Report April 2024

River Don Monthly Report

April 2024


Wet and persistent windy weather conditions proved challenging for angling throughout the month, on the positive side the sustained period of rainfall brought about continued flows of fresh water and helped encourage fish movement upstream. Small runs of fish arriving off the coast pushed quickly up through the lower beats and sea liced fish were reported landed as far up at Alford. Anglers on the lower reaches were seeing fresh fish moving through the pools every other day and an increase of catches across several beats was reported. This was a welcome change on previous spring years with lovely silver fish landed as far upstream at Glenkindie on the upper reaches. The middle beats especially around Inverurie proved most consistent for landings with several anglers returning 2 or 3 fish. Most beats are now off the mark for the season, the odd fresh seatrout started to appear in the pools in the lower river as the month ended.

The first of this year’s salmon smolts made an appearance on the middle and lower beats around the second week of April, these will have been greatly assisted downstream by the higher flows over the month.

A lovely fresh run fish from the upper river


Fisheries Officers carried out day and night patrols across the catchment checking for any sign of illegal activity. Five rod and line incidents were reported from the estuary up to Kemnay, these resulted in several anglers being issued with a warning. Fish passes on the weirs were regularly inspected to ensure no blockages were restricting fish movement.

If you witness or suspect that any suspicious fishing activity is taking place on the 24hr number – 01467 642121. 

Pollution Incident

A serious pollution incident occurred in the Mains of Dyce burn just downstream of Parkhill Bridge whereupon oil/diesel was found flowing into the main river. SEPA were immediately notified by several parties including Board staff and pollution booms were placed instream to reduce the flow of discharge. This an ongoing case with SEPA currently trying to locate the source of the problem. The Board are regularly in contact for any updates.  

Giant hogweed control got underway across the river Urie catchment, despite the heavy downpours on days several large, infested areas have been tackled by a combination of project and board staff along with several trained volunteers. For more information on the invasive work being carried out please click on the following link SISI | Scottish Invasive Species Initiative

River Predation

Two mink were captured one from the Ton burn and the other from the Durno burn on the Urie catchment. Any sightings of mink throughout the catchment should be forwarded onto jan@riverdee.org

The second of three spring predator bird surveys was completed on April 26th from Poldullie Bridge at Strathdon down to the estuary limits. A total of 78 goosanders and 3 cormorants were counted, this figure is on par with last April.  Please contact jim@riverdon.org for any updates on this years remaining goosander/cormorant license quota which concludes at the end of next month.   

One in river sighting of a common seal was reported over the month at lower Grandhome on the ADAA waters.  

Compiled by Martin Webster, Fisheries Officer DonDSFB