The Nairn DSFB encourages all river users to:
The season opens on 11th February and closes on 7th October.
The river flow is monitored by SEPA at their Firhill gauging station in the lower Nairn and the Balnafoich gauging station in the upper Nairn. Mean daily flow at the Firhall station is 5.595m3s-1. Water quality is also monitored by SEPA and in general water quality is good throughout the catchment. The River Nairn has a catchment size of 313km2 and an average annual rainfall of 940mm.
Legislation and Conservation Limits
The Conservation of Salmon (Annual Close Times and Catch and Release) (Scotland) Regulations came into force on 9th January 2015. These regulations state that fishing by rod and line can take place from the season start date within the district until 31 March on a catch and release basis (any salmon caught must be returned to the water with the least possible harm).
Following extensive consultation by Scottish Government the killing of Atlantic salmon in inland waters will be managed on an annual basis by categorising fishery districts by their conservation status. The Salmon Conservation Regulations came into effect on 1 April 2016. Further details can be found at:-
This approach uses catch data to determine if the numbers of adult salmon returning to the river are sufficient to maintain adequate spawning and egg deposition and ultimately smolt output. Catch data from five years is used and each river in Scotland is Graded 1 to 3. Grade 1 indicates the river has met its conservation limit while Grade 3 means it has fallen below the limit. Rivers within Grade 3 require to move to 100% catch and release for salmon and grilse and all rivers must prepare a Conservation Plan to safeguard salmon stocks in the future.
The Nairn is Grade 1, indicating mandatory catch and release will not be required, but this will be reviewed annually. The Nairn DSFB is therefore asking all anglers to comply with the voluntary Conservation Code which aims to increase release rates for salmon to 75%.
This new legislation does not apply to sea trout but given the poor returns of sea trout in recent years a stronger conservation policy is required.
Nairn District Salmon Fishery Board
Salmon/Sea Trout Conservation Code 2019
1. Catch & Release
Anglers are requested to:-
3. Fishing Effort