Nith District Salmon Fishery Board
River Nith
Nith Catchment Fishery Trust
Nith District Salmon Fishery Board
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Conservation Limits River Nith 2017

The River Nith has been assigned Category 3 status by the Scottish Government for the 2017 fishing season, resulting in a 100% catch and release policy for salmon. The NDSFB and NCFT have been working to improve the data used by the Scottish Government to calculate our river’s conservation limit. We are questioning the reliability of the modelling exercise. Marine Scotland Science (MSS) are using a number of variables to calculate the conservation limits of Scottish rivers, including the area of catchment that salmon are known to utilise, size, fecundity and sex ratio of returning adults, grilse error, exploitation rates and catch data.  All data required for calculating 2017’s river categorisation was submitted to MSS by the designated deadline of June 2016.

The NDSFB/NCFT is carrying out the following work to inform future categorisations of the River Nith:

  • Impressing the importance of accurate catch returns to anglers, associations and proprietors throughout the catchment of the River Nith (ongoing)
  • Researching the potential to have a fish counter installed on the River Nith (ongoing)
  • Providing data to MSS via their online GIS map on the available spawning habitat for salmon in the Nith catchment using electrofishing data and local knowledge (completed for 2017 categorisation but will continue to refine based on current electrofishing data)
  • Conducting adult salmon sampling to collect data on fecundity, grilse error, sex ratio and size of returning adults in order to build a more accurate picture of our stocks (commences autumn 2016)
  • Consulting Walter Crozier, an acclaimed fisheries scientist, to assist us with our consultation with Scottish Government (commences September 2016)
  • Awaiting data used by Marine Scotland Science to calculate our conservation status (ongoing)
  • Ticket sale data from salmon fishing proprietors to correlate against catch data (ongoing)
  • Petitioning MSP’s to impress on them the economic impact of the Category 3 status on our rural economy. (ongoing)

This work is ongoing and will assist in acquiring accurate data of salmon stocks in the River Nith that can be used in the MSS modelling process to provide a categorisation that more accurately reflects the true state of salmon stocks in the River Nith.

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