Information for River Users

Rivers benefit everyone by providing recreation opportunities and economic benefits to a region. It is up to all of us to look after them, and improve them where we can.

Angling can be organised by contacting individual proprietors, or via the Forres Angling Association. For permits, contact the Forres Tackle Shop, 97d High Street, Forres, Moray IV36 1AA, 01309 672936.
The season opens on the 11th February and closes on 30th September.

The Findhorn DSFB encourages everyone to:

  • Adhere to the Conservation Code when angling.
  • Prevent the spread of Gyrodactylus salaris (click here for guidance and complete a
    FDSFB Biosecurity form 2018
  • Report diseased and damaged fish to the Board and/or Trust.
    • Board: Sean McLean, Head Bailiff, FDSFB, 07920 483081, seanmclean@sky.com
    • Trust: Robert Laughton, Director/Biologist, 01309 611220 or 07887 535986, director@fnlft.org.uk
  • Take care of yourself!
  • Donate to the Trust.
  • Report sightings of mink and other predators, preferably with photo and details of location, time, date and conditions. (see Board and Trust details above)

With two water level stations on the River Findhorn, anglers will have a very good picture of the state of the River.  Findhorn at Forres  –  Findhorn at Shenachie  –  Location of the SEPA Shenachie Gauge.

SEPA  have provided web access to many electronic gauges on the rivers of Scotland and their website can be accessed here.

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You can also download the Conservation Code 
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). Further information is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/game/conservationreg

FINDHORN DISTRICT SALMON FISHERY BOARD 2018 CONSERVATION CODE
RELEASE Anglers are asked to release:
All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive
From the 15th May:
All fish over 9lbs / 28 inches (4 Kg / 72 cm)
All coloured, stale and gravid fish

As many hen fish as possibleIf an angler catches a fish that they feel is likely not to survive, then the angler can retain it, but they must report immediately to the estate, the bailiff (Sean McLean 07920 483081) or the FNLFT (Bob Laughton 07887 535986) , who will decide what to do with the fish. This course of action also applies to all fish over 9lbs, which would normally be returned throughout the season under the FDSFB Conservation Code.

RELEASE RATE Anglers are asked to achieve a minimum of:
75% of all salmon/grilse and sea trout caught from 15th May.
“KEEP” RATE Guidance only; Release Rate above should take priority
A maximum of 1 salmon (under 9lbs) or 2 grilse (fish under 4lbs) per rod per 6 days
METHOD Before 1st May fly fishing is encouraged
Most beats are fly only all season. From 1st May it is mandatory
Pinched or barbless hooks are recommended. Avoid using triple hooks.

Catch and Release 6 Simple Steps
1. Use the strongest practical nylon cast to aid quick landing of fish.  Long playing leads to the build up of harmful metabolites such as lactic acid which kills fish even after they appear to swim away unscathed.
2. Use single or double hooks but avoid using triple hooks. Pinch the barbs by carefully crimping them with slim-jawed pliers. 
3. Try and plan your release strategy as you are playing the fish – think where the best area would be to net or beach, unhook & release your fish.  Avoid sandy beaches and silty bays, and where there are extensive areas where the water depth is shallower than the depth of the fish.
4. Take great care in handling fish.  It helps if there are two of you so try and fish in pairs.  Do not pick the fish up by the tail and carry it to the bank for unhooking purposes. If possible use a wide-mouthed small knot-less mesh net to minimise handling and remove the hook and release the fish while still in the water.  Wet the hands first or use surgical gloves and wet them as well, avoid the gill area, do not squeeze the stomach and take care not to rub off scales.  Turning the fish upside down will often prevent it from struggling.  Use your knees or the river bank to keep the frame of the net level and just above the water surface.
5. Use long-nosed artery forceps or slim-jawed pliers for removing hooks.
6. Try to minimise out of water and handling times.  Return the fish as quickly as possible.  Some photographers keep fish out of the water far too long, considerably reducing their chances of recovery. Support it until it has recovered enough to swim away.

Length(in) Length(cm) Weight(lb.) Weight(kg)
20 50 3 1.4
21.5 55 3 1.4
23 59 5 2.3
25 63 6 2.7
26 66 7 3.2
27 69 8 3.6
28 72 9 4.1
29.5 75 10 4.5
30.5 77 11 5
31 79 12 5.5
32 81 13 5.9
32.5 83 14 6.4
33.5 85 15 6.8
34.5 87 16 7.3
35 89 17 7.7
36 91 18 8.2
36.5 93 19 8.6
37 94 20 9.1
37.5 96 21 9.5
38 97 22 10
39 99 23 10.5
39.5 100 24 10.9
40 101 25 11.4
40.5 103 26 11.8
41 104 27 12.3
41.5 105 28 12.7
42 106 29 13.2
42.5 108 30 13.6
43 109 31 14.1