Fisheries Trusts’ report concludes that the use of hatcheries on salmon rivers is generally futile and may actually damage salmon populations

StockingA new review by the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS) of the practice of artificial stocking of salmon rivers has concluded emphatically that there should be “a general presumption against stocking of salmon” as the practice is an inefficient method of boosting catches. A comprehensive body of scientific evidence, both national and international, was examined, leading to the consensus view that “enhancement stocking is largely ineffective and potentially harmful”.

The RAFTS Stocking Policy is being launched today (20 March) at the Annual RAFTS/ASFB Conference at Battleby by Perth.

Brian Davidson, RAFTS Operations Director and Convenor of the RAFTS Salmon Stocking sub group, said: “Since the 19th century salmon stocking has been routinely carried out in the belief that it improves fish numbers. Only recently, in the last two decades, has the practice been subjected to proper scrutiny. The evidence is now overwhelming that in most circumstances, far from being a panacea, salmon stocking makes no discernible difference to salmon numbers and often may actually be detrimental”.