Mapping Pressures on Wild Atlantic Salmon in Scotland

The purpose of this project is to provide fisheries managers with a common platform for identifying and quantifying the primary factors limiting wild Atlantic salmon production in Scotland.

Ultimately, outputs from this process will be available for use by local managers to inform and target management action and also to provide important evidence for policy development at a national level. The two main outputs from this process will be colour coded maps for local catchments showing the extent and impact of key salmon pressures and summary information showing the river length and wetted area affected by each pressure for each catchment.

A number of resources have been developed to support local managers in completing this process.

Please note that the deadline for submissions is 27 January 2020.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Queries relating to the project as a whole

Q: The rivers provided contain some areas above the natural limit of salmon distribution. Should contributions be restricted to areas where salmon are present or should contributions be made for all available river segments?

A: Where possible contributions should be restricted to where salmon are currently OR historically present. Contributors are free to record pressures taking place above the limit of salmon distribution where these pressures have an impact further downstream on salmon.

If time constraints make it challenging to contribute only in river segments where salmon are present please feel free to select whole rivers at once before assigning pressures. Before doing this please ensure that only your catchment of interest has been selected. To do this, please use the filtering technique as demonstrated in the second demo video and page 12 of the step-by-step guide. At the end of the process (Feb-March 2020) summary figures showing the river length and wetted area affected by each pressure will be provided only for rivers where salmon are thought to be present based on the latest available dataset held by Marine Scotland.

Q: Given that the catchment-scale pressure (tool A.) only contains catchments with an existing salmon fishery, how do I communicate historic pressures that have resulted in the disappearance of a salmon fishery in a nearby catchment?

A: Please use the river-segment scale tools (B-I) where possible to identify the historic reasons for decline.

Q: Where mitigation actions are taking place (e.g. smolt trap and truck) should the severity assessments be based on salmon production in the current situation with all ongoing mitigations measures in place, or should the severity be based on a situation excluding current mitigations?

A: Our view is that you should assess the severity, status and confidence based on the current situation and taking into account the mitigation measures in place. This principle stands for all pressures in the whole project, accepting that some will be more difficult to quantify than others (e.g. bird scaring). You may also use survey monkey to provide a brief narrative around this assessment.

Please Note: When contributing text within any of the layers marked as ‘other’ in any of the tools (A-I) please use as few words as possible to describe the pressure (ideally one word). If adding text on more than one pressure at once to the same section(s) of river, please ensure that these are separated by commas (e.g. in the case of INNS, this might be recorded as: himalayan balsam, japanese knotweed, mink). Please add the names in full, with the correct spelling and in alphabetical order. If text is added in this way it may be possible for Fisheries Management Scotland to create national maps summarising the extent of each individual pressure.

Please Note: Some of you may have noticed rivers disappearing from the map while you assign pressures using the ‘Other’ free-text fields. This is a known issue with the system caused by the map colour scheme not updating itself automatically. Please be assured that any information you contribute is being saved automatically even if river segments disappear. Sean is accessing the back-end of the system to update the colour of your river lines periodically.

Sources of Evidence

2 of our members have discovered a ‘bear trap’ in our SurveyMonkey. Essentially if you wish to exit the survey and return to complete it at a later date, data entered on page 3 is being lost while data entered on previous pages is retained. One way to avoid this is to enter text on page 3 then click the Prev button (image below). The act of moving back a page seems to ensure that your text is saved. As a fail-safe we also recommend that you copy-paste text to a word document.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Please Note: If you are contributing to SurveyMonkey for more than one region (e.g. Bladnoch catchment and Fleet catchment) SurveyMonkey does not allow multiple submissions. In this case please contribute all information in one survey. If you wish to submit different information between catchments, please begin your submission as follows:

River X: …………….

River Y: …………….

Illegal exploitation

Q: How do I communicate a known significant poaching issue within the tools without data-driven evidence?

A: suggested assignment as Severity = B, Status = Episodic, Confidence = Low. Narrative explanation to be added within the Illegal Exploitation text box on Survey Monkey form.

Piscivorous fish     

Q: Are salmonids included or is it focussed on Pike and Perch?

A: Salmonids are included.

Sea lice               

Q: Nearly all of the sampling for sea lice infestation pressure in Scotland relates to sea trout. Can this information be used to assess the impact of sea lice on salmon?

A: Whilst sea trout and salmon do have different life history strategies, as long as the data is collected during the period in which Atlantic salmon smolts are moving through the coastal environment, it is appropriate to use sea lice infestation on sea trout as an indicator of infestation pressure on salmon. The reference in the guidance (i.e. sweep netting data collected during the Atlantic salmon smolt run) was in relation to sweep netting data for sea trout.

Other Catchment-scale Pressures        

Please Note: Only record information within the Other Catchment Scale Pressure category where it is a new category which has not been included in any other tool (B-I). If you consider that one of the other pressures is impacting an entire catchment, please feel free to select the whole catchment before assigning the pressure. Before doing this please ensure that only your catchment of interest has been selected. To do this, please use the filtering technique as demonstrated in the second demo video and page 12 of the step-by-step guide.


Q: Where multiple species of non-native fish are present resulting in varying severity impacts (E.G. pike, perch and minnow), how should this be captured within the process?

A: At present all cumulative invasive fish impacts must be captured within the single “Fish” layer. Further detail on species should be provided via survey monkey.

Q: should pike be included in this section?

A: Yes, if pike are considered to be invasive in the river in question. For further information please see page 12 of the user guide.

Theme F – Habitat – Thermal

Q: Does recommendation to use “Category B” refer to Severity category B or Tool B?

A: Severity Category B.

Theme H – Obstacles to Fish Passage         

Q: Hyperlink not working.

A: The hyperlink in the original guidance document is incorrect. Here is the correct link:

If this fails, please log in to your arc gis account by visiting , then you may access any of the tools (A-I) directly from the salmon pressures group.