Hundreds of people gathered on the banks of the River Dee, one of the most famous salmon fishing rivers in Scotland, at the Milton of Crathes, to mark the official start of the season on February 1, amid concerns for the long-term future of the iconic Atlantic salmon.

The opening also marked a key milestone in the development of the “Save the Spring” campaign, a pioneering programme launched at the end of 2023 by collaborative organisations the River Dee Trust, the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board and the Atlantic Salmon Trust, aimed at preserving wild salmon stocks on the river, in particular the spring salmon that the Dee is famous for.

Following a series of stakeholder events engaging nearly 300 people over the last few weeks, financial and practical support has been coming in and has now hit the first £500,00 of funding, meaning the plan for this innovative work can get underway.