Following negotiations between local fishery boards and the Usan Salmon Company, commercial salmon and sea trout netting in the Ythan estuary and on the coast just to the south will not take place during 2015. The netting rights in question, which had been purchased by Usan in 2014, have not been exercised since 1997. There is very considerable concern locally that renewed netting would do significant damage to already depleted salmon and sea trout stocks.

Mark Andrew, Clerk to the Ythan District Fishery Board, said: “Usan, appreciating the sensitivities regarding netting in the Ythan, offered to refrain for the whole of the 2015 season if a compensation payment could be agreed. Following a successful negotiation we have now paid the company a considerable sum. In recognition of the mixed stocks nature of the fishery, four fishery boards have contributed – the Ythan, the Dee, the Don and the Spey”.

Mr Andrew continued: “This is an excellent example of fishery boards working together and pooling resources for the common good and in the interests of fish conservation both in the Ythan and further afield”.

Alastair Hume MBE, Honorary President and founding member of Aberdeen and District Angling Association (which owns several beats on the Ythan), commented: “We at the ADAA – as Scotland’s largest community-based angling organization – are immensely grateful to all four fishery boards which have joined forces to fund this deal. For this year at least the threat of renewed netting has been lifted”.

Mr Hume added: “The Ythan is known as the working man’s river and our fishings there are available to all our 1100 members. Any renewed netting would not only compromise their enjoyment but also jeopardize all the volunteer effort and funds our club has invested over the years to support fish conservation in the Ythan, particularly through the River Ythan Trust, which is at the forefront of salmon and sea trout conservation locally”.”.


Issued by Andrew Graham-Stewart (telephone 01863 766767 or 07812 981531) on behalf the Ythan District Fishery Board. For further information, telephone Mark Andrew, Clerk to the Ythan DFB, on 01651 851664.

Notes for editors

1)  The Ythan District Fishery Board is empowered to protect, enhance and conserve salmon and sea trout and has a general duty to ensure the protection and enhancement of the fishery within the Ythan catchment. The Ythan has a strict conservation code with very limited bag limits. Anglers now release back into the water the great majority of fish they catch.

2)  Virtually all the river is either controlled by local angling associations or available at very modest cost.

3)  Aberdeen and District Angling Association grew from humble beginnings in 1946 to become Scotland’s premier angling club with 1,100 members and its own fishing beats on the Dee, Don and Ythan rivers. See

4)  Mixed stocks coastal netting stations indiscriminately catch any salmon passing by, regardless of where they are heading or the strength of the various populations in their home rivers. They are completely non-selective, making the management of individual river stocks almost impossible.

Ythan District Fishery Board

Estate Office

Mains of Haddo



Aberdeenshire AB41 7LD

Tel: 01651 851664