Rod catch of salmon reached 87,915 last year – the sixth highest year on record and 98 per cent of the of the previous five-year average.

Final statistics for 2011 published today reveal that salmon catch and release practices continue to rise – accounting for 73 per cent of the annual rod catch, rising to 91 per cent for the important spring salmon. The steady increase in sea trout catch and release practices has continued, accounting for 70 per cent of the 23,324 sea trout caught in 2011.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“Salmon and sea trout fishing is a key part of Scotland’s rural heritage and modern economy and the Scottish Government is fully committed to ensuring that it remains so.

“In addition to delivering valuable local employment the sector provides a recreational activity enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Indeed, salmon fishing attracts substantial numbers of visitors to Scotland, benefiting local hotels and businesses.

“The practice of catch and release plays an important role in the continuing conservation of our freshwater fisheries. The upward trend in catch and release is therefore welcome and demonstrates that anglers are very aware of the need to sustainably fish salmon and sea trout.”

Related information

The final Salmon and Sea Trout Fishery Statistics 2011 updates the provisional figures published by the Scottish Government on April 20. View the final statistical publication.