Over the past few decades it has become clear that salmon returning to Scotland’s rivers are getting smaller. This is important as it is the size, and age, of female salmon that determines how many eggs they produce and therefore how many salmon will be produced in future generations.

In order to better manage and protect salmon, additional information on the sizes and ages of salmon in Scotland is required. Scales record information throughout the life of the salmon and can be used to determine the age of the fish, how many years an individual fish spent in the river and in the marine environment and how fast it grew at different life stages.

The project supported Fisheries Management Scotland members to collect weights, lengths and scale samples from returning adult salmon. Initially run in 2021 between July and September, the project was run again in 2022 with an extended sampling window between June and the end of September.

Scales were taken from returning adult salmon, which were then read by Marine Scotland Science.  A report containing the image and life history information of each salmon was be provided to the contributing DSFB/Trust in 2021, and this will also happen for scales taken in 2022.

As well as providing information on the age and sizes of rod caught salmon in local rivers, the information will also help inform national and international management aimed at safeguarding salmon for future generations of anglers.

This project is funded by Marine Scotland  and delivered in partnership with Fisheries Management Scotland and Scottish Fisheries Coordination Centre.

Grant Funding Received
In 2021 & 2022 this project was funded by Marine Scotland to the value of £306,000.