A new survey on the River Ness could hold the key to boosting Scottish salmon numbers as stocks reach “crisis point”. The blueprint is being laid out next month to identify steps that can be taken to protect the habitat of wild Atlantic salmon in the river.

The investigation is being led by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board to counter a decline in fish numbers by protecting and enhancing the species. The board says the quality of habitat is under “increasing pressure from human activities and climate change”.

Chris Conroy, the fishery board’s river director, said: “The survival of wild Atlantic salmon as a globally iconic species relies on them having a suitable environment for spawning and rearing their young.

The River Ness is renowned for its clean water, natural beauty and quality of its fishing, which attracts anglers from throughout the world, generates inward income and sustains hundreds of jobs.