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Conservation Code

Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Rivers Trust


New Legislation and Conservation Limits

Following extensive consultation by Scottish Government the killing of Atlantic salmon in inland waters will be managed on an annual basis by categorising fishery districts by their conservation status.

The approach uses catch data to determine if the numbers of adult salmon returning to the river are sufficient to maintain adequate spawning and egg deposition and ultimately smolt output.

Catch data from five years is used and each river in Scotland is Graded 1 to 3. Grade 1 indicates the river has met its conservation limit while Grade 3 means it has fallen below the limit.

Rivers within Grade 3 require to move to 100% catch and release for salmon and grilse and all rivers must prepare a conservation Plan to safeguard salmon stocks in the future.

The Lossie is Grade 3.

The Salmon Conservation Regulations which come into effect on 1 April 2016 make it a criminal offence to kill any salmon within the Lossie district. Further details can be found here.

This new legislation does not apply to sea trout but given the poor returns of sea trout in recent years a stronger conservation policy is also required.

Salmon Conservation Policy

All Salmon and Grilse must be released back to the river.

Sea Trout Conservation Policy


  • All fish under 1 lb/14 ins
  • All sea trout over 3 lbs/20 ins
  • All stale and gravid fish


  • Sea Trout 75% i.e. 1 sea trout in 4 may be retained


  • Fly fishing is encouraged.
  • Use pinched or barbless hooks. Avoid using triple hooks.
  • Shrimp and prawning is banned.
  • Bait fishing (worming) may be used with the AA or owner’s permission.

Season: 25th Feb – 31st Oct However, many of the fishing estates and Angling Associations vary the season length within this. Elgin and District Angling Association (EDAA) delays the opening on their fishing until the 1st April for salmon and sea trout and closes the season for sea trout on the 30th September. They close the salmon season on the 31st October.

For more information on catch and release, visit our How You Can Help page here.

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