Blog Archives

Some great fishing Opportunities

We are currently running an online auction until the end of November to raise funds for the River Dee Trust and there are two amazing fishing opportunities which currently have small bids sitting on them.

Salmon Fishing in Norway on the River Namsen. A fabulous opportunity exists for two anglers to enjoy three days all inclusive package of fishing with meals and accommodation in week 30 in 2014, at Jørem, see website .This auction lot has been kindly donated by the popular Sven Åge and Jenny Domås. There is a nice short film about the accommodation at Jørem and the River Namsen here

The wonderfully scenic River Namsen offer visiting anglers the opportunity to fly fish, spin, or even try harling for large salmon in what’s historically known as the queen of Norwegian salmon rivers. The biggest ever Namsen salmon was landed at Jørem and weighed a massive 31.5 kilos in 1924. Visiting anglers would be advised to hire the services of a local guide for this trip, which will be arranged, to ensure they have every opportunity to capture a large wild salmon. The winning bidder would be expected to arrange their vehicle hire at Trondheim to travel to Grong, cover the cost of their guide and any alcoholic drinks provided. This is a stunning river with really outstanding scenery and will provide a host of wonderful memories. Guide Price £1,000 Current Bid is only £400-this is worth a lot more than the current bid.

Sea Trout fishing, on the world famous River Mörrum, Sweden. This world famous fishery is managed by Sveasskog / Mörrums Kronolaxfiske in the South East of Sweden. They are donating an all inclusive package of 3 days fishing and 4 nights of accommodation for two rods. This will take place during the prime time for sea trout, September 2014. The successful bidding anglers stay will be in self-catering “Laxodlingen” double room with shared bathroom and kitchen . www.  Extra days fishing and accommodation may be purchased. Guiding, even for as low as two hours, can be arranged with FiskeShopen / All Fly Mörrum,  River Mörrum is known for its big sea trout, only matched by Argentina’s Rio Grande & Rio Gallegos. The average sea trout size is typically 12-13lb, with fish above 20lb landed every year. The sea trout start running the river in July and from second half of August huge fish will lie in almost all pools on the lower stretch.

Auction Lot Details, Suggested schedule for the trip

Arrival; September 1st  
Fishing; September 2nd, 3rd and 4th
Departure; September 5th

Guide Price £1,000 Current bid is only £300 – Way below what this lot is worth in this fantastic productive river.

Footage of  Morrum sea trout

If you wish to place a bid in for these and in the process see all the funds going into helping the River then click here to enter the auction.

New Outreach Officer for the Dee

New Outreach Officer for the Dee

by Joanna Dick
JoannaI joined the River Dee team recently as the Dee Catchment Outreach Officer.

I am based at the River Office at Dinnet and work part-time for the River Dee Trust and part-time for the Dee Catchment Partnership.

My role is to encourage interest, understanding and responsible use of the River Dee and raise awareness of river-related issues.

This post, which is secured until March 2016, is the first of its kind for Scottish rivers and recognises the importance of the river to the Deeside community. This post has been supported by funding from The MacRobert Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Aberdeenshire Council and the Marr Area Committee.

The primary aims as the Dee Catchment Outreach Officer are to raise awareness of the River Dee among school children, improve understanding of recreational use and access on the river and communicate the importance of the river and its management. I will also be delivering projects to raise awareness and promote ways to improve urban water quality in Aberdeen, such as the Yellow Fish Project, which aims to promote awareness of the importance of keeping waste, chemicals and fats out of the drainage network.

Dr Lorraine Hawkins, River Dee Trust Manager, says “It is essential that both local people and visitors to Deeside enjoy and take an interest in the river, to safeguard the river for future generations and for the wildlife it supports. This post reflects that there is more to be done to engage people fully with the river”.

I am currently developing an education pack for use by primary and secondary schools. The pack will encourage schools to use the river as an educational resource and will be tailored to fit with the Curriculum for Excellence. To develop this educational resource I welcomed my first school group to the River Dee this month with three primary 5 classes from Banchory Primary School. We met first in the classroom to talk about the River Dee catchment, the lifecycle of Atlantic salmon and the value of the River Dee to the local economy and tourism industry. The children have been reading ‘Wind in the Willows’ and were keen to learn more about ‘Ratty’ (who is actually a water vole) and the effect that mink have on water voles within the catchment.

On a rainy October morning the first of the three classes visited the River Dee at Invery in Banchory to learn more about the river. Luckily the rain stopped in time for local Ghillie Karl Revel to show the group fishing equipment and demonstrate fly fishing. River Dee Trust staff then electro-fished and caught juvenile salmon for the children to look at closely and learn more about the incredible life cycle of salmon in the river. But the catch that caused the most excitement was a very large eel! All children thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the River Dee with the River Dee Trust.

banchory primary

The Banchory Primary School classes have undertaken homework projects on a native species found in Scotland. The colourful and detailed posters created about salmon, freshwater pearl mussels, heron, eel, red squirrel and water voles have inspired me with ideas for future school groups.

I am keen to hear the views of teachers or any other groups who have visited the Dee before or would like to in future and also from schools who received a riverbank resource box. Any teachers that would like to cover the River Dee in school, please contact me at or phone 01339 880 411.

The Dee Catchment Partnership is a voluntary association of catchment stakeholders who work together to protect and restore the water environment and promote water management.

River Dee On-Line Auction Update

The auction is live and quite a number of bids have been received for the wide range of interesting auction lots-some of which would make an ideal Christmas present. Make sure you put bids on for lots that interest you in case you forget or unable to do this when the auction is drawing to a close. It would be a shame to miss out on an auction lot because you were unable to bid and the lot goes for less than you were prepared to pay. Please remember that all the money raised from the auction goes into improvements in the River Dee and help us with our education programmes where we let people know how important the River Dee and its native wildlife are. You can access the auction here and you have to register by law to bid. Your details are not passed on to any third parties whatsoever. Please support this important fundraising event for the River Dee Trust.

Fishing report summary for 2013 fishing season

FishDee beats reported 4,496 salmon and 779 sea trout in 2013 which is not the final total for the river, with a number of other beats catches to be added to these totals before we finalise the 2013 catch returns,    however the salmon catch should be above 5,000 for the season. The three preceding years had produced approximately a combined total of 25,000 salmon, so the 2013 salmon catch is down a bit on these years. This is inline with other rivers throughout the Northern Hemisphere where there appears to have been a downturn in catches across virtually every country that’s sees migratory Atlantic Salmon running their rivers. There are never any guarantees of how big the annual run of salmon will be into salmon rivers as there are many variables involved which affect nature. Perhaps a good way to look at this is to consider that there’s not been a good harvest this year; but there’s not a lot wrong with the farm.

Roald Meyer

The biggest verified salmon caught in 2013 at 28lbs-Roald Meyer at Lower Crathes

The Spring period was bitterly cold, which seemed to go on for ever, salmon didn’t run in any great numbers with February seeing 190 reported, 270 for March, 479 for April and May produced 646 salmon. There were some good specimens about in March and April and Lower Crathes produced a 28lb salmon to visitor Roald Mayer which is the largest verified salmon for the 2013 fishing season. There are reports of two other 28lb salmon from Dess and Lower Invercauld and Monaltrie however neither fish were witnessed, nor were images taken at the point of capture. Some of the beats did have a pretty reasonable spring and Ghillies seemed happy at Crathes,    Invery and Tilquhillie. There wasn’t any significant upstream migration in April when the snows did melt and the river levels rose. Park and Lower Crathes did reasonably well in April and May and Carlogie had a decent May. The Glentanar and Dinnet beats normally do very well in May and their anglers had to work hard for scant rewards compared to normal.


Mark Paterson fishing at Dess in a snow shower

Summer arrived and many of the Ghillies would have been hoping for a wet summer as a drought can really put the brakes on sport for visiting anglers. The last few years had seen cool damp summers and sport had been    very decent at times. This year saw Deeside get a decent amount of sunshine, heat and very little rain, and as a result sport was slow for anglers this year. There were 590 salmon reported in June, 253 in July and 528  in August and a lot of fishermen sat in the sunshine and just accepted that you get the odd year when water conditions aren’t ideal for salmon angling.There were the two reported 28lbers taken during this period at Dess and Invercauld to Messrs Hartle and Stephenson. It was noticeable that Grilse numbers were reported to be down as were sea trout numbers.

Meriel Fisher 1

Meriel Harper playing her first ever salmon with Dad Geoff Fisher at Lower Crathes

We came into September with continued low water levels which persisted into October and this impacted a bit on catches with FishDee beats reporting 781 for September and the beats below Aboyne Bridge reported 759 for    the first fortnight in October. The welcome lift in water levels really got fish on the move and anglers were catching fish across the catchment. This was noticeable in the catch returns for Sept/October with Park reporting 200, Birse 115, Ballogie 100 and Altries with 98. The year will not be remembered as a classic by any matter of means however a positive piece of news was obtained when a visiting salmon biologist from Norway was diving in the river looking at habitat. He has surveyed many rivers in Norway and advised that the juvenile stocks in the River Dee were the best he had ever seen anywhere with a fantastic habitat for juvenile salmon recruitment. So we look forward to the 2014 salmon fishing season and it’s heartening to hear our sister River Tweed has had a very good late run of salmon-could this mean we shall have a great run of spring fish ? Well we will all have to book fishing on the Dee and come and find out. Merry Christmas to you all and Tight Lines in 2014 to all readers.

Keith 031

Keith Webster with a fine February salmon

Ken Reid Fisheries Development Officer DDSFB & River Dee Trust Office Mill of Dinnet, Aboyne Aberdeenshire, Scotland,AB34 5LA D +44 (0) 13398 80411 M +44 (0) 7979 878971 E-Mail  and

River Dee Trust Registered Charity No SC028497

The Great British Year-Must watch TV Programme

Make sure you tune into this BBC one Programme being broadcast on Wednesday 23rd October at 9pm. There is some wonderful footage of salmon spawning last autumn in the middle Dee.


Image for Autumn

Episode 4 of 4

Duration: 1 hour

The fading sun brings an energy change to Britain: a time of storms and unpredictable weather. The trees go dormant, but not before a final fling of colour. For animals, the shortening days are a cue to prepare, hibernating and hoarding for the dark times ahead. For some, its still a time to breed; deer rut, seals give birth and the Atlantic salmon leaps waterfalls in order to lay its eggs in the River Dee. Beneath the fallen leaves, slime moulds, earthworms and fungi take advantage of autumn’s spoils.

Do come and join us in London on Wednesday 6th November

To our River Dee family of fishermen and dear friends who are going to be in London on the evening of the 6th of November. We wish you will come and join us.

A Celebration of the River Dee
Join us at the Savile Club, London, on 6th November 2013
The River Dee Trust is hosting an informative drinks reception on Wednesday 6th November from 6.30pm to 8.00pm.
Showcasing the work that has been achieved by the Trust for the river and its anglers and the work that will be delivered in the future.

Savile Club, 69 Brook St, Mayfair, W1K 4ER

Please RSVP to by 1st November

Visit us first at

Registered Charity No SC028497

Get a collectable piece of art and help the River Dee Trust

For all who hold the River Dee close to their heart there is a great opportunity to obtain artwork by Howard Butterworth. To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board in 2013, Howard attended the River Dee opening ceremony at Ballogie, beside Potarch Bridge and has produced a commemorative painting of the occasion. The painting captures Alastair Hume performing the ceremonial cast to the large assembled audience.


A limited run of 100 numbered high quality Giclee images of the painting have been produced and are available to purchase for £100 excluding vat. Howard has very kindly offered to donate £25 from every purchase to the River Dee Trust. The image can be viewed and purchased through Howard’s website link The Butterworth Gallery River Dee Opening Ceremony 2013  It’s a historic moment for the River and we hope that it will appeal to a great number of people.

Commemorative Artwork by artist Howard Butterworth

Commemorative Artwork by artist Howard Butterworth

River Dee Trust Auction-Autumn 2013

The River Dee Trust is planning to hold an online auction to raise funds this autumn . The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the work carried out on the Dee and to raise funds to allow for the continuing improvement of the river. We raise funds for practical river improvement and to clear obstructions, allowing fish to complete their epic migrations and lifecycle. We also promote and support an educational programme for school children explaining the importance of the river to the region’s wildlife and local economy. If any reader of the blog wishes to help provide an interesting auction lot please get in touch with Ken Reid who is sourcing auction lots for this popular annual event. Contact in the first instance your help would be very much appreciated.

River Dee Weekly Audio Report

Here is the weekly audio report available to download for people with reading difficulties and overseas visitors to the River Dee

2013 River Dee Stocks Review

How are the River Dee Stocks of fish ?

The River Dee Trust has published it’s latest piece of work and reviews the status of the Dee’s salmon and sea trout populations.

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