Scottish Ministers have today laid regulations in the Scottish Parliament setting out the provisions which will regulate the retention and killing of Atlantic salmon in Scottish waters for the 2019 fishing season. The new gradings will come into effect from 1 April 2019.
The 2019 season is the fourth year for which the Scottish Government has made conservation assessments and you may recall that we consulted on the proposed river gradings in October last year. A total of 39 representations were received and Ministers have considered all of these carefully.
Following that consideration Ministers believe that the gradings proposed remain valid, subject to one change for the North Harris SAC which has risen from Grade 3 to Grade 1. In addition, the new regulations remove Regulation 3(2A) which was introduced in April 2017 to set specific catch and release requirements with regard to the Rivers Ness and Moriston. Both rivers are assessed at Grade 1 for 2019 and therefore this provision is no longer required.
Further detail on the outcomes of the consultation, and a table showing the gradings for all 173 rivers and assessment groups for the 2019 season can be found at the Marine Scotland website https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/fishreform/licence/status
The Regulations themselves can be found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2019/56/contents/made