River Alness Conservation Policy
Below is the Cromarty Firth Fisheries Board's Conservation Policy. This is the recommendation from the Fishery Board; actual implementation and regulations vary on the Alness between different proprietors.
Salmon are classified as an endangered species throughout Europe. Spring fish are sufficiently scarce for it to be foolish to kill any. The long term trend for the number of grilse returning from sea appears to be declining and so the numbers killed should be minimized. Sea trout over 1½ lbs are particularly valuable so should be released.
The percentage of fish released in the Cromarty Firth rivers has been well below that achieved on most major Scottish rivers and the Board's policy is to release a minimum of 70% of the annual rod catch.
Salmon up to 30th June
- All fish to be returned i.e. 100% Catch and Release. This policy has been in place on the Dee for many years, and has been introduced on the Tay and the Tweed.
Salmon after 30th June
- All fish over 30” / 75cm long (about 10lbs) to be released.
- A maximum of one fish (i.e. salmon/grilse under 30” / 75cm about 10lbs) per angler per week may be killed.
- Up to a maximum of 6 fish (salmon/grilse under 30” / 75cm about 10lbs) may be killed per angler per season in the Cromarty Firth rivers.
- A maximum of one sea trout over 1½ lbs per angler per week may be killed but it would be preferable to kill only smaller fish.
- All coloured fish should be released
- All foul hooked fish must be released by law
- The sale of rod caught fish is forbidden by law
- Please do not use treble hooks
- Please use barbless hooks
- When releasing fish, try to keep the fish in the water at all times and use knotless mesh landing nets.
If an angler catches a fish that has had the adipose fin removed, please retain it and inform Simon McKelvey, the Superintendent (01997 433405, Mobile 07787 845648). The fish will have been micro tagged. In order to retrieve the tag, the head of the fish must be retained for Simon. The angler keeps the fish, receives a £5 reward, and in due course, the life history of the fish.
Proprietors or their appointed nominees are being urged to ensure that anglers fishing their waters have completed and signed a declaration regarding sterilizing fishing equipment.
Equipment can be sterilized as per the guidelines described on the Gs page in this section.