Farmed Salmon

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River Stinchar – action to take if you think you have caught a Farmed Salmon


With 48,000 fish escaping from Carradale 3 weeks ago, they are beginning to turn up in our rivers including the Stinchar. They pose a huge threat to wild Atlantic salmon and can breed with wild fish weakening our stocks. It is essential to kill them when caught.

Preparation – Before you go fishing 

Please watch the video produced by Ayrshire Rivers Trust (link shown below). This shows:

  • How to identify a farmed salmon
  • How to take scale samples
  • How to contact Ayrshire Rivers Trust

Action – At the riverside

  1. Take time to inspect every fish you catch as we do not want any mistakes.
  2. If you think you have caught a farmed salmon, despatch it humanely.
  3. Take a photograph of the fish.
  4. Estimate the weight of the fish
  5. Take scales from the upper side of the fish as shown in the video. Wrap these in kitchen roll or in a paper envelope. Please do not store scales in plastic or expose them to a dried heat source.
  6. Do not take the fish away for consumption.
  7. Dispose of the fish responsibly which includes putting the dead fish back into the river. This improves water nutrients.

Please also take the following action as soon as possible:-

Reporting to Ayrshire Rivers Trust – vital!

  1. Post or drop off scale samples to Ayrshire Rivers Trust Office, 1 Gibbsyard, Auchincruive Estate Ayr KA6 5HW. Tel. 01292-737300, Email When submitting scale samples, please also provide the following information:
  • Your name
  • Your Email address or full postal address if no Email
  • Scale sample enclosed – ‘Yes’
  • Date of capture
  • Name of river – Stinchar
  • Location, beat fished
  • Species – farmed salmon
  • Weight of fish in pounds
  • Any additional comments
  • Photograph of fish caught

Reporting to the owner of the fishing – vital!

  1. Please inform the owner of the beat you are fishing that you have caught a farmed salmon. This should be done as soon as possible as owners are legally required to submit an annual rod return (based on monthly catches) to Marine Scotland. The return includes any catches of farmed salmon. Please provide the owner with the information supplied to Ayrshire Rivers in Section 8 above.

Lastly, the River Stinchar District Salmon Fishery Board and its stakeholders are monitoring the incursion of farmed salmon into our river very carefully. If the situation were to deteriorate,  more drastic action may need to be taken. In the event of this being necessary you will be kept fully informed. 

Many thanks for your cooperation with this very important matter.

River Stinchar District Salmon Fishery Board
9th September 2020

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