fish in Scotland you do not require a rod licence from the government or
environment agencies. The costs and rights to fish in various waters are
controlled by landowners, fishing associations, angling clubs and commercial
fisheries. This means you require a separate permit to fish each individual
water. Your permit and any literature provided by the proprietors will
stipulate what bait and methods are allowed, as individual fisheries and rivers
sometimes impose restrictions on these areas, either all year round or at
certain times of the season.
Here are a few useful things to know about fishing
rights in Scotland:
- Fishing rights are
private. It is not the fish but the right to fish for them that is owned.
- Salmon fishing rights
are heritable titles, which may be held with or separate from the land,
and carry with them the subsidiary right to fish for trout and other
freshwater fish. This right must not be exercised in a way that will
interfere with the rights of the riparian owner. Where the right is held
separate from the land, the proprietor of the right has an implied right
of access for the purpose of exercising his right to fish for salmon.
- The rights to
freshwater fish belong to the owner of the land that is adjacent to the
water, unless held separately from the land. An exception is public
waters. A public river is both tidal and navigable, and the right extends
as far up river as ordinary spring tides (as marked on an Ordinance Survey
- It is a criminal
offence to fish for salmon without the legal right or without written
permission from the owner of the right. In the case of fishing for trout
and other freshwater fish, fishing without permission is a civil rather
than a criminal offence. However, unauthorised fishing can be made the
subject of criminal proceedings under the Theft Act 1607, where any person
removing fish from a stank - any artificial pond or reservoir which has
been stocked and has neither inlet nor outlet - without authority is
guilty of theft.
information about fishing rights in Scotland can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk.
- The official brown trout season runs from 15 March
to 6 October.
- There is no legal closed season for rainbow trout,
grayling, coarse or sea fishing although some fisheries do not operate in winter.
- Scotland’s salmon fishing season varies from river
to river but in Lochaber the salmon season usually runs from late spring to late October.
for salmon and sea trout on a Sunday is strictly prohibited. However, it is not
illegal for other forms of fishing and most still water fisheries operate on
Sundays. Fishing for brown trout on a Sunday is legal but is frowned upon on
- In Scotland it is a criminal offence to sell your
catch of salmon or sea trout, so you must always return your fish to the river
unless you intend to eat it.
- In the interests of conservation, many rivers run a
catch and release policy or impose limits on how many fish you can take for
yourself. There are no legal restrictions for other types of fishing, but some
fisheries may impose a limit.
further information and advice on fishing in Lochaber, visit the Fishpal