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Fishing on the River Ythan

To fish in the River Ythan you need to have a valid permit for the area you want to fish in. Permits are issued by proprietors and they allow you to fish in a specific area.  Permits can be issued as day tickets, season tickets or be part of a club membership. You do not need a licence to fish from any other authority to fish in the river.  Proprietors can use or let out their areas as they wish providing, they comply with the statutory instruments or local agreements.


Atlantic salmon, sea, brown and some rainbow trout are found in the river, along with stickleback, minnows, eel, lamprey and sometimes pike and perch.  An extract from GH Nall's 'The Life of the Sea Trout' about the River Ythan and 'The Fisheries of the Ythan' (Catches since 1952 and comments) by Dr John Pirie are available to download from our reports page.

Please be aware that ALL SALMON MUST BE RETURNED TO THE RIVER by law in 2020. You could face criminal charges if you keep one.

More information about the general rules for fishing on River Ythan, bag limits, baits and lures, equipment and how to handle and return fish can be found in our conservation code further down this page. 

What to report (on your catches)

It is a legal requirement to report catches of all salmon, sea trout and finnock (young sea trout) to the fishing proprietor, tenant, or angling club responsible for the area you are fishing in. Please provide them with:

  • type of fish
  • approximate weight
  • date of catch
  • catch retained or released
  • the amount of time spent each day salmon angling
    (regardless of whether salmon were caught or not)

How to report issues or problems


If you see or smell polluted water please report this to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) by calling 01346 510502 stating the location and problem you have discovered.  Please ask for an incident reference.

You can also report the incident by phone or text to The Clerk to the Board on 07799 334973 or to the Bailiffs on 01467 642121


If you see someone fishing illegally please report the matter to the Clerk to the Board on 07799 334973 or the Bailiffs on 01467 642121

Permits for fishing

Permit type


Fishing location

Where to buy permit

Day tickets

Haddo House Angling Club

From Gight to downstream of Ythanbank

Costcutters, Methlick, AB41 7DT
Tel: 01651 806213

Sloans Country Sports, 125-129 High St, Inverurie AB51 3QJ
Tel: 01467 625181

Day tickets

Schivas Estates

North bank from Tangland to Ythanbank

Schivas Estates
Nicola Baird

Email: nicola@schivas.com

Day tickets

Ramornie House

Upstream of the middle of Ellon

Eric Ritchie
Mobile: 07774 163892

Day tickets

Auchmacoy Estate

Downstream of Ellon to the estuary

Auchmacoy Estate Office

Tel: 01358 720291

Day tickets

The Ythan Estuary Fishings

Ythan estuary

Audrey Forbes-Clark

3 Lea Cottages, 130 Main Street, Newburgh, AB41 6BN

Tel: 01358 789297
Mobile: 07974006450

Email: audrey.forbes@yahoo.co.uk

Web: www.ythanangling.net


Aberdeen and District Angling Association

Three separate beats on the river from Methlick to the estuary including Ardlethan (upstream of the Kinharrachie bridge) and salmon pools

Membership available online from the club's website  www.adaa.org.uk

Permit information last updated: January 2023

Ythan conservation code - 2022 season

General rules

  • all kelts, coloured fish, salmon and sea trout parr, smolts, and brown trout under 10 ins. must be returned carefully to the water
  • all salmon caught must be returned carefully to the water
  • all sea trout caught after 30th September must be returned carefully to the water
  • all finnock (sea trout of 10” - 13”) must be returned carefully to the water
  • all foul hooked fish (hooked behind the head) must be returned carefully to the water
  • no rod caught fish to be sold (It is illegal in Scotland to sell rod caught salmon or sea trout)


Bag Limits

Fish killed over the entire river by any one angler

  • bag limits are not targets; anglers should only retain fish they will use
  • anglers are encouraged to return fish
  • annual bag limit for sea trout shall be 2 fish
  • daily bag limit for sea trout shall be 1 fish

Baits and lures

  • no live or deadbait (other than worms) to be used
  • barbless or de-barbed hooks are recommended
  • only one treble hook per lure is recommended

Fish landing equipment

  • the use of gaffs and tailers is not permitted
  • only knotless landing nets are permitted

Handling and returning fish

  • treat fish with care and respect
  • fish should not be lifted, otherwise unsupported, by the wrist of the tail, or damage to the spine may result. Similarly holding up fish by the gill covers may well inflict mortal injury
  • if fish are to be kept, dispatch them quickly with a forceful blow from a suitably hefty instrument
  • fish to be returned should be held firmly and unhooked quickly, using forceps
  • fish to be returned to the water should be carefully supported, head to the current, and held until recovered sufficiently to swim free. (This may take several minutes)

The Ythan conservation code is produced by the Ythan District Salmon Fishery Board.

Ythan conservation code last updated: January 2023