Fishery Board Role
The Board is a statutory body with particular responsibility for salmon and sea-trout and fishery protection in coastal waters.
The Board’s aim is to provide the maximum benefit to both the local community, tenants and visitors in enjoying this wonderful natural resource and landscape feature, consistent with maintaining and enhancing the fish population as per its statutory duty.
The Board undertakes habitat and fishery surveys in which its staff have been trained.
In conjunction with the government’s Rural Affairs Department the Board runs a fish-counter enabling the management to assess runs and adapt policies accordingly.
The Helmsdale has a headwater dam at Badanloch and the release of water from this impoundment means that in dry periods a flow is maintained both for fisheries and general habitat management. Other parts of the water catchment flow freely.
The Helmsdale runs a hatchery programme which is boosted when stocks appear to be falling and relaxed when stocks are adequate. Measurement of this matter is through electro-fishing, in which the staff have been trained.
Angling is on 24 miles of water in 6 private beats, each beat during the day fishing one section above the Falls at Kildonan and one section below the Falls. Beats rotate every day meaning anglers experience the whole river in a fishing week.
Below the Marrel Pool and as far as the tidal zone three-quarter miles of good angling water is reserved for local anglers and visitors.