FINDHORN NAIRN & LOSSIE TRUST - Advice on taking scale samples
The age of a salmon or trout can be readily gained by reading its scales. The scales provide important data about the age and growth patterns of the fish during river and sea phases of its lifecycle.
Collection of scales is fairly straight forward. Please forward samples onto Bob Laughton FNLT at
1. Collect scales from the area shown in the diagram using the back of a knife remove excess mucus from the area, then run the blade of a knife gently back against the scales to lift and remove approx 10 scales.
2. Insert the blade into a scale packet/paper envelope (not plastic bag) and pinch the packet against the blade so the scales are left in the packet as the blade is withdrawn. Clean the blade between samples.
3. Record the following details on the outside of the packet:
Species: salmon, sea trout, or brown trout etc,
Length: from nose to V in Tail (inches or cm),
Weight: (lbs or kilos),
Sex: If not obvious externally then it will be evident when, you clean the fish and find either orange egg sacks or white milt sacks inside the fish.
Remarks: Detail any peculiarities about the fish. Presence of sea lice, scars, lamprey marks etc,
Forward the scale envelope to the Trust or your fishing proprietor. The samples will be read over the winter and the findings published on the Trusts web site.
NDSFB Salmon\Seatrout Conservation code 2018
The Nairn has been regraded to a Grade 1, indicating mandatory catch and release will not be required, but this will be reviewed annually. The Nairn DSFB is therefore asking all anglers to comply with the voluntary Conservation Code which aims to increase release rates for salmon to 75%. This new legislation does not apply to sea trout but given the poor returns of sea trout in recent years a stronger conservation policy is also required.
1. Catch & Release Anglers are requested to:-
· Release all fish up to 1 st May.
· Release all stale and gravid salmon and grilse and as many hen salmon/grilse as possible.
· Targets - 100% release rate for salmon to end of April, 75% or more release rate for salmon & grilse to the end of the season (i.e retain only one fish in every four caught).
Sea Trout- 75% or more release rate
· Before 1st May, those beats allowing spinning will endeavour to curtail this practice & encourage fly fishing. In general spinning is only permitted when water levels are above 0.5m on the SEPA gauge (check current river levels online at http://apps.sepa.org.uk/waterlevels/?sd=t&lc=234218. Within the Nairn AA waters use the red mark visible on gauges on river bridges.
· Anglers are requested to use “pinched” or barbless hooks & to refrain from using triple hooked flies in preference to single hooks where possible.
· The use of shrimp & prawn is not permitted.
· Worm fishing is discouraged and will cease from the 1st September each year.
3. Fishing Effort
· Where possible, the numbers of hours & rods fished should be limited.
· Anglers are encouraged to fish no more than 10 hours in any one day.