Chapter 15. The Return of Salmon to Cleaner Rivers ‒ A Scottish Perspective

  1. Derek Mills MSc, PhD, FIFM, FLS
  1. R. Doughty1 and
  2. R. Gardiner2

Published Online: 20 NOV 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch15

Salmon at the Edge

Salmon at the Edge

How to Cite

Doughty, R. and Gardiner, R. (2003) The Return of Salmon to Cleaner Rivers ‒ A Scottish Perspective, in Salmon at the Edge (ed D. Mills), Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch15

Editor Information

  1. Atlantic Salmon Trust

Author Information

  1. 1

    Scottish Environment Protection Agency, East Kilbride Office, 5 Redwood Crescent, East Kilbride, Glasgow, G74 5PP, UK

  2. 2

    Fisheries Research Services, Freshwater Laboratory, Faskally, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5LB, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 NOV 2007
  2. Published Print: 7 JUL 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632064571

Online ISBN: 9780470995495



  • fisheries trusts;
  • pollution control legislation;
  • salmon stocks;
  • salmon management;
  • Scotland



This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Contemporary accounts indicate that during the 18th century salmon were present in all accessible stretches of major rivers in the central lowlands of Scotland. However, by the end of the century evidence of decline in some rivers was already apparent. This trend continued through the 19th century, so that by 1900 salmon had died out in many rivers where they were formerly abundant. Although several factors contributed to this decline, pollution from industry and the rapidly growing towns and cities was undoubtedly the major cause. Early attempts to control pollution through legislation failed. It was only in the mid-20th century that effective pollution control legislation began to be introduced. Since then, progressive improvements in river quality have allowed salmon to recolonize many of their ancestral rivers. Active management of salmon stocks has until recently been hindered by the absence of fisheries management bodies in the affected catchments. The establishment of fisheries trusts to cover the Clyde and Forth catchments gives some hope for the future, although this must be viewed in the context of threats to salmon populations on a global scale.