Salmon Scotland's Wild Fish Fund aims to address the widespread concerns over the declining status of wild salmonids in Scottish rivers and lochs.

We recognise that today’s Scottish salmon farming sector enjoys its strong reputation and success partly due to this wild salmonid heritage. It is in all our interests to ensure that the shared connected waters where the salmon farming industry operates are as good an environment for wild salmonids as they should be, and that the healthy pursuit of angling continues to be enjoyed long into the future.

The Salmon Scotland Wild Fisheries Fund has been established to prioritise investment from the salmon farming sector towards effective and practical wild fisheries management, as well as the promotion of local angling opportunities and community involvement. Applications are invited from relevant and constituted fisheries organisations within the shared space of Scottish salmon aquaculture and wild rod fisheries – for example Fishery Boards and Trusts, other constituted management bodies, local angling clubs and other community associations.

How much funding is available?

Now in its third year, the fund is a 5-year programme that will see £1.5 million invested by Salmon Scotland to support wild fisheries through both national and grassroots organisations. Already the fund has invested in a wide range of projects including providing major funding to the Atlantic Salmon Trust to deliver the West Coast Smolt Tracking Project, as well as funding a wide range of local projects addressing habitat issues, wild/farmed interactions and infrastructure improvements.

2023 Applications

The fund opened for applications on 1st February 2023 and the closed on 31st March.

There was no limit to the size of grant that could be applied for, but Salmon Scotland encouraged both ambitious and small-scale applications, particularly by those organisations that historically have had limited funding opportunities available to them.

All applicants will report back on project progress and delivery after one year, which will be included in the Wild Fisheries Fund Annual Report. All projects should be completed within 18 months.

The fund is co-ordinated by fishery manager Jon Gibb, who is based in Fort William and has championed a constructive relationship between the farm-raised salmon sector and fisheries and angling groups.

Who could apply?

The fund welcomed applications from the following:

  • Local angling clubs and associations (migratory and non-migratory species)
  • District Salmon Fishery Boards and Fishery Trusts
  • Constituted voluntary or community groups
  • Registered charities
  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations (SCIO)
  • Social Enterprises
  • Community Interest Companies (CIC)
  • Not-for-profit organisations

Who received funding in 2023?

  • Atlantic Mariculture, seaweed farms based at Ardtoe on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, has been awarded £43,102 to deploy specially designed ‘kelp shelters’ for wild salmon and sea trout.

  • Ayrshire Rivers Trust – £15,543 to undertake a restoration project that will aim to address riverbank erosion at the Netherton Burn.

  • Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association – £23,000 to fund habitat improvement at 12 sites along the River Fruin aiming to remove fish migration barriers, plant trees, and stabilise banks.

  • Loch Lomond Fishery Trust – £12,381 to engage with young people in Garelochhead, providing practical workshops on fisheries management, bankside strengthening, and tree planting.

  • River Eachaig Fishery Syndicate – £11,084 for ecological improvements to the riverbed at the Lamont pool on the Cowal Peninsula, in South Argyll.

  • River Ruel Improvement Association - £10,000 to tackle erosion and minimise the entry of fine sediment into the river on the Cowal Peninsula through tree planting and fencing to mitigate livestock trampling.

  • Obbe Fishery – £3,000 to repair an ageing South Harris sea dam wall, introduce an underwater camera for monitoring fish runs, and add and clean feeder streams spawning gravel.
Please note that the fund is now closed for 2023, but please contact us if you would like further information.