River Tweed Commission

Established by Order under an Act of Parliament to protect the fish stocks in the Tweed River System


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Spring Conservation



In terms of paragraph 9 of schedule 2 of The Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006 (“the 2006 Order”) notice is hereby given that, following an application to them by the River Tweed Commission, the Scottish Ministers propose to make an order under articles 36 and 54 of the 2006 Order to protect early running spring salmon in the Tweed District. The Tweed District is defined in article 2 of the 2006 Order.

The advertised Notice to make an Amendment to the Close Time Order can be viewed below, together with the RTC’s documents supporting its case for the change:

2018 Close Times Advertisement

River Tweed Commission - Application for an Amendment to the Tweed Regulation Order 2007- Annual Close Times

River Tweed Commission - Conservation Case for Tweed Spring Salmon


The Spring Salmon Conservation Measures on Tweed and its tributaries
[Revised 2016]


Spring Salmon form separate and distinct stocks on Tweed. It is imperative to ensure adequate reproduction so that the stocks can sustain themselves. The recent evidence is that, even with the River’s previous Spring Conservation Measures, barely enough Spring Salmon get through to fully stock their spawning grounds; in some years there may have been insufficient numbers. To allow the Spring fish to achieve their best spawning potential it is necessary that all caught fish be returned, unharmed, to the water. Evidence from previous tagging showed that only a very small proportion of released fish are caught a second time.

Total Catch-and-Release in the Spring applies to the whole of the Tweed River system for the 2016 to 2020 seasons inclusive.

The Spring season is defined as 1st February to 30th June inclusive.


It is now illegal to take any Salmon or Sea-trout - dead or alive - from 1st February to 31st March each year.


These Rules apply to all Salmon and Grilse (not Sea-trout) for the period 1st April to 30th June each year on the whole of the Tweed catchment.

* Anglers must return to the water ALL Salmon and Grilse caught up to the end of June, unharmed.

* Every effort must be taken by the angler and boatman to allow fish to recover after being caught.


* Salmon caught after 30th June should be returned if they are not fresh (i.e. not silver) and therefore likely to be Spring stock.


    1. HOOKS  The use of single and double hooks is best; flatten or remove barbs to make hook removal easier.

    2. FISH HANDLING Fish should be handled with extreme care, especially those that have been injured or become exhausted whilst being played.

    * Use a knotless net.

    * Do not take the fish out of the water if at all possible; if photographing a fish, anglers should kneel with the fish also still in the water, held gently by the tail and under the chin.

    * Do not hold a fish up by its tail or hold close to your body under any circumstances.

    * Handle the fish as little as possible and as gently as possible: fresh scales come away from the skin very easily and allow infection and disease into the fish.

    * Fish should be supported gently and upright in the water until such time as they swim away on their own.

    * Anglers must allow the fish time to recover before letting it loose in the River; this may take a long time (up to 30 minutes).

    3. MORTALITY  Only those Salmon and Grilse that have actually died in the course of resuscitation, after 31st March, may be removed from the water. No one is allowed to dispatch a Salmon or Grilse, e.g. by use of a priest.  On no account may any Salmon or Grilse be killed on purpose.

    5. GUIDANCE ON SPINNING  There is a view that old Springers are more likely to be caught in low water after 1st July (when the Spring Conservation Measures end) by spinning. Rules for spinning are determined by individual beats. However particular care should be taken where a beat has different owners on opposite banks. In such cases, good etiquette is that fly fishers should have the opportunity to fish the water first and only when this opportunity has passed should spinning be used. Spinning should not be the method of first choice in low and clear water conditions. Where proprietors wish to do so, they can restrict spinning on their beats to comparatively high and coloured water conditions, and perhaps especially in the period 1st July to 14th September (after which spinning is illegal) and when the Spring Conservation Measures are not applicable. Old spring fish, caught by any fishing method after 30th June, should be returned as they will have become coloured and increasingly mature.

    Tweed Salmon weight : length chart
    Download the Tweed Spring Salmon code
    Download the Catch and Release Guidelines pdf 870kb)


Established by order under The Scotland Act 1998 (River Tweed) Order 2006