ASFB | Legislation | Enforcement | Governance

District Salmon Fishery Boards

District Salmon Fishery Boards (DSFBs) have their origin in the salmon fisheries acts introduced in the mid-1800s.Their constitution was changed in 1986 with the passing of the 1986 Salmon Act [now consolidated into the Salmon & Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003]. Salmon fishing rights in Scotland are private heritable titles that are registered separately from land. As such these titles can be bought and sold like any other property.

Facts and figures cover2013In Scotland, the cost of the local administration, protection and improvement of the fisheries is privately financed by the proprietors. The district boards finance their work by levying a rate on the salmon fishery owners in the district. Elected representatives of those owners provide the core of the membership of the Board. However, since 1986, the boards are required also to include representatives of salmon anglers and salmon netsmen in the district. A further revision to the constitution of the Boards was made in 1999 to allow for even wider representation on the boards by other parties who may have an interest or stake in salmon stocks or fisheries. This was recommended in the Report of the Salmon Strategy Task Force (1997) and was intended to ensure that the legislation governing membership of DSFBs was more flexible, and did not restrict the number of members.

DSFBs work closely with Fishery Trusts, who play a key role in scientific monitoring of fish populations. The contribution of DSFBs and Trusts to fishery management in Scotland is summarised in our 2013 Factsheet.

View our 2012 Factsheet.
View our 2011 Factsheet.

Powers and duties

The powers and duties of a DSFB are summarised below:


  • to act, undertake works and incur expenses for the protection and improvement of the fisheries within their districts, for the increase of salmon and seatrout and the stocking of the district with these fish.
  • to impose financial assessments on each salmon fishery in the district, and to charge interest on arrears.
  • to borrow funds, and to incur a wide range of expenditure in furtherance of their powers and duties.
  • to appoint bailiffs to enforce the salmon fisheries legislation.
  • exempt persons from certain provisions of the law for scientific or other purposes.
  • to sue in the name of the clerk.


  • to appoint a clerk
  • to maintain a list of proprietors within the DSFBs district
  • to produce an annual report and audited accounts and to consider these at an AGM
  • to call a triennial electoral meeting

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