Novar Fishings Regulations

Wild Fisheries Reform

Following the Wild Fisheries Review, all Scottish rivers/districts have been allocated to one of 3 grades by Marine Scotland, each with their own recommended management actions. The River Alness have been designated as Grade 1 for 2019: in these rivers exploitation is considered sustainable and therefore no additional management action is currently required.

Novar Fishings Regulations 2019

1. Method
Fishing is permitted by fly only. Spinning and the use of fixed spool reels is prohibited. Only single and double hooks are to be used. Only barbless hooks, or hooks with flattened barbs, can be used up until June 30th. Maximum hook size for low water is size 8.

2. Catch Returns
A catch return should be made to Novar Estate immediately after the expiry date on your permit.

3. Beat Rotations
The Novar Fishings beats are to be fished according to the rotation provided on your permit. Rods will change beats at 6:00 a.m. each day and rods will change from upper to lower halves of the beat or vice versa at 1:00 p.m. Fishing from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., and from midnight on a Saturday to 6:00 a.m. on a Monday is strictly prohibited.

4. Novar Fishings Conservation Policy
Despite Category 1 status, we have some concerns regarding both grilse and MSW salmon stocks. The long term trend of grilse returning from sea appears to be of declining numbers and size. On the nearby River Conon the sex ratio has changed from being two-thirds female as recently as 2000 to being less than a third female in 2017. Additionally, on the River Alness the numbers of MSW salmon caught in recent years has declined and is now in the region of 20% of the total catch.

For these reasons the Novar Fishings’ target is that 90% of the annual salmon rod catch should be returned safely to the water with a minimum of harm, and that any fish retained should not harm components of the stock at risk. In order to help achieve these targets we ask all anglers to adhere to the following regulations:

Up to 30th June

  • All migratory species (multi-sea wintered salmon, grilse, sea trout and finnock) caught before 30th June must be returned i.e. 100% Catch and Release.

After 30th June

  • All salmon over 25” / 63.5 cm in length (about 6½ lbs) must be returned.
  • All coloured fish must be returned.
  • All female fish must be returned.
  • For lets of 1 to 2 days - All salmon and grilse must be returned.
  • For lets of 3 to 6 days – A maximum of one fish may be killed per angler during the period of let and no more than 2 fish may be retained in a season (non-transferable).
  • If issued, carcass tags must be carried by all anglers along with your permit, and any salmon or grilse killed must be tagged, and permit details completed immediately.
  • No more than one sea trout of ≥1½ lbs to be retained per angler per week.


5. Gyrodactylus salaris Declaration
As part of our biosecurity measures to help protect our fisheries from the Gyrodactylus salaris parasite, all anglers will be required to complete a declaration prior to commencement of their fishing.
6. Other
All footbridges and walkways are used by anglers at their own risk. The speed limit for vehicles using the Novar Fishings access roads is 20mph. Dogs should be kept under control at all times. Open fires are not permitted.
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