The River Don Fisheries Management Plan 2009-11 was published in 2008, following public consultation. It reflects the local management priorities of the catchments fishery and was prepared as part of a national programme of plans supported by Scottish Government and prepared by fishery trusts across Scotland under the co-ordination of RAFTS. These plans link national, regional and local priorities for all-species fish management across Scotland for the first time.

As part of the national priorities the River Don Trust has taken part in Focusing Atlantic Salmon Management On Populations (FASMOP), a nationally coordinated but locally prioritised programme of salmon genetic sampling and analysis to better understand locally distinct salmon populations.
In addition to the FMP the RDT prepared a Bio-security Plan in 2011 to prevent the spread of Invasive non-native species, protect key areas of habitat and manage target species. Together the fisheries management and Bio-security plans have helped to stimulate a range of projects delivering their priorities and allowed the trust to play an important and developing role in fisheries management in its area.

In doing so we have formed partnerships with Scottish Government, SNH, SEPA, other trusts and RAFTS, and further developed connections with local communities, individuals and volunteers. Such partnerships have allowed links with Water Framework Directive, conservation designations, restoration and other national priorities, and have supported partnerships with bodies involved in these actions.

Electro Fishing Survey
The RDT undertakes annual catchment wide electro fishing survey of the tributaries and main stem over approx 170 sites. This information has illustrated species presence and or absence, distribution and abundance.

Habitat Survey  
The RDT has undertaken a catchment wide habitat walkover survey. Information on habitat types, obstacles, pollution and invasive species were a few of the factors recorded. This information will be interpreted using GIS.

Salmon In The Classroom SITC Timetable
  Classroom Husbandry Guide
  Cirriculum for Excellence Ideas
  SITC Invite to Schools
The RDT coordinates an educational programme for primary schools in Aberdeen City and Shire within the Don catchment. Here schools are taken though the life cycle of a salmon and have the chance to raise salmon in the classroom. Each year approx 5 classes or 150 children are involved with the programme running over two terms.

The RDT has produced a Bio Security Plan for the River Don catchment. This plan has identified the invasive species within the catchment and those most likely to enter. The programme has developed actions to prevent entry, monitor, control and eradicate where possible INNS within the catchment. As a result of the Bio Security Plan several programmes of control have been successfully funded across the catchment.

Obstacle Removal  
The RDT has identified over 60 structures which are considered to be obstacles to fish migration within the catchment as a result of the habitat surveys. Where possible these structures have been assessed independently. The results from these assessments have enabled the RDT to ascertain if these structures are in fact obstacles and what approach is required to ease these obstacles to restore fish access to the restricted watercourse above the obstacle.

Genetics FASMOP  
The project seeks to:

Establish the number and spatial boundaries of breeding populations of salmon within any Scottish river system using micro-satellite genetic markers;

Establish the ancestral relationships and functional biological differences between wild salmon stock components across Scottish rivers;

Use information and insights gained to improve local management practice and increase the of focus salmon management on local breeding populations as these are the fundamental biological units underpinning recruitment in river stocks.

Scale Sampling
In order to learn more about the rod catch and provide a service for anglers the RDT runs a scale reading programme, where anglers collect scale from fish they have caught. These scales are passed to the RDT, where the biologist reads the scales feeds back information and prepares a report on the findings. The RDT also trains anglers in the appropriate methods for collecting scales safely from fish at regular workshop events.