The Smithston Water and its hinterland has many interdependencies.  We rely on the trust and goodwill of the local community and in turn we make a positive contribution.  In similar vein, our fishing contributes to and is influenced by a range of agencies and individuals.  In the round, we look to contribute to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of a broad constituency.  ‘Friends of the River’ include:

The River Doon District Salmon Fishery Board

The River Doon District Salmon Fishery Board manages the protection, enhancement and conservation of the Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks in the River Doon.  The Board has a duty to ensure the general protection and enhancement of the fishery, provide fishery protection, police the purchase and sale of illegally caught and unseasonable fish, ensure fish passage over obstructions to migrations, protect juvenile fish and spawning redds, reverse the trend in the decline of adult Atlantic salmon by implementing policies that safeguard and enhance the natural spawning stock, conduct habitat, population and migration assessments to guide management strategies, encourage good conservation policies to stop over exploitation of salmon, conserve and establish sustainable fisheries for the River Doon and, extend fishery awareness.  Our Chairman is on the Board.

The Ayrshire Rivers Trust

The Ayrshire Rivers Trust are a team of dedicated Ayrshire based biologists, ecologists and environmental managers working to improve our rivers and lochs.

The aims of the Trust are to promote and support initiatives designed to conserve, enhance and develop our fisheries for the enjoyment of current and future generations, and to preserve a valuable part of our natural heritage.  The trusts objectives include: the provision of scientific expertise for fishery management initiatives and environmental improvement, habitat improvement, educational and community projects, partnerships and, to lobby for conservation.

Marine Scotland Directorate of Scottish Government

Responsible for the integrated management of Scotland’s seas, working closely with delivery partners NatureScot and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to manage.

  • marine renewable, fishing vessel, freshwater fisheries and seal licensing
  • ensuring compliance with fisheries regulations
  • promoting sustainable, profitable and well-managed fisheries and aquaculture industries
  • ensuring a sound scientific evidence base exists to inform our marine policies.
  • the sustainable management of freshwater fish and fisheries resources
  • promoting sustainable economic growth from the marine renewables industry.

NatureScot (formerly Scottish Natural Heritage)

Scotland’s nature agency works to maintain, enhance and draw the benefits from our natural environment (biodiversity, geodiversity and the natural elements of our landscapes and seascapes) and inspire everyone to care more about it.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is Scotland’s principal environmental regulator, protecting and improving Scotland’s environment.  As a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, their  role is to make sure that the environment and human health are protected, to ensure that Scotland’s natural resources and services are used as sustainably as possible and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

Fisheries Management Scotland

Fisheries Management Scotland is the representative body for Scotland’s District Salmon Fishery Boards, the River Tweed Commission and charitable Rivers and Fisheries Trusts.  Members work to conserve Scotland’s valuable and iconic wild salmon and freshwater fish and fisheries and the aquatic environment on which they depend.

The Atlantic Salmon Trust

The Trust’s mission is to halt and reverse the salmon crisis by providing the best scientific evidence to inform policy and management. Their vision is for a future where Atlantic salmon don’t just survive but thrive.  The objective of the Trust is to: promote the conservation and improvement of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks in  the countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, for the public benefit.  The Trust promotes, encourages and finances directly scientific research, arranges workshops and international conferences and publishes booklets and reports on matters of scientific interest concerning wild salmon and seat trout.  It works for better fishery management at all levels, drawing particular dangers and problems to the attention of the appropriate authorities and offering advice to Government Ministers and their Departments and to the Inter- Governmental North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation.


Fishpal is a trusted online information system (since 2003) for anglers and those new to fishing, providing impartial advice, up-to-date catches for salmon and sea trout, river level data and the latest fishing availability.


From their base in Cumbria, Rowan Studios are consultants in website design and development, online marketing, search engine optimisation web-retail and in the development of sports coaching and booking systems.  Using WooCommerce and WordPress they specialise in the digital needs of small artisan businesses.  The founder, owner, and experienced fisherman Colin Bradshaw, has developed the Smithston website from requirement upwards, conducting all the development, testing and launch.  He is a ‘Friend of the River’

Robin Ade

Robin Ade is a renowned author, writer and illustrator. Robin has two published books ‘Fisher in the Hills – A Season in Galloway’ and ‘The Trout and Salmon Handbook – A Guide to the Wild Fish’, along with numerous articles for magazines and newspapers and contributing chapters in the books of others. Robin is known for the technical accuracy and compositional quality of his artwork. His technically precise watercolour paintings of various species of fish – in particular trout and salmon – are beautiful and vivid, capturing the colours and tones of fish in their natural habitats. We are thrilled that Robin has allowed us to use some of his illustrations on our website.

Davie McPhail

With 40 years in fly fishing and fly tying, Davie considers himself fortunate in having been able to ‘learn on the job’ and develop many fine and productive fishing flies. His Youtube videos (more than 1200 on fishing and fly-tying) attract more 115,000 subscribers.  Davie is true a ‘Friend of the River’.