Dozens of people attended the official opening of the River Don salmon season this weekend in Inverurie.
The traditional piper-led procession started at the Kintore Arms on Saturday morning and marched down to the river bank at Port Elphinstone, where local angler Ralph Green made the first cast.
Unfortunately, Mr Green was not as lucky as last year – when he managed to catch a trout with his very first cast.
Provost Hamish Vernal offered the official toast to the river with a “wee dram” and poured the remainder into the river – a symbolic gesture to keep the salmon “in good health”.
Secretary of Inverurie Angling Association, Fred Hay said yesterday: “There has been nothing caught at any of the beats yet, as far as I am aware.
“I had one salmon that got away yesterday afternoon – so it’s a wee bit disappointing. The bailiffs are seeing fresh fish coming in at Stoneywood though, so we are still optimistic.”
Jim Kerr from the River Don trust has expressed optimism about the 2017 season and said: “We are seeing plenty of fresh fish already in the last two weeks, so we are hoping for a good year.
“We have seen lots of fish running over the weir at Stoneywood.”
Organised by the Inverurie Angling Association, the procession was led by their president, Steve Corsar, who is a gold medallist international fly angler.
The Rev Ewan Glen blessed the river and the Don District Fishery Board was represented by river superintendent, Edwin Third, and bailiffs, Mr Kerr and Martin Webster.
Marcus Davidson of the Inverurie Pipe Band led the march followed by around 30 people.
Aberdeen and District catch figures for salmon in 2016 were well below average at 105, with overall totals for the area’s rivers ending slightly under the average for the last five years.