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Guide to fishing, including how to buy a fishing ticket to fish on the Nith and Cairn in Dumfries Burgh and haaf net fishing in Annan.

Fishing on the River Cairn and the River Nith

​​​​We manage fishing on the River Nith and River Cairn in Dumfries Burgh.

Where to fish

Dumfries Burgh waters extend for 8 miles but most fishing activity takes place on:

  • River Cairn – 400 yards above Newbridge to the River Nith
  • River Nith – 300 yards above Martinton Bridge to the estuary

The River Nith has about 20 named pools and the River Cairn about 15. The mix of pools is suitable for fly, spinning and worming. 

Download the fishing map (PDF, 190KB)

How to buy a fishing ticket 

To buy a ticket to fish on the River Cairn or the River Nith, please call our customer contact centre: 

Telephone: 030 33 33 3000

Someone from the fishing team will then call you back. We will issue your tickets by email. If you cannot receive your ticket by email, please speak to the fishing team when they call you. 

We will ask you to pay for your ticket when you apply. 

Fishing prices and how to pay

Season 2024


Junior (under 18 years old)

Easy Access 

Season ticket – Nithsdale resident 




Season ticket – visitor  



Not applicable

Daily ticket – Nithsdale resident 


Not applicable

Free (maximum of 1 a week) 

Daily ticket – visitor special (until 31 August) 


Not applicable 

Not applicable

Daily ticket – vsitor special (from 1 September) 


Not applicable

Not applicable

Easy Access tickets

Easy Access tickets are available for Nithsdale residents only. You can apply for an Easy Access ticket if you are:

  • over 65 years old
  • a full time student
  • registered disabled
  • armed forces personnel
  • a military veteran
  • in receipt of:
    • Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Universal Credit
    • Carers Allowance
    • Employment Support Allowance
    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Personal Independence Payment
    • Social Security Scotland benefits
    • Working Tax Credits
    • Bereavement Allowance
    • Widowed Parent's Allowance

Submitting evidence

If you need to submit evidence for an Easy Access application, we may issue you with a temporary ticket. This will expire within 7 days. 

Once verified, we will issue your full ticket by email. Your ticket will expire after 7 days if you do not provide evidence to support your application. In these cases we cannot refund you. Please send your evidence as soon as possible.

The fishing season

There are 4 fishing seasons:

  • sea trout – 25 February to 30 November 
  • brown trout – 15 March to 6 October
  • salmon – 1 April to 30 November (except Sundays)
  • grayling – 1 December to 24 February 

Fishing regulations and restrictions

A condition of your fishing ticket is that you must return all your catch data. This helps support the collection of data for conservation. 

If you do not catch anything, you still must report it. If you do not return your catch data, we may fine you and decline future fishing applications. 

There are 2 sets of regulations that relate to fishing on the River Nith and the River Cairn:

  • Dumfries Common Good fishing regulations and grayling rules
  • the Nith Conservation Policy

To download the regulations and the catch return form:

Go to fishing regulations and documents

Contact us

For further information about fishing tickets, please contact us:

Telephone: 030 33 33 3000