FAQ: What impact will the beavers have on migratory fish?

This question is raised by people concerned with the potential effects of beaver damming activities on some migratory fish species such as Atlantic salmon and Sea trout. It is an understandable concern for those involved in the angling, fish and river management industries. Like all other evaluation criteria for the Trial, the impact that beavers have on general fish populations in Knapdale will be monitored by independent scientists. In this case, the Argyll Fisheries Trust will report to Scottish Natural Heritage on the matter. This particular issue will not be extensively tested as the Trial site does not contain Atlantic salmon and has a very small number of Sea trout.

It is important to note however that beavers and other native species, including migratory fish and notably salmon, have co-existed naturally for many years in other countries.  The Scottish Beaver Trial’s view of the beaver-salmon issue is outlined on an information sheet which can be read in our publications section.

It is well known, but bears repeating, that beavers are vegetarian and do not eat fish.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    Comments of support

    "I welcome the return of beavers to Knapdale. Beavers are fascinating creatures famed for their industrious habits, and their arrival to Knapdale is certainly creating a booming industry for local businesses." - Local businessman Darren Dobson, owner of the Cairnbaan Hotel

    With thanks to

    Beaver Trial Supporters
    People's Postcode Lottery

    See our other supporters

    The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust


    Beavers are back in Scotland!

    On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. This is the first time that a mammal has been formally reintroduced in UK history.

    The trial population of beavers remains in Knapdale, and the Scottish Beaver partners are now focussing their efforts on re-enforcing this population to ensure its long term future.

    Boosting the Knapdale beaver population

    For updates on the beaver re-enforcement project, please visit the website of the Scottish Wildlife Trust or the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland by clicking on the adjacent logos.

    The Scottish Beaver Trial website

    Now that the Trial has ended, this website will no longer be updated. However, if you would like to browse our historical records on the website, please click the button to continue.

    Scottish Beaver Trial RZSS Scottish Wildlife Trust