The Tweed Foundation is a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland which promotes environmental protection and improvement by conserving and enhancing all species of freshwater fish and their environments in the Tweed District. It advances the understanding of aquatic ecosystems, including economic and social activity and river catchment management including the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of aquatic environments. The Foundation also encourages the use, conservation and the management of fishery resources in recreational activities. It is at the forefront in bringing a professional, scientific approach to fisheries management and is engaged in an extensive programme of biological research, monitoring and habitat enhancement with the aim of protecting Tweed’s valuable fish stocks and maximising the river’s natural productivity.
The Tweed Foundation was established in 1983 as a charity under a trust deed and then changed to a charitable company, limited by guarantee, in 2010. Its affairs are regulated by a board of directors, the River Tweed Commission's Chairman also being Chairman of The Foundation and the Managing Director also being Clerk to the River Tweed Commission. This structure ensures coordination of the two organisations that, while entirely separate and with distinct management, need to work in close cooperation with each other.
The Foundation is not publicly funded and income for its activities comes from a variety of sources including the River Tweed Commission, memberships, donations and, on occasion, grants for specific studies these becoming ever more difficult to source. Grant funded work has included: a large-scale programme of habitat enhancement works in the upper tributaries to increase, improve and preserve the nursery areas for spawning and juvenile fish; radio tracking Salmon and Sea-trout to learn more about their migration movements within the freshwater phase of their life cycles; the installation of three fish counters on tributaries to allow close monitoring of Spring Salmon stocks, enabling management decisions to be made on the basis of sound, objective data (on the Ettrick Water, this work was instrumental in the recognition of the fragile status of the Spring run and the introduction of Catch and Release on the River by the RTC); installing two fish traps on the Upper Tweed to monitor Sea and Brown trout populations; a major study and on-going project works on the Brown trout and Grayling populations in the Tweed catchment; research in a pan-northern European collaborative study on North Sea Sea-trout, with the Foundation employing acoustic tracking techniques to follow the passage of smolts in the River.