The River Bush has traditionally been a salmon-fishing river, though the numbers dwindled in the late 20th and early 21st century. The River Bush still offers excellent salmon fishing. It is managed as a premier salmon river by Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Inland Fisheries Division. The Department also operates a fish farm and hatchery at the River Bush Salmon Station (which can be visited), providing assistance to the River Bush Salmon Research Project. This project was established in 1972 and is a long term programme of research investigating both the sea water and fresh water phases of the lifecycle of the Atlantic salmon. The research programme has led to the recognition of the River Bush as an index river by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).