Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sunday, 21 March 2010

An Arctic Charr called Morph!

Photo a view down the loch by JW

These fish are now in serious decline due to eutrophication/pollution and hydro schemes. What is particularly interesting about the fish is their ability to adapt to the particular environment they dwell in. It has been found that in a loch containing these fish, four different types of Charr may be found with respect to colour, head size and body shape depending on the part of the loch they live in and the type of food that they consume. This has led to the fish being known as the Darwin fish as they represent the process of natural selection in action.
Fifteen different species were thought to have existed in the early 20th century but it is now known that they are all "Morphotypes" of a single species. This adaptability is unique in the marine environment. You can probably see why we are somewhat excited by the prospect of the search and reintroduction of this species. We would hope that further introductions are allowed into waters in the UK where they have become extinct, assuming of course that the habitat is deemed suitable. The restoration of the lochs bio community is fast approaching, watch this space!
Muppets and Superneds!
You really do get lulled into a false sense of security; things had been going really well, no trouble, responsible anglers and everyone behaving in an adult fashion. Until Saturday that is when a group of Muppets and Superneds decided to come down from the city set up camp and two of the group fished in the loose sense of the word. I arrived on Saturday to be told that these Muppets had left a trail of broken glass in a field with sheep and very recently born lambs. Our loch keeper had engaged them and on challenging them was met by a tirade of abuse. They however capitulated and expressed regret at their earlier behaviour. They hired a boat and after 30 mins were seen returning in a circular fashion to the boathouse. On investigating this it appears they managed to "lose" a rowlock and tear one of our life jackets. To compound the situation when I went to clarify the situation they asked for a refund! Common courtesy prevents me from printing my response!
All went quiet till the early Sunday morning when mayhem broke out with fighting property destruction (their own thank god) and eventually some decent individual called out the Police and an ambulance for one of the group who was doing an impression of a minion in the Texas Chain Saw Massacre!
Fuelled with an excess of alcohol, illegal substances they proceeded to make life hell for all around them until corralled by the Police. At this time I have no knowledge if charges were made but decent individuals everywhere I am sure would agree these Superneds are the most worthless cretins in an ordered society and deserving only of the harshest of punishment. In the "good old days" such neds would have been corrected by judicious use of a truncheon! Brutal no doubt but effective, politicians take note, they don't need Sky TV or outward bound courses, what they really need is a bloody good hiding!
The residents in the area now are left with the aftermath of the melee, it really won't do!
New Boat

We are off to St Fillians this week to view the boats up at Arran Boats and it is hoped that we may find a suitable craft there. They offer a nice 14ft heavy duty model and a swell conquering 16ft behemoth. We will report back next week on our findings.
Blast from the past!
Got a mail from the Driver's who used to own the Rodono Hotel between 1964 -1969 they keep up to date with our news pages. Tim writes that the bays on the lochs were netted for pike and the caught Pike were taken to the hotel and made into fish cakes! Different days indeed! He also mentioned that he caught an 8 lbs 8oz Brown Trout from the Lowes and has a photo I've asked him to send a copy if possible because it will be the heaviest ever caught from the "wee" loch!
Decent visitors
Mentioning anglers of this ilk is now commonplace as they become the norm and it is always a great pleasure meeting and passing pleasantries with them. This week Jimbo and Dougie the ones who will never ascend the ranks of pyromaniacs due to an inability to emulate those who have a tendency to arson actually got a fire going on the shingle today! Well done lads just goes to show we humans do have the capability of learning! Oh and the Mazda looks ace, and it's for sale, so if you are passing the lochs and spot a gleaming white motor stop and make him an offer! Include some firelighters in your offer and you're halfway there!
Cheers lads!

Swansong for a Swan.
Well here's hoping it's not! See the photo above this cygnet has languished all day on the verges of the secret swim, even when joined by his/her peers was unable to take off with them. Peter the loch keeper phoned the RSPB and although they could not visit today are coming tomorrow to assess and capture the creature. It looks as though both wings are broken but we are told this is unlikely and that it may have developed a condition known as "Angel wings" a developmental condition that occasionally rears its head among Swan populations rendering them unable to fly although remaining healthy in every other respect. This Swan however does not look like the majestic creature that is the archetypal bird we all think of, it remains to be seen what the verdict is! Here's hoping it's good news!

An interesting engraving I came across on my web travels is the plate above drawn in the early 16th century. It was thought that swans could not sing like other birds but that they saved the rendition of their one heavenly song to be sung minutes before they died. The plate depicts the swan giving its swansong just prior to death. This is how the term swansong came about.

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