Sunday, 2 June 2013

Catch & release or take two!


Photo 01 The Les landing now complete!
Catch & release or take two!

It’s been an ongoing topic for a number of years now whether we continue with the club policy of allowing limited numbers of Trout and Perch to be taken or make all species catch and release. There are good reasons for both standpoints and below are a few for each case.

Catch & release is a relatively new concept but one which is invoked when populations of the target species become low as a means to limited conservation of that species. The self replenishment of the species leads to an increased stock upping the level of the species to that which the water can support. Couple this with fish friendly unhooking using a non touch technique minimises the potential damage to the fish leaving only the fight and unhooking procedure to be recovered from. Removal of an adult fish from a water can lead to thousands less eggs being available for fertilisation therefore recruitment.

Such a policy also minimises the need for restocking but this is not applicable in our case as stocking is forbidden unless parents are sourced from the loch and stripped. Catch & release also invariably leads to the use of barbless hooks which some say are less injurious to their well being. However catch & release if not carried out correctly can result in high mortality!

Advocates of taking a few fish now and then cite the right to take a couple for the pot if they desire to do so harvesting the fish for table fayre and whilst in theory this will lead to a reduction in eggs available, in practice they believe nature will compensate for this as a bigger pool of feed is available to fewer fish therefore feeding for the remaining fish is increased leading to bigger fish and since size has a relation to the number of eggs produced more eggs. The history of angling is constructed on the basis of anglers taking fish for the pot and this has been passed down the generations. Only when numbers taken become excessive does a fishery suffer and the imposition of sensible limits will preclude this! They also cite that since the hooking of fish is a perilous procedure for a fish many damaged and therefore unlikely to survive may be returned to the loch. Nature can deal with minor variations in any system only when excess is employed do difficult problems surface.

Those who take fish also cite the size of the loch and that taking out say twenty fish/year would and should have little effect on a loch the size of St Mary’s. There are many more arguments for and against but we have not the time here to give the subject the coverage it deserves. My own view is that the current situation where anglers take occasional fish is not deleterious to our fishery but that overzealous taking of fish must be curbed such as has been encountered in the past regarding some foreign anglers. The trend however is towards catch & release on a countrywide basis and when it does become prudent to do so we will have no qualms in so doing! Angling is many things to many people in both a utilitarian and an aesthetic sense, enjoy it whatever you do!

 Photo 02 - A black man in white clothes (Seagull) about to emerge!

Inter Club Competition

Pete Young and Stevie Nimmo represented the club on Tuesday evening at Lindean loch fishing against the home team of Lindean. It was a cold and trying night which started off with our team using lures to try and stimulate a response from the stocked Rainbow Trout, alas to no avail! Then it was traditional wet fly’s to mimic the natural fauna present in the loch which also proved unsuccessful! Although no Trout were rising the dry fly was employed which proved to be a winning method on the night. Yes Stevie managed to rise and bag a couple of Trout on a sedge imitation as it turned out the only two Trout caught on the night. So it’s on to the next round for our lads this time fishing against Earlston AA.

These two lads have done us proud not by winning but by displaying the attitudes inherent in real anglers. The winning was just the icing on the cake. Stevie and Pete asked me to convey their appreciation to the host club for the generous welcome and friendly banter which made our chaps feel right at home. Yes no money changed hands here, it was just four anglers giving of their best in a warm and friendly atmosphere, angling the way it should be in the mould of old Izaak! Best of luck in the next round lads you have already done us proud!

Advisory site regarding fishing guides and instructors!

Our new advisory site will be launched in the next few weeks; it will be quite different from our last one as there have been significant changes locally. Launched as a service to anglers the site will list what we deem as appropriate qualifications for these people and how to check them with issuing bodies. We will make the site stand alone as opposed to being part of our news pages and links will be available from our main site and news pages. We will not single out any of these people as being preferable instead outlining the various choices enabling an informed angler to make an educated choice! For those unable to make a choice we will as a last resort personally guide these anglers to an acceptable solution.  Our last site proved to be a most useful and well visited site for anglers; we will make sure the new one continues in that vein! Our investigation into instructors operating in the area is ongoing, but up to this point it seems to be an altogether more organised situation in comparison to the fishing guide one.
Photo 03 - hatched out youngsters! Aww!

The wider world in my view!

The NHS in terminal decline!

This is a true story of a patients experience with the NHS locally. An elderly lady developed rapid onset of severe disabling arthritis reducing her from a fully mobile individual to one dependant on others for simple tasks such as mashing potatoes, lighting her gas fire and locking her doors! This brought her into contact with the local NHS network. They immediately reduced her pain medication as the one she was taking they said had implications for her kidneys with the result her pain was increased! There was no offer of alternative pain relief of equal potency rather substitution by one of the same class of less potency! A referral for physiotherapy which took place 5 weeks later led to some exercises being prescribed with no beneficial effect but with the promise of acupuncture to moderate the intensity of the pain.

The next two appointments for acupuncture over a period of 6 weeks led only to disappointment as the practitioner who carried out this procedure was off sick and no other member of the staff could carry out this procedure. A desperate visit to the GP referred her to an orthopaedic consultant for a corticosteroid injection into the right shoulder joint which was most severely affected. Six weeks later she met with not the consultant but with an underling who although according to himself was proficient in the administration of these deep steroid injections, however he refused to carry out the procedure because in this particular case as there was a significant risk of internal bleeding due to an underlying condition relating to blood clotting times.

So yet again nothing has taken place nearly six months down the line, in spite of the lady’s medical records having many pages on the bleeding disorder and removal of the spleen unbelievably this was clearly not taken into account! The doctor was most apologetic and reassured her that another appointment would be made which would be followed by 6 hours of monitoring for post procedure haemorrhage.

Oh yes another appointment will be arranged no doubt in six to eight weeks which will be spent in iatrogenic intolerable pain! This situation is completely unacceptable showing values characterised by inept bungling, nonexistent planning and a complete lack of empathy for the suffering of the patient concerned! Let me summarise the situation – onset of severe arthritis pain and huge reduction in mobility that has lead to pain relief being cut with the promise of much treatment but the delivery of none! Six months of medical activity leading only to an increase in the patient’s pain! A lady who religiously paid the financial premium for future health care let down badly by a crumbling and inept NHS! This is not the NHS that used to be, it is now a fragmented, inefficient system with demoralised staff which if it works, is only by chance or good fortune! This is just one example of an NHS in terminal decline, desperately poor care, surely a worry for all of us!

A red card for Europe or Britain!

I was flabbergasted to hear Bungling Bill Hague proposing a red card system whereby member countries (Britain) could pick and choose the laws/directives they would accept coming from Europe! What a load of tosh! Every other member country would have to abide by the existing rules and for Britain to get such exemption would require agreement from a majority of member countries. This of course will not happen it’s like taking a strong painkiller and refusing the side effects! Bungling Bill more used to inciting armed conflict by secretly dropping armed assault soldiers into friendly forces territory in the middle of the night just doesn’t seem to get it!

There is no reason why other member counties would sanction such a deal there is nothing in it for them and let’s face it each member country endeavours to get the best deal for their own country. Why would Britain be treated as an exemption to the rule? It’s just political posturing to appease the disaffected in the Tory ranks and that is the majority of them! It would however be a step closer to the UK ceasing to be a member of the EU! Yet another lead plated dead end policy from the embattled Tories.

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