Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Wild Fisheries Review!

Photo 01 - Elliot with the seasons biggest at 3.5lbs.

The wild fisheries review!

Initiated by the Scottish government with the aim of modernising the management structures some of which are positively Victorian, by seeking more participation of interest groups and developing a science based foundation fully accountable that will strengthen actual practice. This would culminate in a structure that focuses more on other freshwater species than the current system does. The government felt that whilst the current system is working utilising District Salmon Fishery Boards it could with some tweaking be significantly better!

The report recognises the unmissable slant towards Salmon fishing with the majority of research being carried out on this aspect virtually to the exclusion of others. The aim is to shift this focus into other species. Of course Salmon due to the high revenue generated will still be the main focus but it is hoped much less exclusively. The authors of the report came up with a number of recommendations some quite controversial including the implementation of a national rod licence and the abolition of our own DSB the River Tweed Commission! A core objective is that all DSBs be fully accountable to the Scottish government and that all DSBs implement the same policies and hold the same objectives!

The review was base on a report by Professor Peter Maitland a good friend of the club who helped us greatly in our Arctic Charr endeavours. Any work carried out by Peter will be beyond reproach as wild fisheries are close to his  all the Fishery Management Organisations will work under the direction of a national wild fisheries unit based in central government and it is this body who will define policy to be implemented by the local FMOs. The number of fishery boards will be cut with smaller ones becoming part of larger ones.

There are many recommendations with regard to structure and mode of operation but the three which will affect us as anglers here are

(1) The introduction of a national rod licence

(2) The abolition of the River Tweed Commission

(3) A focus to devote resources to other species Trout Pike etc

With regard to a national rod licence I personally do not see any problem with this! What we as anglers must realise is that improvements cost money and that money must come from somewhere. Provided the money raised from licences goes directly back into funding additional angling projects there can be no dissent! The danger here is as has happened many times before is that funds dissolve or migrate to other areas! If a licence does come off then scrutiny must be implemented to see the money is ploughed back into (preferably) research into species other than Salmon.

The potential abolition of the River Tweed Commission will no doubt cause some discomfort at their HQ. The RTC is not accountable to Scottish or Westminster governments and this anomaly certainly requires correction, all fishery boards must be accountable to ministers of the Scottish government!  There is no reason for the purposes of fishery management why the RTC could not account to Scottish ministers! The Tweed area is different from others in that the Tweed flows in Scotland and England as does the Border Esk with the Tweed being administered in Scottish law and the Esk in English law. The bottom line here is that the RTC are clinging on to history for the sake of it, there is no justification for this arrangement to continue and this is the view of the authors of the report. As long as the funding continues it is of no consequence whether the RTC becomes a separate FOC or is absorbed into a larger one! There must however be no rationalising of staff if anything staffing needs to be increased to offer a better service!

With regard to point three, if increased attention is given to other species then this would in time be a huge boon for anglers. Many anglers in the area fish for “lesser” species such as Trout, Pike Grayling etc and research into these species (especially Pike) could only propel their interests further forward. With regard to Pike research to the best of my knowledge there is only one ASFB carrying out research into Pike. Praise however to the Tweed Foundation for running the Tweed Trout and Grayling initiative which is doing research into these species it is however woefully underfunded which makes progress slow!

The new system recommended would have objectives such as the TTGI researches at the top of the agenda since this widening of focus is a core part of the review. For those who were hoping for a more liberal policy on the stocking of Trout there will be no joy here as the report suggests that stocking should only be permitted when science justifies it such as following pollution incidents! Overall to the layman (me) I can see no glaring problems with the recommendations put forward by the review team and indeed applaud most of them wholeheartedly and hope that Mr Wheelhouse accepts them per se! The proposals will now be examined by the Scottish government and revised recommendations put out for comment before a final package is agreed.

Click the link to read the full report

 Thanks to Elliot & Stevie for your input.

Photo 02 - Wild water yesterday!
From our AGM!

A rather poor turnout to the club AGM did not detract from the business on the agenda being dealt with. Elliot Fraser gave a financial rundown and it seems our finances are very healthy indeed. Since this is what keeps us going we were glad of this positive news! Elliot forgot to bring the heavy Trout cup along as yes he won it last year and he won it this year with a cracking 3.5lbs fish. So no photos this year but photo 01 is the fish that won the cup!

Loch keeper Mr Xxxxx gave a rundown on the year’s activities and in spite of a couple of significant events he reported the year as being much quieter than last year. Our strategy re poachers and dumpers continues. It was gratifying to hear of the assistance he and Aaron have given to anglers it’s what defines us and what angling is all about!

On an organisational front we are pulling out of the Federation of Border Fishing Guides Angling Clubs! Of the hundreds of meetings I have attended never have I encountered such a non event! A group with nothing to discuss and when something does crop up no action is taken! Its only £35.00/year but I would rather donate that amount to a charity than to perpetuate such a farce! This forum is of no use to angling and even less to our club! We are to maintain our membership of the TTGI for another year to see if significant progress is made maybe with a new structure in place things will develop quicker!

In order to try and increase member participation a newsletter will be sent to all registered addresses which will contain the following –

(1) The window for renewals of club membership which is the first 6 weeks of the new year, failure to renew within this period will mean that the £20.00 joining fee will be applicable.

(2) The details for the work parties over the year which is unlikely to be more than two dates.

(3) The date and specifics for the 2015 AGM.

The current club committee were re elected. It was decided that in order to maximise attendance at committee meetings these meetings should be held in the club boathouse on a Saturday where the majority of committee members congregate prior to fishing. Looking towards fairness and equity all club officials will now be subject to the membership renewal fee. Our team for the Lindean Trout competition our team will be Stevie and Pete with Les and me as reserves. Special thanks for the work undertaken for the club were extended to Elliot Fraser, Stevie Nimmo, Les Henderson, club loch keeper Mr Xxxxx, bailiffs Aaron McPherson and Mick Critchley. Once again many thanks for your hard work lads.

The wider world in my view!

Turn right fox exit!

We are now firmly on the road out of the European community, not by design but by the weakness of our exalted leader Lord Snooty! They claim that the levy applied to the UK and some other countries was unexpected yet it is enshrined in the EU regulations! Did you hear anyone moan when they received an “unexpected” rebate! Failure to pay this levy will likely result in legal proceedings which will cost this country dear! Lord Snooty made the most of his showboating but the result of it is that the UK is about as far out of the community as it could be!

In an effort to placate the increasing right wing of his party and his need to be seen to out UKIP UKIP he has us on the road to nowhere! A captive market which gives the businesses in this country a vast market in which to sell its goods is now on the verge of being scrapped! The economic catastrophe that would follow would make the “bankers crash” seem like a walk in the park.

Lord Snooty has let go of the reins as he blunders from one catastrophe to another and is now being steered by the right and UKIP as he yet again puts his party’s politics ahead of what is best for the country! Merkel is set to deliver another (possibly fatal) blow and deny his pleas for restricted immigration and yet again he finds himself a man alone! I warned that these prize bunglers would do for us and recent events see us well on the way to achieving that goal. How much better it would have been if we were spectators of this farce!

The implosion of Labour!

It really came as no surprise to hear of the resignation of Johann Lamont the leader of Scottish Labour! Ms Lamont is a clever individual who speaks very clearly but when you see her in a tussle with Alex Salmond she is clearly in a lower division with puppet Willie Rennie and Borg queen Ruth Davidson!

It seems there has been a good deal of animosity between Holyrood and Westminster as various out of touch politicians vie for their own slant on how it should be! Warmonger Tony Blair got it right first time when he said Milliband was unelectable; this is without doubt the view of the electorate! It’s a bit late in the day to get rid of these fools but to have even the slightest chance of election it must be done.  There is no shortage of talent in the ranks of the Labour party such as Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and in Scotland Kezia Dugdale and Neil Findlay; any one of these people could turn around the fast sinking ship! With the current set up even though the Tories are in complete disarray Lord Snooty will walk back in to Downing Street unchallenged! Labour must now dig deep to find the courage inherent in Labour of old and oust Milliband and Balls! The consequences of not doing so will see Tory governments in perpetuity and the numbers of working and workless poor rocket as the fat cats lick the cream! It’s now or never!

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