Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Tweed beckons!

Photo 01 - Stevie Nimmo opens his back end account, well done mate!

The Tweed beckons!

It’s that time again when our Wild Trout competition winner and a group of members who have attended workdays head off to Major Westbrook’s beat on the River Tweed to have a bash at the Salmon.  Unfortunately this year’s winner Alan Ramsay is unable to attend due to being in Australia for a month’s holiday! Naturally we have arranged a day next year to make sure he does not lose out.

The Salmon fishing over the last 3 years has been poor no point in beating about the bush! Some proprietors have already closed their beats due to poor numbers of fish. The news from our beat is that this week 3 anglers landed 10 fish lost 3 and had one silver coloured fish the rest being of the tartan variety. So at least fish are being caught which is a distinct improvement on recent years!

We have no date as yet for our outing but we should hear very soon. Consequently no doubt to Mr Young’s annoyance I will be contacting those who carry out significant work for the club and inviting them to come along and enjoy what is always a great day out irrespective of fish caught or Mother Nature's wrath!

Photo 02 - The start of a good day yesterday!

It’s a WILD fishery!

There has been a long tradition of stocking the loch with Brown Trout going back at least 50 years. Initially eyed ova from were brought in Loch Leven and reared in our boathouse until they were 2 – 3 inches in length and then released into the feeder burns of the loch. This apparently led to reasonable stocks of adolescent Trout but there was a need for more as the trend for stocking adult fish caught on. Then adult fish of takeable size were stocked and catch figures significantly increased as to an extent the loch turned into a semi commercial fishery!

Of course due to the numbers of Trout stocked and the interval of a year between stockings in no way compared to the truly “plastic” types so prevalent today where fish are topped up on a daily basis to replace fish taken. When a decision taken by Scottish National Heritage effectively stopped the stocking of Trout into wild waters the rivers and lochs reverted once again to being self sustaining!

We are now over ten years down that line and doubtless most anglers could argue both for or against the current situation. However we are where we are and as such we have to live with the current situation! The other species in the loch are self regulating as our Brown Trout now are. With this being the case we have to tread carefully when it comes to the amount of angling pressure we allow on the lochs!

The ludicrous idea put forward by our ex loch keeper Mr Xxxxx would have seen motorised boats out every day of the week and day permits issued without any thought towards sustainability!  The above implemented in a wild fishery would have been a death sentence from which our fishery would take years to get over. Ham fisted policy such as proposed by Mr Xxxxx would effectively negate our fishing for years thereby plunging the very existence of the club in severe jeopardy!

Key in our management must be the fact that if overfishing is taking place we reserve the right to immediately revert the fishery to members only excluding visitors to ease the pressure on the lochs! We do not have the luxury of ordering a couple of thousand replacement fish. Heavy handedness such as suggested by Mr Xxxxx would have did for us good and proper! Having seen firsthand the effects of overfishing we are very reluctant to be in that place again.

Managing the numbers of anglers fishing is always uppermost in our minds whereas with Mr Xxxxx it was revenue to fill his back pocket. As the administrators of the loch those are the steps that we could take. It is up to anglers to make sure when fishing for Pike that a minimum of 15lbs mono or 40lbs braid is used, mechanical bite indication is essential with electronic beepers as back up if required and the fastest strike possible be implemented. Brown Trout/Perch anglers are moving towards catch and release by taking only occasional fish. If our anglers can achieve that and we monitor numbers then we are doing all we can to keep our fishery sustainable! Unlike Mr Xxxxx we see the loch as a long term resource rather than a source of free cash!

Engine thoughts!

We are currently mulling over alternatives with regard to our club engines and a few ideas have emerged. The most exciting in my view is that of making our engines (petrol & electric) available virtually free of charge to members who have attended a club workday. It could conceivably last for a calendar year and all members would be expected to cover would be bringing their own petrol or battery and pay a £5.00 charge which would go towards parts/consumables required for annual servicing.

Another idea circulating is that members should be able to hire these engines at a paltry fee of £10.00/24hrs. Again this fee would be put towards servicing of these engines. There are of course many other options such as continuing with hire on demand to all or scrapping engine hire altogether. The topic has been tabled for discussion at our AGM and it is likely we will come to a firm decision!

The wider world in my view!

No one at home!

We got an indication this week of how our new Prime Minister would view the concerns of the devolved areas within the UK. It looks as though Mrs May will be trying to emulate her hero Butcher Thatcher! You would have thought with the UK about to leave the EU efforts would be made to strengthen the situation at home.

It appears Mrs May is intent on breaking up the UK continuing the deplorable work of Lord Snooty! She has passed over the responsibility for dealing with the devolved governments to the hugely inexperienced David Davies, he of hotline fame! The Tories have made a conscious decision to treat the devolved administration with complete and utter contempt!

The question posed by Scotland regarding staying in the single market has not been addressed at all. The mutterings of irrelevant puppet David Mundell carry no weight, the people of Scotland need to hear the answer of Theresa May supposedly the new (unelected) Prime Minister! She looks to be making a complete hash of the Brexit strategy in that she has no strategy at all!

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