The Devon Angling Association held its Annual General Meeting on 13th January at the Royal Arms in Tillicoultry, and despite the foul weather and horrible road conditions there was a healthy turnout of members.
David Mudie, our hard working and dedicated Secretary reported to the meeting on the activities of the Association during the past twelve months. In summary the issues covered were:
- After a fine start to the season the long dry summer resulted in increasingly difficult fishing on the river.
- Only 5 salmon and 6 sea trout were caught, however a number of fine brown trout were caught particularly in the first third of the season.
- Anglers at Glenquey had a fine season with 389 fishing sessions, of which 242 reported their catches (974 trout caught with estimated mean weight of 0.62lbs which included some fish in excess of 2lb)
- The Devon was one of the four host venues for the Stirling International Angling Festival’s Five Nations Flyfishing Competition where teams from Scotland, Ireland, England, France and Belgium fished the Devon, Carron, Carron Reservoir and Lake of Menteith over two days. Despite the organisers providing a supplemental stocking of Howietoun trout, the very low water conditions resulted in very few fish being caught. DAA members who assisted by acting as controllers however received master classes in casting and fly presentation by some incredibly skilled anglers
- There will be work carried out by the River Forth Fisheries Trust to improve the effectiveness of the fish pass at Dollar Weir in the early 2015. The improvements are now designed and a contractor has been appointed to complete the works.
- The application by CEMEX to extend the existing planning consent for a sand and gravel quarry in Glenquey (a consent that was originally granted in 1964) was rejected by Perth and Kinross Council. The DAA along with local residents, local community councils and Clackmannanshire Council had objected to the scheme. It is to be seen whether CEMEX will decide to appeal the refusal.
- Fish Legal are acting on behalf of the DAA in matters relating to pollution and fish kill in the Devon caused by Scottish Water’s Glendevon Water Treatment Works.
- The DAA engaged the University of Cranfield’s River Restoration Centre (http://www.therrc.co.uk/) to undertake a survey and report on the condition of the Devon. This was a substantial investment which will be used to inform and assist in improvements to the river to the benefit of the river’s fish and associated flora and fauna.
- An unidentified fish species has been observed in the river particularly around Dollar on a few occasions. There are suspicions that they are Sparling [ http://www.snh.gov.uk/about-scotlands-nature/species/fish/freshwater-fish/sparling/ ] .
- The DAA will once again be carrying out two modest stocking of the river and Glenquey. It is likely that from now that the stock fish going into the river will increasingly be sterile triploid fish (this is recognising the advice of the likes of the Wild Trout Trust and likely regulatory advice)
- The work parties have once more completed another year of hard graft clearing falling lumber (in time for the latest storms!), clearing the spawning burns, building stiles/bridges, cutting paths etc
DAA treasure Alan Armstrong presented the accounts to the meeting and recommending that there was no requirement to increase permit prices.
DAA members from the floor made a number of a valuable contributions to the meeting. This included a discussion on stocking policies and probably of greatest note was a passionate discussion about encouraging younger anglers to the river and how the DAA address some of the associated issues (particularly relating to the safety of youngsters on the riverbank). As a consequence of this discussion it was resolved that:
- Junior season permits will be reduced to £5.00
- The DAA committee will explore in advance of the 2016 season alternative permit options (such as family permits) and how permits are sold to juniors