In the marvellous entitled “A Descriptive and Historical Gazetteer of the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan: With Anecdotes, Narratives and Graphic Sketches, Moral, Political, Commercial and Agricultural” edited by one M. Barbieri the River Devon is described in 1857:
RIVER DEVON – This river everywhere abounds in excellent trout and parr, besides pikes and eels in its pools, it possess plenty of salmon in spawning season, with whole brigades of silver and grey sea-trouts in harvest and spring. Most of the hill-burns abound with trout of fine quality and flavour, and are caught in great numbers after rain. It is somewhat singular that trouts have never been found in the Gloomingside-Burn, though it has plenty of water and fine pools; and if put in alive, they will neither propagate their species nor long survive. Such a fact must be owing to a chemical cause acting on the water; though the external senses have been unable to detect it
Just as an aside the Gloomingside Burn referred to here is now known as the Gannel Burn which joins the Daiglen Burn, in the Mill Glen behind Tillicoultry to form the Tillicoultry Burn.
Older Long serving members of the DAA can recall there being decent pike remaining in the lower reaches in living memory, but they seemed to have disappeared in recent years(possibly following pollution incidents on the river). The occasional jack pike has been caught in electo-fishing carried out by River Forth Fisheries Trust and SEPA in the upper river no doubt washed down from the reservoirs during a spate.
Now DAA member Andrew Gibson has recently landed a jack pike (foul hooked) near Tait’s Tomb.
It certainly was never destined to win prizes at the Pretty Pike 2015 Contest 🙂
It has obviously suffered obvious trauma/injuries at some point in the past, perhaps if it originated from the reservoirs from damage from coming over the dam at Castlehill Reservoir and/or through Rumbling Bridge/Cauldron Linn in spate or perhaps if a native of the lower river from another pike?
My suspicion is the former, mostly because if there was a resident population I would have expected more to be caught by members spinning particularly for Salmon late in the season?
Please feel free to comment!
Anyway thanks to Andrew for the report and photograph!