The Devon Angling Association held it’s Annual General Meeting on 10th January 2017 at the Royal Arms, Tillicoultry and was attended by 17 members.
The DAA’s honorary secretary David Mudie provided a report on the fishery and the work of the Association through the 2016 season, noting:
- River Devon – 2016 was a fairly average season in part affected by prolonged periods with low rainfall. Good numbers of fish in the half-pound range were caught as well as larger fish (4lb +). The continuing lack of rain in the Autumn meant that yet again salmon fishing was very poor. Fish did enter the river and the DAA had carried out redd surveys on the main stem of the river and identified at least twenty redds
- Glenquey Reservoir – Glenquey was very well patronised in 2016 with 529 permits being sold; only twice in the last 30 years have there been more rods on the water. The improvements to the bank access on the north shore (thanks to a lot of hard work by the work parties) and the reservoir being generally at a high level contributed to some very good fishing (which the local otters and ospreys enjoyed!). The new extension to the season at Glenquey did not encourage too many anglers out but the option remains for the Glenquey enthusiast.
- Crown Estate – The DAA lease for the salmon lease has been renewed for the next five years. The DAA will be carefully watching the impact of the proposed changes in management of The Crown Estate in Scotland.
- Pollution July 2011 – Fish Legal continue to represent the DAA in an action against Scottish Water but there is no word yet of a settlement in this dispute.
- Work Parties These have been in action every week but the extraordinary growth of vegetation this summer proved a real challenge to keep paths/accesses clear. Some areas were strimmed up to four times but it proved impossible to keep all areas clear. David thanked on behalf of the members those who participate in this work and extended the thanks of the members to Alan Armstrong Jim McGuire for their continuing work as river bailiffs.He went on reiterate that every season ticket holder to be aware of illegal fishing or anglers without permits and take appropriate action. This could be direct or by telephoning the Forth Bailiff/Police.
- Salmon Conservation – Although there have changes to the categories of certain Scottish rivers, the Devon has been retained as Category 3. This is understandable with the current sequence of poor catches and little proper evidence of salmon spawning (redd counts) and number of smolts produced.
- Stocking – The river and the reservoir were stocked on two occasions (once in April and once in June) with trout from Howietoun and placed in approximately equal numbers in the river and Glenquey.
Alan Armstrong (treasurer) reviewed the annual account which showed the DAA finances remain stable and healthy
Season Tickets and other permits for 2017 – it was agreed that permit prices will remain unchanged for the 2017 season; price of the trout ticket will have been the same (£17) since 2007 and the salmon ticket the same (£45) since 2010
Stocking – there was a very healthy debate the merits of stocking or otherwise of both the Reservoir and the River. Views expressed varied from no stocking at all, citing experiences gained when there had been periods such as the aftermath of the Castlehill pollution and the time when Howietoun could not supply, to increasing the numbers of fish put in. Bearing in mind the need to sell tickets, the general feeling was that some stocking would probably have to take place. Another factor is the requirement to stock triploid fish which may be more damaging to fish eggs and alevins in the winter period when these fish continue to feed. It was agreed by the members present that the matter be remitted back to the Committee for a final decision. It seems likely from what has been said that stocking for 2017 will be broadly similar to 2016 but is likely to come under review thereafter.
Next AGM will be held on Tuesday 9th January 2018 [details will be uploaded to the website]