On a fairly miserable evening out of doors, 24 members of the Devon Angling Association attended the Annual General Meeting at the Royal Arms, Tillicoultry.
The meeting was opened by DAA President Bryan Anderson who set out some of the challenges that the Association has faced in 2018 apart from the persistent summer drought, including the requirements of the Scottish Government and their agencies in controlling salmon fishing.
Hon Secretary, David Mudie paid tribute to Gordon Forbes who passed away during the year; he had a faithful servant of the work parties and served on the committee until ill health forced his retirement from active service with the DAA.
A number of important subjects were openly discussed and there were considered debates of the issues and challenges arising. The key issues were:
- Scottish Water settlement – Fish Legal were successful in winning a settlement from Scottish Water for the impact of the pollution caused by their failings in 2011 which caused a massive fish kill on the Fossoway beats. Part of the settlement will pay for the work undertaken by the Forth Rivers Trust to support our claim in the courts. The balance of this settlement will be used to support environmental improvements in the Fossoway beats to further enhance the recovery of this section of the river. The DAA have a number of proposals which will begin this year developing with the riparian owners
- Dollar Weir restrictions – The Forth District Salmon Board are enforcing the exclusion of fishing 5om either side of weirs. The DAA had previous restricted fishing in September and October at the weir, but from the 2019 season this will be for the whole season. The marker poles will be repainted and the FDSB will be posting signs (and at Cambus …….. we will wait and see who enforces that!)
- EPIC donation – The DAA was delighted to receive a donation of £1000 from EPIC [Enabling Projects in Clackmannanshire]. This money is ring-fenced, half the sum will be used by the DAA to support Forth Rivers Trust ‘Fish in the Classroom’ project. Last year we worked with Alva PS and in 2019 we will be working with Tillicoultry PS. The balance is to be used for equipment for clearing paths and accesses along the river corridor. We are extremely grateful for the support of EPIC.
- Salmon catch returns – Marine Scotland will require a measure of rod effort for salmon returns (number of days fished per fish caught). The catch return forms will be amended to suit.
- Permit prices – after considerable debate over the last year by the committee and at the AGM it has been decided to raise permit prices. Permit prices have remained at the same price since 2007 and we don’t anticipate any further requirement to increase permit prices in the immediate future. There will be no change to juvenile permit prices. Adult trout season permits will be £20 (£17 in 2018) and Salmon/Sea Trout/Brown Trout permits will be £50 (£45 in 2018). Glenquey permits prices will rise by +£1 to £12/day for non-members and £8/day for members.
- Stocking Policy – the DAA committee have agreed to continue the policy of not stocking the Devon. We did not stock the river in 2018, in part prompted by the closure of Howietoun Hatchery in 2017 and the lack of alterative suppliers of triploid Brown Trout. Marine Scotland licences for stocking require that only triploid (sterile) trout can be used for stocking rivers. The committee are persuaded by the advice of fishery biologists and the Wild Trout Trust, that the stocking of triploid trout has a negative overall impact on wild Trout and Salmon stocks, principally as triploid trout are sterile, continue to feed right through the winter, eating mostly juvenile trout and salmon. The DAA and Forth Rivers Trust will be measuring and monitoring the impact of the policy.
- Cattle poaching river banks downstream of Dollar – The committee are working hard to come to agreements with the landowners and their tenants to restrict access to the river by cattle to hopefully control the damage they are doing to the banks.
The meeting closed at just before 9pm just after the date for the 2020 AGM was set for Tuesday 14th January 2020.
Note the annual newsletter will be added to https://devonanglingassociation.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=72&action=edit