Hello all, its been a while!
Apologies for the lack of updates ,in part this has been due to the lock-down when all activity of the DAA ground to a halt and so many of us were furloughed. Unfortunately as the lock-down eased and I came off furlough, work took off and swallowed up a lot of my spare time.
Covid-19 has put a huge spanner in the works of the DAA, the committee have had to conduct their activity on-line and work parties have only been able to begin to catch on some of the work load. During August we had a series of major spate events resulting in serious flooding throughout the Devon valley affecting homes, business, significant damage to the roads and some major landslides. Glenquey and Castlehill Reservoirs, along with the other Ochils reservoirs are full, meaning the river now responds quickly to rainfall events such as during last weekend.
In April during the lock-down, member Jamie Beveridge out on his lock-down daily ramble reported high levels of orange sediment in the river below Vicars Bridge originating from the Coal Authority Mains of Blairingone treatment facility. This was reported directly to SEPA and the Coal Authority by the DAA. Despite being in the height of lock-down, the Coal Authority responded immediately and a mitigation plan was agreed with SEPA and implemented immediately. We were fortunate that this was nipped in the bud early, where other rivers in the catchment have not been so lucky, thanks to the high groundwater levels and low river flows during the hot first part of the summer remember that??).
Please ….. if you note something that isn’t right in the river, be it the smell, a point source of excessive sediment, a film on the water, raw sewage etc …… report it to SEPA immediately (SEPA hotline number is on your permit) and let the DAA know!
As lock-down eased in last days of May the River Devon re-opened for fishing and once permission was confirmed by Scottish Water, Glenquey re-opened for fishing a few days later.
Since lock-down eased the Devon has fished really well, proving the benefits of not stocking, with lots of angler catching multiple fish either side of a 1lb and some stretching a net in excess of a 2lb. During recent spates a few salmon have been seen but not caught (yet) but a few sea trout have been caught. We have had an unfortunate incidents of a Sea Trout being caught and removed contrary to the rules of the DAA; with their actions been reported as poaching.
Kenny MacCaulay, one of our bailiffs, came across two anglers specifically targeting eels. The DAA rules are silent on the subject of eels, but the species is under incredible pressure being in decline throughout Europe for the last 30 years, and is currently regarded as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation. The Freshwater Fish Conservation (Prohibition on Fishing for Eels) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 expressly prohibits fishing by any method for eels without a licence from Scottish Ministers. Targeted fishing for eels is forbidden and any caught accidentally must be returned immediately. This will be clarified in the Rules in time for the 2021 season
Anglers have enjoyed good sport at Glenquey, though in recent times angling has been restricted pretty much to the south bank due to the high water levels. To date catch returns have reported:
- March 2020 – Pre-lockdown 5 anglers caught 4 fish averaging 0.75lb
- March – May 2020 – Lockdown
- June 2020 -57 anglers caught 342 fish with an average weight of 0.54lb. One angler was fortunate to land 20tout in a session and there was one fish caught around 1.5lb
- July 2020 -46 anglers caught 164 trout with an average weight of 0.58lb [average 3.6 fish per angler] Best fish was an almost 2lb specimen caught by Gordon Dow
- August 2020 – 43 anglers caught 60 trout with an average weight of 0.6lb [early August was tough, with 9 anglers catching only 1 fish]
There are just about three weeks of the trout season, and the weather appears to be settling down so hopefully everyone has good close to the trout season. Hopefully we will get news over the next 6 weeks or so of a decent run of salmon!
Keep a look out here as the ‘new normal’ becomes established we will keep you in touch news of the season close and developments for the 2021 season!