© Liskeard & District Angling Club 2009-19

Home / Committee Reports / Essays

Chairman's Report 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - The Chairman, Rob Williams, gave his report for the year - noting that the 2017 season had started well, spring salmon and a few large sea trout being caught, aided by frequent rainfall ensuring river conditions were often favourable for fishing.
Fair numbers of summer grilse and sea trout were also caught on both the Lynher and Fowey but once again the later (Autumn) run of Salmon in the two main rivers were disappointing and fresh fish were very scarce.
Despite this, intensive fishing efforts meant both hatcheries managed to meet their brood-stock quotas for the year.

The Fowey river counter figures were discussed and it was noted that the numbers were, once again, lower than the 10- year average with salmon fairing less well than sea trout. Recent in-river survey figures produced by the EA and WRT also show worrying trends. The implications were to be discussed fully later in the meeting.

Heavy rain throughout this winter meant that rivers were untypically high over a longer period of time and it was hoped that this would not negatively impact on juvenile production in 2018.

The FRA has now secured much of the sanctuary area on a permanent basis and Chris Janes has resurrected the gravel cleaning to improve it. Efforts to extend sanctuary leases on other parts of the Draynes for a further 5 years have also been successful.

There is further good news:

  • The Water 4 Growth Project (to be discussed by guest speaker from WRT)
  • New beat maps (printable and interactive)
  • New restrictive Estuary Netting bye-laws in force.
Finally RW thanked the Committee and Officers for their efforts and R Grieve for continuing to support the website.
He concluded by wishing members an enjoyable season ahead.

Secretary's Report 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 The Secretary noted that the Committee had met 5 times in the year and that their attendance had been excellent. Key issues in the year have included

  • Renewing leases for 2018 and beyond
    • The Coodes Lease for the Ashford Beat on the Fowey to be extended for 3 more years.
    • 4 leases on the Lynher. With positive responses already received from 3 of the riparian owners. It is felt likely that all will be satisfactorily negotiated before the beginning of the season.
  • No additional fishing rights came to the market during the year.
  • Access at Turnpike Cottage (Newbridge, Lynher) is proving problematic as new owners’ are now in residence. A site meeting has taken place and whilst the Club’s legal rights are assured we will try to conclude the dispute without resorting to legal intervention. Please bear this in mind if accessing above the road bridge.
  • Other news
    • LDAC organised the Trout and Salmon Magazine writers visit to the Fowey in August 2017. This was part of the push to recruit new members. Whilst the river proved out of sorts (with only one salmon taken by the fishing party) an excellent piece was published advertising the efforts of the hatchery at Colliford. Hopefully the publicity will be reflected in new membership enquiries.
    • EA salmon consultation: Liaison and lobbying of the FRA. More to follow under Item 5 of the agenda
    • Looe-Liskeard cycleway: The Club met with the project manager for this tourism project. It was clear their proposals would have a major impact on the fishing environment along the West Looe beat we rent from the Duchy. Our concerns have been fed back to the Duchy and the Project Team. It is hoped that these objections will result in a new route being found.
    • Beaver re-introduction in Cornwall: Cornwall Wildlife Trust has now established a small beaver breeding colony on the Tresillian River at Ladock.Feedback was given to WRT, SWRA and the FRA. Despite objections this private project was launched in June 2017.
    • Emergency Bye-law on the Camel published to Club website: to remain in force until end October 2018.
    • Website Manager: Pleased to advise that Richard Grieve has agreed to continue to support the website even though he has departed the Committee. He has our thanks for this important role.

Treasurer's Report 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Trevor Sobey, The Treasurer, presented and reviewed the P&L account for year ending December 31st 2017

It was noted that exceptional capital purchase items (the purchase of Hendergrove and a significant contribution towards the FRA purchase of much of the Draynes sanctuary) had necessarily depleted the club’s capital reserve by some £12,000.00).
This, when coupled with shrinking membership numbers, had placed the club under some financial strain. Despite this, Club fees (for 2018) had been increased marginally (£2.50 pa for adults) and all other subscriptions/day/weekly tickets had been frozen.

Following consultation with riparian owners the majority have agreed to forego the annual RPI increase we normally provide in the rents payable.

The Club thanks them for their generosity and continued support.

Chairman's Report 2017

From the 2017 AGM Minutes -

The season started reasonably well, spring salmon and some large sea trout being caught but it never really got going due to low water conditions during the year and fishing was, once again, challenging.
When rain did come, intermittent runs of small grilse and sea trout occurred on both main rivers but the back end of the year did not bring a winter run of large fish.

Fowey counter numbers were down on the 10-year average but large sea trout still arrived in the upper reaches of the system in good numbers and a large number of redds were evident from mid-November onwards.

No heavy winter spates occurred so hopefully the eggs will have developed well and will not be as vulnerable to attrition as they develop and hatch this year.
Predation at sea, lack of food sources, global warming are all taking their toll on our fish stocks – but what is critical is the survival of smolts and their return to the sea. Without these there will be no run. If we do not send smolts back to sea they cannot come back.

This brings me to some good news. We are now lucky to have two hatcheries operating in our area – the Lynher and Fowey Hatchery. I will let others update you on their excellent progress later in the meeting. It was obvious upon walking the banks up in the spawning sanctuary of the upper Fowey that the majority of the sea trout redds appeared in those areas where volunteers had been working – testament to the effectiveness of these efforts.
The work of Chris Janes and his small band of volunteers is gratefully recognised.
There is also excellent news in that the FRA has now managed to purchase the Draynes sanctuary – so we will have these sanctuaries in perpetuity. It will now be important to keep them in good condition.

We must also maintain our excellent efforts in catch and return – this can only benefit the overall spawning success and ensure the viability of future stocks. It also demonstrates to our riparian owners and Regulatory Authorities we care about our fishing and are committed to its conservation.
I must also stress to all the importance of careful handling of fish as you return them. Much can be done to ensure their survival after the enjoyment and privilege of catching them.

The Chair took to opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Club members

  • The Secretary for once again producing an excellent annual newsletter and for his efforts on behalf of the club.
  • The Treasurer and his auditors for all their hard work during the year
  • The Club Wardens.……..noting that if anyone wishes to step forward to look after any of our stretches they should approach the Chairman later.

Finally, the Chairman thanked the Committee Members for their continued support and hard work in the last year.

In closing he wished members a successful 2017 season.

Secretary's Report 2017

The Secretary noted that it had been quite a busy season behind the scenes.
All the usual activities took place (meetings, newsletters, membership correspondence, rental renewals etc.) and additionally -

  • The Duchy leases were re-negotiated and the club has moved from annual leases to 4-year leases on both the West Looe and Inny. This is much more acceptable to the club as it enables us to do longer term maintenance on the beats – work on which has already started.
  • We lost a rented short stretch of River Lynher (Beat 9, Lynher Farm, 2 meadows) up at Bathpool as the owners’ sold the property and fishing rights to third parties.
  • There was a lot of legal work including changing out the LDAC trustees (to T Sobey, D White and P Jordan) and other land registry matters -

    • Prevented the sale of a short stretch (110m) of our fishing north of the road bridge at Newbridge - as the Turnpike Cottage owners’ tried to include our fishing rights in their auction. 
    • Purchased the Hendergrove Stretch (800m) of the upper Fowey: (Beat 2b, lhb opposite Golitha). This stretch was offered to the Club offmarket and the Club agreed to purchase as it protects the Golitha fishing on the opposite bank – already owned by LDAC. Contracts have been signed and payment made in full. 
    • Unable to register Beat 15: Cadsonbury Beat; Lynher. The LDAC Trustees have had to withdraw the LDAC registration of this beat as the NT formally objected to the registration due to deed issues from the 1942 and 1967 sale/purchase agreements. We intend to continue to fish the beat and to explore options to complete the registration without resorting to an expensive legal tribunal. 
    • Sold c.50m (600m2) of LDAC land/ roadside verge to Highways England. This sale is progressing. Value to Club is approximately £850.00. Please note the on-going traffic restrictions and the need to enter Lewarne Coombe from the west now (Halfway House) as a result of their ongoing works. There is no access from the east (Trago) until end-April.

Other news -

  • FRA has purchased 5100m of the Draynes sanctuary stretch that they previously rented. This should protect these important sea trout breeding areas in perpetuity. They have control of over 70% of the valley now. Thanks to Chris Janes, Roger Lashbrook and Rob Williams et al….for all their efforts in improving the stretches over many years. 
  • ORVIS EXETER are now offering 10% on all fishing related items (incl clothing, waders tackle etc..) to club members in 2017. Present your 2017 season ticket to get the discount. Shop visits only – not online. Thanks to Arthur White for arranging this. 
  • We are now looking for a new website manager to keep the club website up to date. Please come and see Secretary after the meeting or get in touch if you can help. 

Finally - We need your latest email and postal address if we are going to keep in touch with you. That’s in your hands, not ours….

Treasurer's Report 2017

From the AGM Minutes 2017 -

The Treasurer reviewed the 2016 profit/loss account for the Club and provided a breakdown of all expenditures and income for the year to 31st December 2016.

He illustrated that the finances were in fair order but that the Club had shown a loss of £327.91p for 2016.
This loss could be attributed to increased legal costs associated with trustee and land registry matters. As subscriptions accounted for 91% of income in 2016 it is important to maintain membership numbers. Happily 2016 membership levels were maintained at the same level as the previous year.

For the 2016 season the club therefore had eleven (11) life members, fourteen (14) junior members and one hundred and seventy six (176) full members (adults/disabled).
Total club membership again therefore stood at a total of two hundred and one for 2016.
An additional 20 beat and complimentary season tickets were also issued to riparian owners as part of lease agreements and these individuals were therefore allowed to fish our waters – bringing the number of potential anglers to two hundred and twenty one (221).

2017 cost/rental increases are estimated to rise by some 2.5% (over 2016 levels) and subscription for adult members are therefore to rise by £3.00 pa to cover this.
All other ticket rates have been held at 2016 levels.
Updated ticket prices and membership details are available on the club website

Treasurer's Report 2015

The underlying financial position of the club remains sound and the club has run with a small profit (<£500.00) for the past year. Finances are therefore just about balanced.

As previously discussed membership levels are key to the future of the club. The Secretary has mentioned that membership numbers could be higher and this year we saw a drop from 190 to 182 full adult members. With the inevitable rise in rental costs (c.2%) and overheads (insurance, hatchery donations, expenses) the Club will increase 2016 subscription prices by a small amount (£2.00p) for adults/seniors. We have managed to keep all other subscriptions at current levels. Despite this minimal increase the costs are still highly competitive with game fishing costs elsewhere in the county and wider afield.

Could I remind all members that they should apply directly to me for their 2016 membership as soon as possible; ensuring they enclose;

  • Complete and accurate catch return form for 2015 season
  • Membership renewal form duly completed (including an email address where possible)
  • Cheque for appropriate amount, including any donations
  • Stamped addressed envelope
The address to send it is –
Trevor Sobey, LDAC. Higher Trevartha Farm, Pengover, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 3NJ.

Secretary's Report 2015

Another season has passed and it is time to reflect on how it all went.

The Committee members have met on four occasions since the last AGM and their attendance has been good at over 80%.

Key topics of discussion included
i) Trustee changes for Club owned fishing: Your new trustees are Trevor Sobey (continuing), David White and Paul Jordan. The club wishes to acknowledge the many years of service that Bill Eliot gave as a trustee for the Club – one of the many key contributions he has made over the years.
ii) 2014 Catch Returns: All anglers reported compliant returns and the salmon catch/release for the Lynher was the best on record – at 100%. However a new issue arose in the catch/release rate for sea trout from the Fowey. Whilst overall catch numbers were more or less at the same level as that of 2013 there was a worrying downward trend in the catch/release rate, dropping from 76% to 62%. This was exacerbated by a small group (6) of very successful anglers who averaged just a 12.5% release rate for over 20% of the total number of fish caught on the river! If all our members killed this proportion of their fish the Fowey sea trout population would soon be at risk?
iii) A slow (but steady) decline in adult and junior membership numbers over the last few years. A decade ago the club was full (with 250 full-time adult members) and it is noticeable that over the last 5 years those numbers have gradually declined to under 200. With lifetime members, riparian owner tickets and juniors the numbers of people fishing the river is still well over 220 but it is the adult membership fees that provide the annual income that is necessary for us to meet the rising cost of fishing rents – most if which inflate by RPI each year. Whilst significant efforts have been made to recruit new members (through the efforts of local tackle shop owners in particular) it is clear that overall club membership is naturally declining as existing members grow older and few(er) young anglers join the Club. Attracting younger members is increasingly important and we would ask that members who know of likely candidates to encourage them to join the club. We do incentivise juniors to join with a free introductory year and with subsidised junior prices thereafter.
iv) Accident/Indemnity Insurance: The Club provides insurance cover for members carrying out organised and supervised work party tasks but the club does not provided accident/indemnity insurance for individuals whilst they participate in fishing on any club waters (rented or owned). We do not expect nor ask our riparian owners to do so either. You therefore go fishing on all LDAC waters (whether owned or rented) at your own risk. This is not through choice but because our insurance provider (Angling Trust/Insure4Sport) does not provide individual member cover as part of their Club insurance Package. It is therefore important that members consider their personal circumstances and take out individual indemnity/accident insurance if they feel the need. This can be taken out as part of individual membership of the Angling Trust and their contact details follow: The Angling Trust – Membership - http://tinyurl.com/olx6ulv We encourage all our members to join the Angling Trust.

Your Committee members attended Fowey River Association (FRA), Lynher River Association (LRA) and Tamar and Tributaries Fisheries Association (TTFA) meetings and AGM’s to ensure the Club interests are fully represented in these forums. Information from these is shared via the Club newsletters/website if relevant.

The Club website continues to enable us to reach our members in a timely and cost effective manner. Remember: If we don’t have your (latest) email address please do send it to us as you read this newsletter. Email your new address to sec@ldac.org.uk

Those members who do not have email will continue to receive correspondence through the post – but again, please make sure we have your up-to-date postal address so we can keep in touch.

Your mid-year newsletter was once again published, being distributed to all members in August 2015; again mostly by email. I hope you find it informative. If you have any views or ideas on it’s future content please do contact the Secretary at sec@ldac.org.uk to discuss.

To keep abreast of any changes to your fishing please always remember to log onto the club website at www.ldac.org.uk. Thanks to Richard Grieve for continued support in looking after all things IT.

Paul Jordan

Chairman's Report 2015

At the time of writing this the 2015 season is drawing to a close, the river is running high and is nicely coloured; yet fish seem to be a little scarce in this last week of November. I am still hoping for a late run and always optimistic of catching that elusive winter fish of bygone days.

We certainly should not complain though, the season overall has undoubtedly been a good one with steady numbers of salmon throughout the year on both the Fowey and Lynher.

There were many good salmon in the 8lb to 12lb range taken from both main rivers and at times some very good fish indeed were brought to the net, with the best reported being a 19lb Fowey fish caught above Trago Mills in fairly low water conditions by Graham Hake - whilst fishing for sea trout in August using a small Mepps spinner. At Wainsford there were entries in the book for three fish caught in early November all estimated in excess of 16lb. Although these were not fresh winter fish, they were all coloured hens and returned safely to the river, which promises to make for a good spawning year if weather conditions permit.

The sea trout season struggled to get off the ground early on with very low water conditions on both main rivers – resulting in the fish being reluctant to take, even at night. On most rivers in the South West there was real cause for concern as the low water exacerbated the risk of disease, both sea trout and some big early salmon began developing white marks, with many going on to succumb to disease. Thankfully rain finally came and refreshed the flows and, in the main, our stocks did recover, bringing some damage limitation; albeit too late for some very good fish. With the rain came excellent sea trout fishing and catch numbers were encouraging. Fish up to 9lbs were recorded on both the Lynher and the Fowey and regular reports of fish of 5-7lbs were being reported regularly on both rivers. A 9lb sea trout for Jon Hake (at Doublebois in May) was a well-deserved reward following all of his hard work clearing numerous pools this year. An even larger fish (10lbs) was lost by one (un)fortunate angler on our smallest stream - the Seaton!

As many of you will now be aware the long-awaited Fowey Hatchery at Colliford is now in the final planning stages and there is an update in the section under Hatchery News. We must also applaud the continued hard work being carried out by volunteers at the Lynher Hatchery. Despite challenging times they have continued to produce good results. Again an update can be found under the section on Hatchery News.

We have worked with Charlie Bettison and Coodes to finally remove the massive tree dam at the Tier Pools (downstream of Ashford Bridge). The pools are now gradually clearing of the sand that has built up over the last few years. This was made possible by the efforts of some members of our committee and funding from the Club and the Coodes Estate. We offer our thanks to Coodes for their continued support of our Club.

We did not manage to complete all that we needed to do. Due to a lack of man-power Best Pool on the Lynher remains blocked by fallen trees. We must try to remedy that as a priority when low water occurs in the summer of next year. I am once again asking members to turn out in sufficient numbers to support bank clearance days. We are facing the prospect of having to remove a lot of debris and fallen trees from both the Lynher and Fowey in the spring. Please do come and help to improve your fishing. The timetable is printed in this newsletter - so there is ample notice given to be able to turn up and help.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the members of the Committee for their continued hard work and support of the Club this year – there efforts are noted.

Finally I note that there are several vacancies on the Club Committee this year and I would encourage anyone who wants to stand as a Committee member to contact the Secretary as soon as possible. This year is living proof, if we needed it, that we have some wonderful fishing on our rivers, fishing that is worth looking after and so I very much look forward to seeing you all at the AGM in February.

Rob Williams

Chairman's Report 2014

As I write this, the 2014 season is coming to an end and with the river running clear and no sign of imminent rain, a late run of Salmon is looking less likely but we must remain optimistic.

The season overall has been unpredictable and although good numbers of Sea Trout came in to the system the long dry summer did not make fishing easy. However those of you who ventured out with the night time fly or those who managed to get on the river following the occasional heavy showers were rewarded with some good fishing.

As for Salmon, the beginning of the season brought some large salmon into the catchments of both the Fowey and the Lynher. The best spring salmon reported for many years (at 18lbs) came off the upper Lynher in mid-March, with several others well into double figures also reported during the same month.
The largest spring salmon reported from the Fowey was estimated at >12lbs (32.5” long), caught in May.

Despite these early catches the summer Grilse never really arrived in any great numbers. This appeared to be the situation generally on rivers throughout the South West.

Counter figures on the Fowey however, show that good numbers of fish are still coming into the system with a total of 8,385 Sea Trout and 1,373 Salmon/large Sea Trout being recorded up until the end of August.

On the conservation front, some vital gravel rehabilitation work was carried out, with Chris Janes organising tree removal and weed clearance on three consecutive Sundays up in the Draynes Valley. I would like to thank Chris and all those who turned up to help, for all their hard work. It is hoped that we can continue to improve these spawning areas and that will depend on your support next year.
Look at the website for further details nearer the time.

We are again facing the prospect of having to remove a large number of fallen trees that have come down during the year, obstructing both the river and anglers access. As most of you will appreciate, it is not possible for the club to pay contractors to carry out this work as the cost would be very high and would lead to an unacceptable increase in the price of membership.
Whilst we are lucky enough to have very capable people willing to give their time to such tasks, they are few in number and it is impossible for them to tackle all the problems that occur unless they receive far more help from club members.

A timetable of bank clearance dates is printed in this newsletter so please come along and help out.

Despite the challenges LDAC remains strong and with access to over 20 miles of fishing we have a club to be proud of and I would like to thank all the members of the committee for their continued hard work and support, without which this club would not be the success that it most certainly is. I look forward to seeing you at the AGM.

Rob Williams
LDAC Chairman

Secretary's Report 2014

The Club continues to provide the largest choice of game fishing in Cornwall and the southwest.
We currently have access to six rivers with a total of 21 miles of fishing.

We rely heavily on the goodwill of our riparian owners for continuing to lease quality water to us – and it is good to report that our relationships with these key stakeholders remain firm.

Just before the opening of the season the Club was saddened to hear of the passing of Mr D Arbon, from Maenporth, Falmouth. Mr Arbon had been a strong supporter of the Club for many years and was always happy to lease Caradon Wood Beat to us on the Lynher. We thank him for the kindness he showed to the Club over the years. With the fishing rights of Caradon Wood now passing to a new owner (The Woodlands Trust) LDAC are (currently) unable to renew the lease and we therefore no longer have the rights to access or fish on Beat 13.
All remaining fishing was retained and we also extended the Ashford Beat (Beat 3, River Fowey) some 500m northwards. This was through the kind agreement of Messrs J and E Coodes, to whom we extend our thanks for their continued support. No stretches of local river(s) were offered for open sale during the 2014 season and the Club was therefore unable to add to the current inventory of owned waters.

2015 will also see the need for the Club to renew three of our beats on the Lynher and the Committee has approved moving forward with those new contracts. We hope to be able to report that they have been secured for future years in the next newsletter. To keep abreast of any changes to your fishing please remember to log onto the new-look/up-dated website at ldac.org.uk. Thanks to Richard Grieve for continued support in looking after all things IT.

Your Committee met four times during the year. Attendance by Committee members was good, at 87.5%. The Committee were pleased to be able to see (and now report to you) a marked improvement in catch/return rates for the 2013 season and I am particularly gratified to be able to say that all members adhered to the catch/release targets, particularly in the matter of Lynher salmon.

The Lynher catch/release rates rose from 50% (in 2012) to 83% (2013). We need to ensure that these figures continue to exceed 66% in the future to help support the prevention of commercial nets returning to the Lynher.

Several members have contacted me to discuss the issue of fallen trees and difficult access on some beats during the 2104 season. As you are aware all the beats are the subject of planned work parties at the beginning of each season (see page 2 of this newsletter for relevant dates and locations).
These provide the opportunity to carry out maintenance after winter storms and floods have had their way with our rivers and footpaths. Members need to continue to come forward and support the workparties before the season starts, to report any areas that they consider require attention and then to support requests for additional work during the season.
We would urge members to carry out their own (sensitive and sensible) clearance of undergrowth across and along footpaths as they pass through whilst fishing during the season. We ALL have a part to play – please do so. If you want to or can help make sure we have your up-to-date contact details so we can contact you directly.

Your Committee members also attended Fowey River Association (FRA), Lynher River Association (LRA) and Tamar and Tributaries Fisheries Association (TTFA) meetings and AGM’s to ensure the Club interests are fully represented in these forums. Information from these is shared via the Club newsletters/website if appropriate.

The Club website is enabling us to reach more members than ever before, more cheaply and more quickly – we now have 70% registered, 5% up on 2013. The target remains 100% and we are slowly getting there…….. Remember: If we don’t have your (latest) email address please do send it to sec@ldac.org.uk when you read this newsletter.

The mid-year newsletter was once again published, being distributed to all members in August 2014; mostly by email. I hope you found it useful. If you have any views or ideas on it’s future content please do contact the Secretary on sec@ldac.org.uk to discuss.
This year we are again distributing the Annual Newsletter, attachments and the FRA newsletter by email wherever possible. This has a major impact in lowering our printing costs and postage bill. That means we have more money to spend on improving our fishing – far better than spending it on other non-fishing related matters?

Paul Jordan
Hon Secretary

Treasurer's Report 2014

Whilst the underlying financial position of the club remains sound we continue to find ourselves under financial pressure to ensure that the club does not run at a loss.

As discussed at the last AGM the membership levels are key to the future of the club.

I am therefore pleased to be able to report a small increase in adult membership for the year; rising from 185 in 2013 to 191 in 2014. At this level the Clubs finances are just in balance. However the cost of our rented beats will inevitably rise in 2015 (some in line with RPI and some under new lease agreements) and this requires that the Club raise season ticket prices to cover costs for next year.

The Committee has therefore agreed to increase fees to £90.00 pa for both adults (+2.8%) and senior members (+9%) but to maintain levels for disabled and junior members (see Item 2 on page 2 of the newsletter for full details).

The decision to raise senior member ticket prices to the same level as adult members has been an aim of the Committee for several years and is predicated on the fact that such (retired) members have significantly more opportunity to use club waters than others.

Despite these increases the costs are still highly competitive with game fishing costs elsewhere in the county and wider afield.

Please note that visitors’ day/weekly ticket fees are also rising above inflation – reflecting the quality and quantity of fishing we offer.

Trevor Sobey

Treasurer's Report 2013

Whilst the underlying financial position of the club remains sound we have found ourselves under increasing financial pressure over the last few seasons.

Since 2011 we have seen a drop in membership of 17.5%; from 224 full-paying adult members to just 185 in 2013; this resulted in a real income loss of over £3000.00 during the same period. 

Against this, the cost of our fishing has risen, both by the effects of inflation (>8% over 3 years), through increased rentals on long term leases and acquisition of additional water. Poor interest rates and inflation are also effectively eroding our capital balance and it is not being increased. 

Because of this, and as stated at the AGM in February 2013, the Committee have taken the position that it is necessary to ensure that subscription rates must necessarily rise to cover our costs, thereby ensuring the club remains financially sustainable in the long term. 

Subscription rates for 2014 will therefore rise broadly in line with inflation. The Committee has agreed to increase fees to £87.50 pa for adults and to £82.50 for our senior members, an increase of £2.50 pa. Junior member, day/weekly ticket fees and enrolment fees will however remain frozen once again. 

Could I remind all members that they should apply directly to me for their 2014 memberships as soon as possible; ensuring they enclose

  • Completed and accurate catch return form for 2013 season 
  • Membership renewal form duly completed (including an email address where possible) 
  • Cheque for appropriate amount, including any donations 
  • Stamped addressed envelope 

The address to send it is Higher Trevartha Farm, Pengover, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 3NJ. 

Trevor Sobey - Treasurer

Secretary's Report 2013

With access to 6 rivers, encompassing over 36kms of both proprietary and rented fishing, LDAC is possibly the largest game fishing club in Cornwall and certainly one of the largest in the southwest of England.

I am pleased to report to you that in 2013 we maintained all of our existing fishing and through the kind support of Mr. Robert Speck we have leased a new stretch of the River Lynher, directly upstream of Plusha Bridge. This provides members with continuous access from the bridge right to the top of our adjoining beat – Harann.

Your Committee met five times during the year and discussed a wide range of issues; ranging from Club finances, tree-cutting strategies along the LDAC land adjoining the A38 to catch/release performance.

Committee attendance was at all times good; the majority of your Committee members attended all five meetings during the year and overall attendance was above 90%. 

Worthy of note was the August Committee meeting which following a review of Members’ Catch Returns for last season - 2012. With just 50% of Lynher salmon reported returned alive in 2012 from Club waters we failed to meet the target of a 66% return rate. This rate is necessary if we are to continue to successfully avoid the re-introduction of commercial netting back onto the Lynher – and it is worth noting here that netting is returning to the Tamar in 2014. 

Despite the Club rule, a number of members saw fit to ignore the rule despite catching multiple salmon and being in the position to return fish. The Chairman has already outlined the disciplinary action that the Committee has taken with regard to such matters. 

As part of the same meeting the Committee felt that the catch return form was becoming overly complicated and it has therefore introduced a simpler form - to ensure all members can more easily and accurately report their seasonal catch. 

A copy is to be found in this newsletter. Please do use it. Further copies are available on the website. The Committee has asked that Members be reminded that accurate and timely submittal of a catch return form is a condition of membership. 

Your Committee members also attended Fowey River Association (FRA), Lynher River Association (LRA) and Tamar and Tributaries Fisheries Association (TTFA) meetings and AGM’s to ensure the Club interests are fully represented in these forums. Information from these is shared via the Club newsletters/website where appropriate. 

The Club website is enabling us to reach more members than ever before, more cheaply and more quickly – we now have 65% or our members on e-mail, 5% up on 2012. The target remains 100%. 

As promised, a mid-year newsletter was once again published, being distributed to all members in July 2013; mostly by email. I hope you found it useful. If you have any views or ideas on it’s future content please do contact the Secretary on sec@ldac.org.uk to discuss. 

This year we are, for the first time, distributing the Annual Newsletter, attachments and the FRA newsletter by email wherever possible. This has a major impact in lowering our printing costs and postage bill. That means we have more money to spend on improving our fishing – far better than spending it on other non-fishing related matters? 

Remember: If we don’t have your (latest) email address please do send it to us. 

Paul Jordan - Secretary

Chairman's Report 2013

Generally speaking the 2013 season has been a difficult one.

A few large sea trout put in an appearance in early April, but then record low water over most the summer meant that fish were few and far between. Those around were certainly not in the mood for taking! Nonetheless, the odd fish was caught and a few grilse showed themselves by July. But it was not until the rains came in late September that we started to see salmon being caught.

Notwithstanding the difficult fishing this year good numbers of fish came through the counter on the Fowey, and overall, numbers were up for both sea trout and salmon in 2013.

As you know, the Club works hard to ensure our fishing will be sustainable in the future – this means looking after the water, supporting hatcheries and maintaining fish stocks wherever possible. 

To support this latter point we introduced a new Club rule on Lynher catch/release for the 2013 season, replacing a voluntary code that was not being adhered to. Having done so the Committee does take a lenient view to members’ returns that show only a single salmon caught/killed; but members who kill fish repeatedly can expect little sympathy. 

Regrettably one member was removed from the club this year for continuing to disregard the catch/release rule on the River Lynher. A number of other members were warned of the likely consequences if they failed to meet the target in future seasons. 

On a lighter note I was delighted to see such a strong turn out by members on the working parties this year – we had 74 half days of work contributed by the Club members and much good work has been done in improving and maintaining access – thank you. 

We also made considerable progress on roadside trees in Lewarne. The work, carried out during the Highway Agency night time closures of the A38 was well supported and I would like to extend my thanks firstly to Chris Janes who led the work on our behalf and secondly to our members who gave up their nights in support. 

I am pleased to report that the Fowey River Association is funding a temporary hatchery this year. Additionally they have provided significant funds for habitat improvement to our stretches of the River Fowey in Lewarne Coombe. 

We also received direct funding this year from the West Country Rivers Trust utilising their Country Sports Southwest Project initiative. The monies were spent on further maintenance and access. All members and visitors will benefit tremendously from these enabling works. 

We hope that you see real improvements and join with me in thanking both organisations for their generous support.     Rob Williams - Chairman

Chairman's Report 2013

Generally speaking the season has not been a particularly good one - with runs of fish on most rivers being modest at best.

Although early runs of Sea Trout looked, at times, promising this was followed by a real shortage of smaller summer fish. So Sea Trout numbers will probably be down in the returns. There was also a noticeable lack of fresh run summer grilse on both rivers. Some good size salmon between 8-15lb have since appeared on both the Fowey and Lynher. High water levels have meant that what fish did run spread quickly throughout the catchment. This made the fishing even more difficult; with anglers having to cover considerable water in the hope of finding a fish.

Those fish that are still running will be able to access more of the higher reaches of the catchment; and will spawn successfully in new redds - so every cloud has a silver lining. The high winds and high water levels have caused severe damage on the banks with fallen trees and trash dams everywhere. Nearly every beat urgently needs work now, so please come along to the bank clearance dates and help us to clean up. See the section on Work Party incentives in this newsletter for the dates, times and locations for the 2013 working parties.

I would like to thank all the committee members for their hard work and support through the year and especially Paul Jordan for his enthusiasm in taking over as Honorary Secretary, despite being thrown in at the deep end he is doing an excellent job. Finally I hope that you all have a Merry Xmas and I wish you successful fishing in the New Season ahead.    Rob Williams - LDAC Chairman