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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