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Lynher Hatchery update 2019

At the LDAC AGM Arthur White gave a brief hatchery update.

  • The 2017/18 output of 56,000 fry into the river at a cost of 5p per fry
  • The cost of the operation being solely dependent upon donations and acknowledged the critical financial contributions made by LDAC in sustaining the operation.
  • Only 17,000 eggs were stripped this winter due to limited brood stock availability
  • Hatching had now started but that they were expecting approximately 15,000 fry for stocking out later in 2019. Whilst this lower number was disappointing it was recognised that natural variations should be expected.
  • He wanted to thank G Hake in particular for his efforts in leading the hatchery work and N Lintott for providing the site.

Colliford Hatchery update 2019

At the LDAC AGM Richard Grieve gave an update on the great progress at Colliford Salmon Hatchery.

He gave an interesting discussion on the hatchery operations and water flow issues.
Richard reported that this was the start of the third year of operation of the relocated Colliford Hatchery.

It is widely recognised that the prior concerns over water quality had not materialised.

Richard thanked his volunteer staff for all their efforts, especially those that were from local communities, not the more typical angling population. He noted the key LDAC/FRA support for the hatchery.

Richard then discussed in detail the issues over water levels and their possible effects on salmonid migration in the Fowey.  Whilst the SWW releases of summer water for abstraction at Restormel provided artificially high flows in the mid-river this did nothing in the lower estuarine reaches as it was all being abstracted at Restormel.
Richard's concern was that the abstraction of water at Restormel was seriously impacting the ability of fish to by pass the weir at Restormel. Water should be left to run out to the estuary below Lostwithiel, especially that associated with water bank releases.

Richard has requested the FRA review the water-bank at Colliford and that it be more fully utilised to encourage migrating fish from estuary to upper river and that the FRA/WRT could focus on this issue with SWW and the EA.

Finally Richard noted that brood stock collection in late 2018 had been fair but with the majority of hen fish being small grilse. Late stripping of one fish had resulted in helpful EA agreement not to insist on factorial mating to complete the operation.

In support of hatcheries Rob Williams presented an analysis of Fowey counter figures that clearly showed that, in the period before the Wainsford hatchery was first in operation, the 9 year average was 696 fish whilst the 10 year average during operations (including the 3 year smolt/first migration period) showed that this average had risen to 902 fish (a 23% increase). Whilst some might discount such data, at worst it showed that Wainsford hatchery had no detrimental effect on Fowey stocks and at best it improved them substantially.

The LDAC Chairman noted that fin clipping of 25% of the Fowey fry was undertaken and urged members to look out for such fish and to report them if caught – thereby proving the success of the hatchery.

Treasurer's Report 2019

At the LDAC AGM The Treasurer presented an overview of the Club’s efforts to purchase the River Fowey Newbridge fishing in 2018.
He noted that the Club had always sought to purchase fishing if it became available. As background he stated that fishing had been purchased at Golitha (1985), Jacks (1997), Lewarne (1998), Doublebois (2004) Hendergrove (2018) and the Club had also donated substantially towards the FRA Draynes sanctuary purchase in 2018. In July of 2018 Kivells advertised the sale of the Newbridge stretch of the Fowey River. The Club bid on the stretch but was advised that a higher bid had been received. That third party sale subsequently fell through and the Club then directly negotiated a second (increased) offer that was accepted by the seller, Lanhydrock Estates. With solicitors instructed the sale progressed and land registry, river-bed ownership and access matters were examined to ensure that the Club would have full, un-encumbered title to the fishing.
In mid-November the Club was surprised to hear that the sellers were seeking membership dues from its Angling Association members for the 2019 season. It transpired that the sellers had decided to withdraw from the sale but had not advised other parties to that effect.

More positively, our membership proved highly supportive and very generous in making interest free loans and donations to enable the purchase offer to be made. The Treasurer wished to put on record his personal thanks for that support.

The Treasurer then presented and reviewed the P&L account for year ending December 31st 2018. It was noted that despite concerns over membership numbers the Club had retained its subscription income year-on-year.
Allowing for all costs in the year the Club carried forward £28,122.33p, an increase of £1,541.75p on the previous year. Whilst this headline result is reassuring, the Committee is aware that 2019 will be critical financially. Notwithstanding, they have decided to keep subscription rates at their current level for another year – to encourage membership when our fishing is under considerable pressure both in quantity of fish caught and further restrictions on methods and overall catch limits.

We are pleased to note that many of our riparian owners have also recognised the financial uncertainties we are facing and have agreed to a 20% reduction in rental rates whilst we weather the not-so-perfect storm of increasing regulation, the effects of commercial netting at sea and climate change.
We thank them for their understanding and support.

Secretary's Report 2019

At the LDAC AGM The Secretary noted that the Committee had met 6 times in the year and that their attendance had been excellent. Much time and effort had been spent at these meetings trying to find the right balance between managing external relationships (with the EA/FRA), protecting river stocks and supporting the members’ sport.
Whilst this had not always been easy it is a credit to the Committee that consensus was reached and that the EA had been supportive of the Club’s position. This was reflected in the successful negotiations over the new NLO for the Fowey and no immediate threat of bye-law introductions.

The (voluntary) catch/release and restrictions/rules put in place for 2018 would now extend into the 2019 season and if any changes were proposed after the FRA/EA 2019 meeting had taken place then membership would be informed. In the meantime copies of the rules were made available at the meeting for those seeking a copy.
It was noted that there was an error in the December newsletter…..barbless hooks to be used after 31st August, not before June 16th as stated.

Other key issues in the year have included -

Protecting the fishing owned by the Club

  • Ownership of and access to fishing rights on the stretch above the road bridge (Newbridge, River Lynher) was disputed by the new owners of Turnpike Cottage. The Committee stepped in and successfully resolved the dispute without resorting to costly litigation. New access points had been created and the membership are encouraged to access and fish the stretch.
  • The Secretary noted that fishing rights and access issues were critical to the Club’s future and asked members to immediately make the Committee aware of any attempts to close off/change access or to try to dissuade the Club members from fishing our beats. The sale of any property adjoining fishing should also be advised as such changes often led to difficulties over ownership and access.
Additional fishing rights at Newbridge (River Fowey) came to the market during the year. The Club attempted to purchase these but the sale fell through before contracts were exchanged. More details can be found in the Treasurer’s report.

Work parties had started again and the Secretary reminded all members that it was important that they signed the risk assessment form before starting work. Failure to do so could negate both personal and Club insurances.

The Secretary reminded members to advise of any address or email changes asap. Failure to do so would inevitably result in lost contact.

Chairman's Report 2019

At the LDAC AGM The Chairman noted that 2018 had been one of the more difficult seasons on record the Chairman indicated that overall fishing efforts had been low throughout the year and it was likely that this would be reflected in low(er) catch return numbers.
For the stalwart few that did venture out a few early spring fish rewarded their efforts on both the Lynher and Fowey. Summer fish were caught but generally sport had been poor for most members.

The Chairman then spoke to the news that the TTFA/EA had started to electronically tag sea trout in the Tamar. This would provide data for studies regarding migration routes and frequency of spawning. He advised the membership that it was possible that these fish might also re-enter the Lynher. If so they could be recognised as having a clipped adipose fin.
Tagged fish could be reported to the EA and a financial incentive was in place for those reporting such catches. Further details would appear on the Club website.

The Chairman then discussed the disappointing news that the Fowey fish counter (at Restormel) had not been producing reliable data during most of the 2018 season. It was unlikely that any meaningful data would be forthcoming on numbers of fish entering the catchment. It was hoped that things would improve for 2019. Fry survey information from the FRA funded WRT work on the Fowey was then presented. This showed that the middle river had improved but that there was less promising news for Warleggan salmon parr; salmon numbers had shown a dip but conversely trout numbers were higher there – perhaps indicating a healthier stock of sea trout for the future.
There was better news on the Cardinham. In 2017 the surveys had shown no salmon above Ladyvale Bridge. However, with encouragement from WRT the Forestry Commission had removed a major log-jam and in the subsequent 2018 survey salmon parr numbers had rebounded. This was excellent news and showed the importance of the surveys in helping to spot problem areas and to illustrate the positive impact of focussed in-river works.

There was however disappointing news regarding the Club’s attempts to purchase the Newbridge stretch of the Fowey in 2018. Despite all our efforts and the generosity of members in donating and loaning funds the Sellers’ withdrew from the sale/purchase agreement in November 2018. More details follow in the Treasurer’s report.

Gravel cleaning was not undertaken in 2018. This was due to the dis-incentives created by the need to apply for and get a series of licences to perform gravel cleaning at any location -

  •  An easement for each location was required
  • A permit was required to pull hemlock
  • A waste carriers licence was required to remove hemlock from site. 
This matter had been taken up with the FFRG (EA, WRT and FRA) and the EA have indicated that they can provide support to facilitate the permitting process in 2019. WRT had made a large gravel cleaning pump available to the Club and it was hoped that this would make the work load lighter in the future.

Bank clearance days have been published in the December newsletter and following a slow start the Chairman was pleased to advise that attendance had improved and he thanked those involved. He further noted that there were a number of dates in February/March that needed support and he urged the membership to turn out to work on their river.

The Chairman briefly mentioned the work undertaken by IFCA and the recent news that they were looking to extend controls from the main estuaries into the creeks and coves surrounding …noting that many salmonids used these areas as a refuge in low water conditions.

The new beat maps were highlighted and thanks were made to WRT for producing them and to R Grieve for making them accessible on the Club website.

Finally he took the opportunity to thank the Treasurer (T Sobey), the Secretary (P Jordan) and his Committee members for all their efforts in helping to run the club during 2018 and to wish the membership tight(er) lines for the 2019 season.

** Workparty Cancelled ** Wheelpit 3/3/19

Sadly the workparty at Wheelpit this weekend is cancelled - there is some very bad weather forecast which makes it too dangerous.

Please see check here and the Facebook page for a rescheduled workparty

LDAC AGM

All members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Liskeard and District Angling Club -

12th February 2019 – 19:30

Constitutional Club
9 Market St
Liskeard
PL14 3JH

Google Maps - https://bit.ly/2HYGWBo

River Camel - Extension to the EA Emergency Bylaw

ENVIRONMENT AGENCY - NOTICE OF EXTENSION TO THE RIVER CAMEL EMERGENCY SALMON PROTECTION BYELAW

As you will be aware, in October 2017, the Environment Agency implemented an emergency byelaw to protect Atlantic salmon in the River Camel. This was in response to an unprecedented and widespread decline recorded in juvenile salmon stocks that was detected through a comprehensive catchment wide juvenile fisheries monitoring programme conducted throughout the summer of 2017. It had been evident that the River Camel salmon rod catch has been declining in recent years. However, the extent of the loss of juvenile salmon is of particular concern and suggested a significant failure in adult salmon spawning success. Adult and juvenile trout stocks remain relatively healthy across the catchment suggesting that this is a salmon specific issue.

We are fully aware of the concerns expressed by the River Camel angling community regarding the status of salmon and the implementation of the salmon protection byelaw. This had been implemented with the intention of enabling salmon and sea trout fishing but in such a way that it protects salmon and helping to ensure that most adult fish are able to spawn successfully. We believe that this is the best approach to maintain the important River Camel migratory salmonid fishery whilst seeking to maximise the recovery of the juvenile salmon stock

In recognition of the concerns expressed by River Camel angling interests, we agreed to review the need for the byelaw following additional juvenile fish surveys conducted by us and the West Country Rivers Trust in 2018 and an appraisal of other catch data. These surveys identified that whilst salmon fry abundance had improved at a small number of survey sites, it was clear that salmon fry and parr populations remained exceptionally poor across much of the catchment and therefore of continuing concern. There is now no doubt in our view that within two years, very few Atlantic salmon will return to the River Camel reflecting the exceptionally poor number of smolts that are likely to have left the river.

In September 2018, following completion of the most recent juvenile survey programmes, we attempted to convene a meeting with all of the key salmon angling clubs and riparian interests on the River Camel to present the results of the recent juvenile survey data and the trends evident within the rod catch data. The overall consensus of those who attended and reviewed the data with us was that there is a significant issue with the salmon stock and its population status on the River Camel.

At this meeting and subsequently, there have been extensive ongoing discussions over the best way to implement the necessary protective measures, with a Catchment wide voluntary agreement being preferred by the Environment Agency. Unfortunately a consensus on the voluntary application of the protective measures was not reached across the catchment at this time.

  • It has unfortunately become clear that obtaining this universal agreement and adoption of these measures cannot be achieved by angling interests across the River Camel at present. Therefore, we have decided, with the support of Defra, to extend the emergency byelaw period from 1st November 2018 for a further 6 months to the end of April 2019. This will provide a further opportunity to discuss the required measures with the angling interests or provide us with the necessary time to seek the implementation of a longer term salmon protection byelaw.

The measures enforceable by the Emergency Byelaw are:

  • 100% catch and release - all salmon caught on rod and line are to be returned with minimum delay.
  • The use of worm for salmon fishing is prohibited.
  • Spinners, plugs and other artificial lures must be fitted with single, barbless hooks only.
  • Hooks used with artificial flies must have a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
  • Prawn or shrimp may be used in conjunction with a single, barbless hook with a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
  • Closure of the River Camel salmon and sea trout net fishery

The above measures will be in place until 30th April 2019 unless revoked by the Environment Agency.

We are currently working on the River Camel Net Limitation Order (NLO) 2018 which will also consider the necessary package of measures to protect salmon and sea trout for rod and line and net fishing on the river. We will be continuing our consultation and would appreciate confirmation that your club or fishing interest would approve the suggested voluntary NLO measures. If a voluntary consensus cannot be reached a mandatory byelaw will have to be implemented across the catchment. We have also identified the River Camel as a priority catchment and identified a number of issues that we intend to investigate and deal working with the angling clubs and other partner organisations to maximise the opportunity for the recovery of salmon stocks within the Camel catchment.  

If you have any question about this please do not hesitate to contact me.
Bryony Devoy Fisheries Technical Specialist DCiS and Net Limitation Order Specialist National Fisheries Team Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment Department Environment and Business Directorate Environment Agency.

LDAC featured in Trout & Salmon - Autumn 2018

Liskeard & District Angling Club were very pleased to invite Trout & Salmon magazine to fish our water.

See the article and please share it as it is great publicity for the Club.

Download here -

Trout & Salmon downloadClick the image to download

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.

Colliford Hatchery Update 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Richard Grieve gave an update on Colliford Salmon Hatchery acitivy, including -

  • Thanked LDAC for continued support for the hatchery.
  • Noted the good collaboration between EA/SWW/FRA/WRT in making the hatchery successful
  • Noted the first year of operation with good outputs
  • Noted that brood-stock had been collected from across most of the catchment for 2018 
  • Provided an interested commentary on some of the lessons learned from the first year of operation. It had, for instance, become clear that water temperature was critical in hatching and normal fry development. To this end an innovative and cost effective chilling system had been installed which recirculated chilled water across egg trays, thereby reducing the volumes required. This concept had also been transferred to the Lynher hatchery as best practice. 
  • Recommended the excellent short film (Lost at Sea) as an interesting learning tool for all salmon anglers. 
  • Noted the importance of judging the hatchery and its success on facts, not supposition. In particular he touched on the motivational impact negative statements could have on the small pool of volunteers that kept the hatchery going.

Lynher Hatchery Update 2018

At the LDAC AGM in February 2018 - Arthur White a brief overview of the Lynher Hatchery activities including

  • The 2017 output of 30,000 fry
  • The cost of the operation being solely dependent upon donations and acknowledged the contributions made by LDAC in sustaining the operation
  • 65,000 eggs in 2018, stripped from 8 fish
  • Hatching had progressed well with just 4% losses – aided by lower water temperatures.