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.