At the 2020 AGM the Chairman reported that the 2019 season proved once again one of the more challenging in recent years as drought conditions across England and Wales led to a marked decline in the rod catch both locally and nationally.
- 2018 National statistics for England and Wales follow;
- 2018 salmon catch: 7,788 against 2017 13,500 (a decline of 38% on the 5-year average)
- 2018 Sea Trout 13,600 against 22,000 in 2017 (a decline of 49% on the 5-year average).
- Wales faired worst with the decline being -60% for Salmon and -56% for Sea Trout on the 5-year average.
As a consequence Wales had introduced new conservation measures in the form of a 10-year byelaw.
Locally we have also seen the introduction of new byelaws for the Camel, West Looe and Seaton rivers (all details on the Club website).
Against this backdrop of increasing regulation the Club has seen a further fall in membership numbers. The income stream that membership fees generate is, of course, key in allowing the Club to exist; to enable it to rent fishing, to insure itself and run the organisation.
The Treasurer would discuss the impact of falling revenues further in his report.
The two salmon hatcheries continue to provide important support for dwindling stocks. Despite tough conditions both managed to meet their targets for brood stock collection in 2019. More details follow in their reports.
- Hatcheries were not the answer to all our problems but they provide a backup for years when conditions (high river levels and water temps) have hampered spawning and juvenile fish survival.
- A timely reminder was made to members to check any salmon on the Fowey for fin clipping (indicating returning hatchery fish).
- Thanks made from LDAC to the volunteers who make this important contribution to our fishing. WRT fry surveys continue on the Fowey and the results show juvenile numbers for salmon and sea trout holding up despite environmental pressures.
There was little to report on the Draynes gravel cleaning, but this is hopefully going to restart in summer 2020; subject of course to managing increasing regulation and the need for licences to do so.
Bank clearance days have been generally well supported. Ashford/Doublebois were cancelled due to recent inclement weather and they will be arranged for a later date, more information will be posted on the Club website.
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the Secretary for all his efforts and a special mention made to R Grieve for his support in running the Club website.
Finally he thanked the Committee and wished all better fishing in 2020.