Chairman’s Report 2021

Following the effects of the pandemic on our fishing during 2020 I am sure that we all looked forward to getting back on our rivers during the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, it cannot be denied that the 2021 fish runs appear to have been somewhat disappointing. Whilst river levels were reasonable peal numbers across all our rivers were notably down on previous years this summer.

Over the last 10 years we have seen some winter flooding which almost certainly impacted on their spawning redds. However it is noted that netting continues unchecked across our Cornish estuaries and this must also be having an impact on our sea trout stocks.
We hope that C-IFCA will resolve this situation soon (see Secretary’s Report for more information).

Some fishing encouragement came from the fact that there were some very good-sized sea trout and spring salmon taken early in the season. On both the Fowey and Lynher small summer grilse around 4-6lb also came back in reasonable numbers. Most exciting of all to report is that several returning fin-clipped hatchery fish were amongst those caught on the Fowey; all safely returned and several with accompanying photographic evidence.
Only a few days ago I walked selected areas of the Draynes Spawning Sanctuary and witnessed a good number of large redds being dug, despite the lack of organised work parties in recent years the spawning gravels are not in bad shape. There were however some issues that have built up and need to be tackled so it is planned to arrange some work parties during the summer months. Whilst bank side paths will need some on-going attention they are still in a reasonable state of repair, this is mainly thanks to a few committee members who were dedicated enough to clear fallen trees and repair styles etc thus maintaining access during the past year and I would like thank them for their hard work and commitment.

It is now several years since we introduced changes to both our fishing methods and catch limits following talks with the EA. Whilst nobody welcomes additional restrictions, they were deemed necessary to help maintain fish stocks, to remain in charge of our own regulations and avoid mandatory bye laws. 

On the club website there are important documents relating to the club rules as well as detailing the club’s requirements for Health and Safety whilst fishing our waters. It is every member’s responsibility to make themselves aware of these requirements and to abide by them. If you are unsure of anything please just ask.

Hatcheries on both the Lynher and Fowey continue to operate with a few dedicated people and our thanks go to all those involved in the day-to-day running (see later section for Hatchery reports). Volunteers are always needed at the hatcheries; the role can be interesting and rewarding so should you be willing to assist please consider offering your services.

The newly acquired beat below Wainsford Bridge has proved both popular and productive, whilst the committee initially had some concerns about taking on another commitment at a time when fish numbers and membership were both in question it has proved to be a sound decision. 

We have some of the best fishing available in this part of the country and I sincerely believe that if we continue with conservation measures, look after our river catchments and support the hatcheries, our sport will still be there for many years to come. 

Finally, I would like to thank our Secretary Paul Jordan for all his hard work in putting together this newsletter and all the members of the committee for their continued hard work and support for your Club. On behalf of us all, I would like to wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing many of you at the AGM when we can keep you up to date in more detail but until then please stay safe. 

Rob Williams

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