Beauly Angling Club A.G.M.
30th November 2023
1:Apologies: David Greer, Frank Durdle, Rev. Urquhart, Wendy Harpe, Charlie Simpson, Craig Morrison.
9 attended the AGM with the 3 Office Bearers.
2:Reading and Approval of AGM Minutes from 2022: Approved Jim Braithwaite, John Szarkiewicz
3:Matters arising not on the Agenda: Next season we need to change the code on the BAC Car Park lock and advise new Permit holders of the number.
4: Accounts: –The spreadsheet was handed out to the participants of the AGM. It was noted that last year removing the £3000 donation from the Junior’s parents income for 2022 was £6400 and with the income for 2023 of £5700, we made a loss of around 700 over the year.
The Rent is still at £2400 for next year but we will have to negotiate a new rent agreement with Lovat Estates next year and have been advised it is likely to increase.
5: Report from The Chair:
Day Tickets. We sold 8 day tickets (23 last year).
Firth tickets. 10 Season tickets & 4 weeks. Last year was much better.
Iain proposed that we sell Day and Firth tickets in Graham’s shop instead of just Firth tickets and we try and get an outlet with a shop in North Kessock. The Club could also look at putting a flyer in the Trout & Salmon about the availability of tickets and costs.
Senior Citizens – 32 this year so much the same.
Senior Members – 29 – (42 last year) which is a serious drop. There were 9 new members joined again this year. Intermediate members – none (1 last year)
Associate members- none (none).
Fish Caught 2023:
Salmon and Grilse – 0
Sea Trout – 13 Finnock – 106
Iain agreed that this year had been pretty awful for fish caught but it isn’t only the Beauly affected – all the rivers around are reporting very low catches. It was noted that although there had been a couple of seals seen up towards the Falls Beat, the numbers at the mouth of the Firth were very small and with fewer seabirds. The Club members also noted the fish caught appeared to be smaller than last year and not easily hooked. Iain mentioned that more people fishing the River would help figures – there have been far fewer anglers on the water in comparison to previous years, not helped by the lack of any good catches.
A good number of Returns were received in time this year but unfortunately we have 2 Senior Citizens and 4 Senior Members who did not make a Return. If they come to re-join next Season there will be a £10 surcharge on the permit price.
Junior members around 30 again this year. The junior fishing remains in a good state – Yorky and Karl held 14 sessions this season with the juniors and parents attending the sessions. Unfortunately we were unable to get a Competition run because of the storms – 2 in a couple of weeks and then the end of the season came. We hope to be able to run the 2023 competition in the Spring of 2024. Sessions will be fortnightly again.
SSER are donating a sum over the next 3 years but this is currently through the River Board. Jim Braithwaite will keep in contact with the River Board for progress on the invoice and possible 2 instalments making to our Bank account before the 2024 season begins. As in previous year’s, one of our Junior Members- Jack Gow- received a day’s fishing on the River Conon with Ghillie. The ghillies were impressed with his skills having only recently taken up fly fishing.
With the reduced revenue this season, Iain Morrison and Yorky Brocklehurst put forward that the Club could run more competitions next season with raffles and prizes – Spring, Summer and Autumn. A raffle at the River Opening was also put forward and accepted.
Iain talked about difficulties with the Club fishing Beats 1-3 and with fallen trees left in the water and why no maintenance was able to be performed on those beats for the 2023 season. The Club will be maintaining Beat 1 on the North side of the River in 2024 and will attempt to get a working party together during the early part of a week. Some fisherman had noticed some smells coming into the River and it was agreed that when next they were reported we should contact SEPA for them to test the water. It may be stopping the fish from using the lies between Beats 1 and 3.
6:Competitions and Prizes: No Salmon caught so no Matheson Cup was awarded this year.
The Tommy Mightens Cup for heaviest Sea Trout will be awarded to Frank Durdle – 13/4lb, but he was unable to attend the AGM.
The Senior Shield went to Toby Hardwick with the largest fish on Achilty,
No Junior Shield was awarded due to storms at the end of the season. We are going to run a Junior Competition in April 2024, so the winner can hold the shield for at least 6 months.
7:Election of Office Bearers:
Iain Morrison was voted back in as Chairman – proposed Paul Summerlin, sec. Jim Braithwaite.
Toby Hardwick was voted as Secretary, prop. Iain Morrison, sec .Paul Summerlin.
Treasurer for digital banking Paul Summerlin with Yorky Brocklehurst as executive treasurer – prop. Iain Morrison, sec. Jim Braithwaite.
All other members of the committee were voted back in to their previous roles for the Club.
8:Proposals for revised rules and constitution: The Junior Rules will be added into the main fishing booklet after the main rules section.
It was proposed that all prices were increased by £5 across the board – including the River and Firth tickets.
9: Members Proposals: Alan Hill brought up Loch Faddah, the Club has yet to have a meeting with the factor/owner of Erchless estate. Jim Braithwaite and Yorky Brocklehurst will get together and arrange a meeting in the New Year about the Club fishing the loch.
10: Any Other Business: River Opening Day is proposed to be held on the 17th February 2024 at the Downie Fishing Hut. The official Opening Day of the 11th is a Sunday. The Club have heard that we are very likely to get the Downie beats for the first 7 weeks of the Season but at an increased price so the rod/day cost will increase to around £35.
Jim Braithwaite advised the River was being classed as Category 1 for 2024
11: Proposed date of the next AGM 21st November 2024, venue to be arranged.
12: Presentation from the Ali Skinner, Beauly Fishery Board
Ali Skinner gave a presentation to the Club of the work he and Ruth Watts had been performing throughout the season to encourage the fish and smolts, working with the owners and SSEN with the dams.
BAC Committee Meeting 13th November 2023
John Brocklehurst, Iain Morrison, Jim Braithwaite, Neil Mackenzie, Paul Summerlin
Charlie Simpson, Karl Brocklehurst, Derek McLean
3:Approval of Minutes – Jim Braithwaite, Iain Morrison
4: Discussion of Posts and new Committee Members
The Committee discussed the allocation of posts for next season particularly the posts of Treasurer and Secretary and something to put to the vote at the AGM. Other roles can be taken by the existing members when voting occurs at the AGM, if they are voted on by the members attending the AGM.
Our current Membership Secretary Ewen Robertson is willing to continue in 2024.
5: Junior Fishing for 2024 and SSER contribution.
No contribution has been forwarded from SSER for the Junior Fishing. Emails have been sent between SSER and Bidwells to clarify the situation, raise invoices etc. The contribution will be in 3 parts over 4 years and should be transferred to our BAC bank from the River Board. Jim Braithwaite will check with the board and the Secretary will contact SSER to see if we can approach the transfer in a different way.
6: Permit Changes for 2024.
After checking the accounts for 2022/2023, the committee has decided to ask the members for an increase on the fishing prices for next season.
The 2024 permits will have the Junior Rules incorporated.
Visitor permits have not sold as well this year as 2022. More contact information will be provided on the website for visitors. Grahams of Inverness are willing to sell our Firth tickets and may sell River tickets as well. Ticket sales are down from over £1000 to around £650 so we need to advertise these more.
The Committee are also considering making Returns on-line more accessible so members with computers can send them on-line and will not have to mail or drop their Returns in a box or letterbox manually.
So far we have 2 OAP Returns and 8 Senior Returns not returned and they have been contacted by mail and email. The catch numbers are not great with no Salmon landed this season.
One of our members has already put a question for the new committee at the AGM – what is happening with Loch Faddah? A couple of the committee have been trying to arrange a meeting with the owner of the land around the Loch, at Erchless Estate. We may have more information by the time of the AGM
9:Membership and Returns
Membership is down again from 2022 season with only 30 Seniors and 33 more senior members. Junior membership again stands at 30 and is steady despite many Junior not re-joining possibly as they get older but don’t want to join as an Intermediate.
10:Date for Committee Meeting after AGM.AGM is Nov 30th 7:30pm in the Lovat Arms, Beauly. An email will be sent out with an Agenda to as many members as can be listed, there will be an advert in the Inverness Courier, and on the BAC website and Facebook.
Rough dates for Committee meetings in 2024 are late January before the River Opening, April, July and November.
Jim Braithwaite has heard from the Board that the River Grading for 2024 is likely to be Category 1, but this is to be confirmed. The rates and Rateable Value have gone up to £2000 for the river and this is likely to affect the rental value of the River for next season. We are unsure of the criteria for the increased rating value of the River, especially given the catch numbers from the last few years.
====================================================================Minutes of BAC Committee Meeting 8th May 2023
1:Members Present. Iain Morrison, Jim Braithwaite, Karl Brocklehurst, Yorky Brocklehurst, Charlie Simpson, Derek McLean, Paul Summerlin
2:Apologies. Neil Mackenzie
3:Approval of Minutes . Derek McLean and Jim Braithwaite
4:Junior Fishing Rules.
Junior Rules were discussed from a list compiled by Yorky and the members present. This will be turned into an outer page to attach to the member’s Permit booklets and given to those Juniors who have joined. One big rule to add is about H&S so we will be providing protective eye wear and recommend every Junior also wears a hat. New rule were discussed by Yorky and set out for the Junior Permit. Another was that parents, guardians, etc. stay with their Junior member whilst attending the session. As well as Orrin, Yorky will be contacting an owner further up-river who has offered a Saturday or few for Junior members, but fly-fishing only. Iain asked that Yorky ask for any assistance he needs in running the Juniors. Yorky has a contact who would be willing to supervise and visit at the Junior sessions, no need for Yorky’s contact to become a Committee member.
5:Junior Competition and Senior Competition.
The Junior competition will take place towards the end of the season, date to be decided. Yorky was asked to put forward one of the Juniors to have a day on the Coul Water again this year. He will be starting the Orrin events this weekend and will put forward a name after that. The Orrin events will run on Sunday 11 – 2pm with no payment necessary -these events are funded by the Club. Outside these hours, members and juniors who fish the Orrin lochs should make the usual contribution into the box provided on the way out. The first event will occur on Sunday 14th May with a max per session of 10 Juniors.
As Neil was not able to attend this meeting, we could not determine a date for the Snr Comp yet, but Neil advised later he would check Achilty Lochs as a venue.
Watten fishing event is on 20th May with all boats now taken.
6:River Board and SSE contribution.
There were a few issues with the SSEN contribution to the Junior Fishings. The payment should have been made to our bank but has not come through yet. Jim Braithwaite will contact the River Board first as they should have seen the cheque before it gets sent over to the BAC bank account. If there is no satisfactory answer, the Secretary will contact the SSEN representative to enquire.
Jim will also be checking with the Board and SSEN about the river levels for this season in the hope we can avoid the low levels and very high levels in July which we saw last year. Jim was pleased to note that the fish lifts are running 3 times a day since April continuing throughout the season. There should be a meeting towards the end of May.
Jim and Yorky have not been able to arrange a meeting, but will be making another attempt soon to check about fishing on the Loch.
Trees in Beat 1: These are apparently protected, even when fallen. Alan Hogan at the Caravan Park is waiting for the Protection Office to contact him to give the go-ahead to remove the trees in the water. Unfortunately the Club is not able to cut them away ourselves – it has to be done by the owner of the land.
The Rateable Value of our water has come back from the assessor as £2000 per annum. This is the first time it has been re-assessed for 5 years. The committee thought this excessive and Jim will question the River Board about the formula to get a value and about raising an appeal.
The owner of the Caravan Park has asked our Chair Iain to ask members to refrain from fishing during the Beauly Buzz event on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th from 6pm to midnight. Notice to be added to the web page.
Membership at present stands at 19 Juniors, 28 Seniors and 32 Senior Citizens. A note has gone on to Facebook about the start of the Orrin sessions and we expect a few more Juniors to join.
A warning needs to be given to members using the car park and crossing the road to the stile or going over the bridge – the traffic is not very careful about pedestrians and can come over the bridge too quickly. A notice is to be printed and put on the BAC car park gate.
Next meeting: We will aim for early July unless anything extraordinary comes up.
BAC Committee Meeting 26th January 2023
1:Members Present. Iain Morrison, Neil Mackenzie, Derek Maclean, John Brocklehurst, Karl Brocklehurst, Paul Summerlin.
2:Apologies. Charlie Simpson.
3:Approval of Minutes from last meeting. All approved.
4: Membership numbers – Senior and Juniors – so far 5 Junior members, but Yorky didn’t expect many until April time just before the Junior Fishing begins. 35 Senior members joined – most of the are so they can access the Downie fishing.
Downie has some rods vacant but we expect these to fill as we approach Opening on the 11th February. We will collect the rod fees once we know what the cost will be from Bidwells. A Fish Returns sheet is needed for the Downie Hut and some scale sample packets from Ruth, the biologist.
5: River Opening on the 11th Feb.
Yorky has organised the piper. If Liam cannot make it, then his tutor is prepared to stand in. We have a donation from Ord Distillery to toast the river but regrettably no banners are ready yet. Yorky and Margaret will organise the refreshments and Jim the hot tea and coffee in the Fishing Hut.
As our Chairman will be away, Jim Braithwaite has agreed to deliver the toast and Frank Durdle will make the first official cast. Yorky has officially invited the Estate and we will be asking the local papers if they want to attend. A Newsletter is to be sent in the next couple of weeks to remind members of the Opening and to claim any spare rods on the Downie.
6: AOB .
Jim Braithwaite reported on the River Board meeting held just before Christmas. They were surprised at the success our Club has had with the Junior fishings. Jim said that unfortunately we had no safe place on the River for Juniors to practice once they developed into fly fishing. Some board members expressed they would like to offer some days on their water to the Club for Juniors and the Board will speak to other proprietors regards offering their water to Juniors from the Club. Jim also brought up the height of the water last season at peak fishing times – are there Hydro issues? Work was being performed on some of the dams structures but the water levels were very high for long periods. The Fish Lift timings have been extended by 10 days but the Committee were concerned that free access for fish should be 24×7 not limited to when the Hydro decided to run the fish lifts. This causes fish to get stuck between the dams and are not able to swim up or down river.
7: Next meeting. This is to be scheduled between 5th and 19th April, to discuss Junior Fishing.
BAC Committee Meeting Agenda 27th November 2022
1:Apologies. Charlie Simpson, Derek McLean, Karl Brocklehurst
2: Junior Fishing, rules, permits, etc.
Permit changes were checked and approved by the committee present with changes to the costs, dates and contacts. Ewen Robertson has agreed to become Membership Secretary to issue the new season Permits to members. The Permits details (free issues, professional issues and those requiring a surcharge for non Returns.
The Secretary will co-ordinate the Junior renewals.
Jim Braithwaite will organise the small laminated cards for the Senior and Junior members with the required telephone numbers on the reverse – numbers for the Chair, Secretary and Bailiff on the Senior and John Brocklehurst and Karl for the Junior laminates.
3: Banking and BACS:
Currently John Szarkiewicz is the co-signatory for cheques etc. The Secretary and Vice-Chair will replace him with John Brocklehurst remaining as Principal signatory. The Club will then be looking into BACS for direct payment of Permits etc. Yorky will continue as before paying in and collecting cash, cheques and paying invoices. A Club laptop could also be considered as we move into digital banking.
4:Permit for 2023 – Under 16 rule and general amendments:
This rule will go into the main permit and it was decided work on Junior rules would take place at the next Committee meeting and incorporate this into a Junior Rule book or an addenda to the main Permit – we should have approx. 150 booklets.
5: Opening Day ceremony was discussed – as Iain Morrison will not be able to attend, Jim Braithwaite has agreed to raise the toast to the River and further details to be organised at the next meeting. It was thought a raffle would be of interest raising some funds. The Downie fishing will also start on the 11th and the beats now run from the Bridge up to the Willow Pool. As before only paid-up members can apply for a rod with the Downie Syndicate which will be non-transferable, although members can swap with other paid-up members for fishing on a different day to that chosen initially. A newsletter late December contain details of the opening ceremony and Downie Fishing to be sent out.
6: Rents: Following discussions at the AGM, John Brocklehurt has now agreed with the Lovat Estate to have a rent of £2400 + VAT for 2 years. The Estate want a rent of £2500 + VAT for the subsequent 3 years but the Chair and Treasurer will discuss when signing off for the first 2 years – especially as there is to be a re-assessment of the rateable value for the River next year. The Club will be asking about maintenance of The Ferry, bank maintenance and lies.
7: Next meeting? Thursday 26th January 2023