Beauly Angling Club

December Newsletter 2018

Dear Members,
 This newsletter is to update you on the 2018 season, the AGM and changes in terms of the 2019 season.

The Returns
We had around a 97% rate of returns so thank you.   As people will know for the 2018 season the river was entirely catch and release. It was a poor season in general and specifically a poor season for the Club. The returns for the season were 12 salmon/grilse and 7 sea trout.

 The Trophies
The Matheson Cup (biggest salmon) was shared by Frank Durdle, Albert Sutherland and John Szarkiweicz, all of whom caught a 7lb fish.

The Tommy Mightens Seatrout Trophy was shared by Mike MacDonald and Charley Simpson both of whom caught a 2lb fish.

The Watten Trophies: 1) The Frank Durdle Cup for the best Boat was won by Jim Braithwaite and David Scovell,
2) The William McWhinney Memorial Cup – best bag was won by Jim Braithwaite.

No one won the Tom Fraser Trophy ( for biggest fish in the Clubs Competition) since there was only one small fish caught. And the Junior Trophy (The Ferguson Cup) for best trout in competition was not competed for since we have changed the way we work with juniors. We will however be looking at how this trophy might be used in future.

 The Juniors
The Committee decided to change the Club’s approach to involving juniors. Instead of a Competition we decided to run Junior Fish Days; these would consist of Juniors fishing a stocked loch using bubble floats and sweet corn – the idea being to ensure the youngsters caught fish. At the same time we set up fly rods and gave individual youngsters casting tuition. The result was 3 very successful events at the Orrin Fishery near Muir of Ord. The Club paid to stock the Loch and Yorky recruited the youngsters. Each event last for around 2/3 hours. The result was that 22 young people took part over the 3 days.   All the young people caught fish. It is our intention to run more such events during 2019 including at other venues as well as at the Orrin.

Many thanks to Yorky and to all those who helped. This includes the NBFT who gave us a donation of £100 and in exchange we provided a couple of places for the young people they work with.

 The Fees
At the AGM a proposal was put forward that Senior Citizens, who currently only have to give a donation, should pay a concessionary rate and that this would be 50% of the full membership rate – so currently £35.00. This was voted on and carried by the meeting. It will take effect for the 2019 season. The basic reason for this was that the Club has been losing paying members (not helped by the river being catch and release) and is starting to lose money.

There will be no other changes in fees for the 2019 Season.

Category of River
Currently it is proposed that the Beauly be a Category 1 River. This has been out for consultation and we should have the full results early in the New Year. However, having spoken to people, who should know, there is a sense that Cat 1 is likely to be the outcome.

What this means is that under The Conservation of Salmon (Annual Close Time and Catch and Release) (Scotland) Regulations 2014, it is an offence to retain any salmon caught before 1 April. By law, all fish must be released. Every effort should be made to ensure no harm is caused to fish prior to release.

However scale samples have shown that spring fish are running in May and early June. So as to protect the spring the BAC has set a policy of catch and release for all fish up to 30th of June.

Fishery Board recommends that from 1st JULY – 15 th OCTOBER release all hen fish of any size and all cock fish over 7lbs (66cm/26 inches) Retain only one cock fish under 7lbs per angler per week with a maximum of three per season. All coloured and unseasonable fish should be released. Note as previously discussed this is a recommendation from the Board that they will apply to their waters – the Committee also recommend it to Club members.

Sea Trout – all fish under three quarters of a pound (30cm/12 inches) to be returned. The Board has set the numbers which be taken etc. for the Downie – see below – and we recommend the same.

Despite the fact that much of the above are recommendation; members should remember the pain of being a Cat 3 river and behave accordingly.

Other Fishing
The Downie: The Club has again secured the opportunity to fish this superb beat from 11th Feb. to end of March. This is open to Club Members only so before you can book you need to have paid your membership. Please contact club secretary Dave Sellers (01463 831721) to book your days – he will be taking bookings from Dec. 7th. First come first served

Conservation policy for the Downie – Release all finnock of 1 pound (35cm/14 inches) or less. Release all sea trout of 3 pounds (50cm/20 inches) or above Retain only two fish per angler per week with a maximum of six per season. All coloured and unseasonable fish should be released (smolts, celts, over-wintered finnock)

 Loch Fada. We no longer have the lease to fish this loch so sadly can no longer fish it.   The Club are keen to find other trout water so all proposals are welcome.

The permit will come in two parts – a plastic card with your number on it and a booklet which will contain the Rules, map, useful numbers, return slip, etc. The plastic card can be obtained from now on from the address below. The booklet will only be available once we know for sure the standing of the river so probably February.

The constitution will be available on line on the BAC website. If you cannot access the internet – then let Dave Sellers know and he will send you a copy.

The Ness And Beauly Trust
 Last year Club members took part in the bird count. The result of this is that the number of fish eating birds counted increased. The kill policy for this year has gone up from 2 to 12. Hopefully we will be doing the count this year.

The Invasive Species Project.
With this Newsletter comes a letter from Diego de Villar (the new biologist at NBFT) explaining the Project and asking for volunteers. The Trust will be providing training.

Tight lines and a better season

Wendy Harpe

18 Croyard Drive,
Beauly, IV4 7EE