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Chairman and Secretary Report for Season 2019

 

Once again, it’s that time of the year.

A good friend of mine tells me that the time between one Hogmanay and the next seems to be getting shorter, I think he is correct.

The DDAA AGM is just around the corner where questions will be asked and answers given, wherever possible. Tales of fish caught and lost, killer flies, and hot spots on the lochs will abound, all a bit fishy.

I hope you all had a successful season and managed to get out as often as possible, as the weather we experienced was a great deal more favourable than in 2018.

The figures produced from our records indicate there were less outings in 2019 compared to 2018, but the total catches on returned permits shows more fish caught in 2019.

Leases for the lochs in the association’s portfolio have been agreed with the respective owners, Mr William Thompson and Mr Ken Greenland, for a further term, all on very reasonable terms.

Access to Loch Laro, depending how the proposed pylon line scheme from Lairg to the Loch Bhuidhe substation progresses, may be inaccessible due to construction work in the area. Secretary, Richard Dickenson, is due to attend a meeting with SSE in Lairg at the end of January when, hopefully, further information on the project will become known.

The new boat trailer, purchased at the beginning of the season, certainly made the movement of the boats to and from Loch Brora, Lannsaidh and Balloan more manageable. Less manual handling for the old boys. We store boats and other equipment at Balloan farm, with the kind permission of Patrick Murray, whom we are greatly indebted to for allowing us to use this facility. 

As is the norm, over the past years, minor damage to the boats and oars has occurred with repairs effected as necessary. When any of the equipment is damaged it is imperative to report the damage as soon as possible, so that repairs or replacement of the damaged equipment can be carried out and that the next person to hire the equipment is not disappointed.

President Bill Rose supervised the stocking programme of Loch Lannsaidh, Laoigh and Ghuibhais.   A weekend fishing (catch and keep) on Loch Laggain produced a few brownies to supplement the stocking programme. 2019 was the last year that we were permitted to transfer fish from Laggain to Laoigh. 

The competition convenor, Michael Banks, had been busy organising competitions and outings for the members. Unfortunately, the Clarkson outing to Loch Brora had to be cancelled in advance, this due to high winds forecast, and for once they were right. The convenor’s work does not stop there, as the guidelines for determining the winners of the various competitions and outings needed to be updated ensuring that all dubiety is removed, when determining who gets what at the weigh-ins. Michael has produced a document which is now available on the Association web site for your attention.

If the weather conditions are adverse, during the evening competitions on the first Friday in May, June and July on Loch Lannsaidh, the intention is to have a boat and boatman available to ferry competitors to various areas of the loch to make it more fishable and enjoyable.

Proprietors and staff of the Eagle Hotel have continued to administer the permits and boat hire for the association. This season 2020, fishing equipment, rods, reels etc will be available for hire from the hotel. A further four tagged fish will be introduced to Loch Lannsaidh, sponsored by the hotel, with the same reward as previous years.  For every fish caught and the tag returned to the hotel a £25 voucher will be exchanged, this is to purchase food and/ or drink in the premises. By all accounts there has only been one tagged fish caught to date

Thanks to all the volunteers and committee members who assisted with the various tasks undertaken throughout the season and a special thank you to American member Steve Saal for his generosity.

Finally the association has had another good season, membership numbers steady, hovering around the 135 mark. Continuous improvements to the equipment owned, and facilities available to the members, this is the aim of your Committee.

Tight lines for 2020

Hamish Macrae.

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