Thank you for buying a permit and supporting fishing on the River Tyne.
You are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the ELAA at 7.30pm on Monday 24th January 2005 in the Town House in Haddington. On the agenda will be important issues on the future management of the fishing on the river. The AGM is your opportunity to have your say. Make sure your voice is heard.
After 2003, which was one of the driest for many years, the 2004 season also started with fairly low water levels. However by mid-summer the picture had changed with a series of hefty spates which kept water levels high throughout most of the season. This meant that when the water was not a dirty brown torrent, there was some excellent fishing to be had, although it was again noted that the hatches we would normally expect to see in the summer did not really get started – especially lacking were the large numbers of blue-winged olives.
Spate at East Linton
Some 680 permits were sold in the 2004 season, which represents around a 30% increase in permit sales over the 2003 season.
There were a number of reports of sizeable fish taken with at least 6 anglers reporting catching brown trout of over 2lbs.
The high water conditions from mid-July onwards also helped get large numbers of sea trout into the river, and the same conditions also spread them right through the river, which might have made them more difficult to find. Even so, there were reports of 15 caught, of which, encouragingly, 10 were released. The best reported was 4.5lbs, although anyone who fishes the Tyne regularly will know there are much larger sea trout in the river to be caught.
In 2004 the Association gained access to the fishing at Tyninghame, on both banks from the Knowes Weir down to the North Berwick road bridge, and on the south bank only from the bridge down to the John Muir country park. This is a really interesting stretch of river with great potential. We think it was probably responsible for a number of the extra permit sales. There certainly was a great deal of fishing effort there throughout the season, and there were plenty of sea trout to be seen. The fishing at Tyninghame will continue to be on the permit for the 2005 season.
High tide upstream of the John Muir park
Wild Trout Trust
The Association organised an advisory visit to the river from the Wild Trout Trust. The visit took place on 16th July and was carried out by Ron Holloway of the WTT accompanied by a number of interested Association members. A number of areas on the river were studied, starting at the Birns Water and ending up at Knowes Weir. Overall the report was very encouraging about the state of the river and gave us some useful pointers for the future. A copy of the report can be found on our website at www.elaa.co.uk.
Ron Holloway of the WTT (right) and Committee members at Birns Water
The Committee has put together a management plan for the river Tyne over the next few years. The plan is based to a large extent on the recommendations from the WTT, but also reflects our own views on issues such as maintaining access to the fishing. The plan will be on the agenda for the AGM and we would welcome your views. If you are not able to attend you can write to the secretary with your views or email via the website. A copy of the plan is attached to this newsletter. Please take a minute to read it through.
The river was stocked twice in 2004, with 675 fish between 9” and 11” being put in at various locations in April and the same again in August, producing a total of some 1350 stocked fish altogether. The fish came from a new supplier and although they are not marked in any way, a number of anglers commented on the good condition of the fish.
All anglers purchasing a season ticket were asked to complete a Catch Return to indicate how many of these stocked trout and other fish were caught. The Association again offered prizes in a draw of all returned cards but only 14% of anglers returned catch cards. It is very important that we are able to assess the distribution and size of the fish and we have a legal obligation to report on migratory fish caught. The Catch Returns are the main way of doing this, so we would urge everyone to complete and return a card next season.
The good news is that at long last East Lothian Council are doing some work to improve the fish pass at the Cascades. This is very welcome and is undoubtedly due to the letters and reminders to the Council from Association members over recent years. We hope the end result is a fish pass that will allow migratory fish access to the upper river throughout the season.
Committee members continued to clear stretches of the river bank to enable access to the fishing. As well as the undergrowth, fallen trees and flood debris that is to be expected, there continues to be a disappointing amount of litter left on the banks. Please do not leave discarded nylon and beer cans etc on the banks as this gives the Association a bad name and could lose us the fishing. Take your litter home. If you see litter, pick it up and bin it – don’t just leave it. Discarded nylon, especially, can injure wildlife.
Work starts at last on the Cascades fish pass
Join the Committee
If you’re interested in helping look after the fishing on the Tyne, why not join the Committee? Just come along to the AGM and put your name forward. Without the work of the Committee there would be no Association, and maybe no access to fishing on the Tyne.
See you on 24 January at the AGM.