Many thanks to all those who have signed up for this e-mail newsletter. Communications are crucial to the well-being of all good clubs and I’m convinced that this will go a long way to keeping members informed, encouraging other anglers to join us and to maintaining morale. Spread the word to fellow members – the more the merrier!
Morale should also be boosted by the news that the Inverness Common Good Fund has agreed to award the club a grant of £9,500 for the second successive year. This is the result of a lot of hard work by club office bearers and is vital to rebuilding our financial reserves and ensuring a stable financial future.
A worrying sign, however, is the slow recruitment of members for 2016 – well below the figures achieved for 2015. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, please do so as soon as possible. This is the time of year when the club has to pay its biggest bills!
Salmon are now being caught on the Ness system. Surprisingly, the first was landed from the Ness-Side beat rather than the spring rivers of the Moriston, Garry and Oich. But rods bent into fresh fish on Loch Ness and the Moriston soon after. So get your fly or lure into the water; it’s the only way to reap the rewards of our healthy system – no matter what the category might be…!
As before, tight lines – wherever you are fishing.
Graham Mackenzie, President IAC
Council supports club
A detailed Business Plan – demonstrating IAC’s achievements in 2015 and targets for 2016 – has helped convince Inverness Common Good Fund to award the club a grant of £9,500 for the second year running. The application won unanimous support from councillors.
“This is great news for the club and its members,” said President Graham Mackenzie, “and confirms the strength of councillors' continuing support for the club and its activities. Our finances remain fragile andprovided membership numbers are not critically depleted, this grant will help us to continue rebuilding our reserves. We need reserves of around twice our annual expenditure to enable us to survive any sudden drop in membership and income.”
With the council’s help, and moderate fee increases, finances are looking fairly good for this year. But there is no guarantee that the club will secure further help from the Common Good Fund. So 2015 members need to renew their tickets for 2016 as soon as possible - and by March 31 at the latest. Renewals from April 1 will be charged an extra £20.
And please encourage others to join the club. How many are willing to take the challenge below…..?
Take the challenge, help your club
Here’s a challenge for all club members – a challenge that will help the club and should give members a great deal of personal satisfaction. If just half of senior members recruited one new member this year, club membership and income problems would be resolved. This can include anglers who have not been members for five years, at £100, or those who have not been members for two to four years, at £160. Application forms can be downloaded from the club’s web site. All members who recruit a new member will be listed in a Roll of Honor in this Newsletter.
Membership renewal falls
It would appear that the Scottish Government’s misguided imposition of mandatory catch and release on the Ness System is having an impact on Inverness Angling Club’s membership recruitment.
Senior membership numbers by mid-February totalled 65 compared to 96 at the same period of 2015. Other membership categories, with the 2015 in brackets, were 10 associates (15), 24 concessionaries (31), nil intermediates (1), 27 juniors (31), one lady (1) and two sea trout (0). Total membership was 129 compared to 173 at the same period of 2015.
Angling generates over £50,000 for the City of Inverness
Anglers boost city income
Visiting anglers were worth over £52,000 to the City of Inverness in 2015. These are estimated figures based on the conclusions of a 1984 study into the economic impact of game and coarse fishing in Scotland. IAC sold permits for 283 visitor days in 2015. The 1984 study estimated expenditure by anglers visiting the Highlands at £185.78 per day, giving an estimated impact of £52,575.74. A new Scottish Government study currently underway is likely to identify a substantial increase in impact values.
And so to law….!
Legislation was laid in the Scottish Parliament on February 23 to introduce a package of conservation measures to manage the exploitation of Atlantic salmon. The measures come into force on March 31 this year and take effect from April 1. Key aspects of the regulations laid are:
Killing beyond estuary limits will be prohibited for three years due to the mixed stock nature of the fishery and limited data on the composition of the catch.
The killing of Atlantic salmon in inland waters will be managed on an annual basis by categorising fishery districts by their conservation status.
A requirement to have a Conservation Plan irrespective of the conservation status.
The introduction of carcass tagging for net-caught fish for areas in category 1 and 2 which are to be sold commercially. The costs of producing the tags will, in the first instance, be subsumed by Marine Scotland.
Help for clubs
The Scottish Government has announced that up to £100,000 of support will be made available to help angling clubs in fishery districts where the catch and release of salmon will be mandatory.
Environment minister Aileen McLeod has recognised the potential impact that mandatory catch and release will have on angling clubs that are already facing declining membership numbers.
“To help mitigate the potential impact of these measures, I will be funding a two-year program to support angling clubs that need assistance in promoting catch and release as a sustainable and responsible practice. Marine Scotland will appoint a partner organisation to provide direct assistance and practical support to angling clubs.” But no mention of direct financial assistance to angling clubs has been made; we await further details. Dr McLeod also promised to consider any additional information that might support a re-categorisation of a fishery district.
Ness pushes for upgrade
IAC president Graham Mackenzie has been involved in high-level meetings to persuade the Scottish Government to reverse the decision to place the entire Ness System in Category 3. The club is working with River Ness proprietors David Sutherland and Donald Macdonald, assisted by local MSP Fergus Ewing, in a joint attempt to upgrade the system to Category 2. Further meetings are scheduled with Scottish Government advisors and BBC Radio Scotland has featured in-depth interviews with the Ness representatives.
Nairn lease ends
The IAC committee has unanimously decided not to renew its lease of the Forestry Commission fishings on the River Nairn at Daviot. The lease fell for renewal in February.
Treasurer and interim secretary Gordon Smith explained: “The lease and fishery board assessment was costing us over £800 per season yet the beat was being fished by very few people, despite the club making special access arrangements in August and September of last year. In our current financial circumstances, we must make savings to avoid increasing costs for members.”
Got a story to tell?
Have you seen or been involved in a news event? Is something significant, bizarre or unusual happening that could affect IAC? Have you got a story to tell or is there something you think we should follow up?
E-mail your stories and pictures to email@example.com In some cases your images may be used on the IAC website or publications.
If we use your material, we will publish your name as you provide it, unless you ask us not to. But we will never publish your e-mail address.
Fishing at heart
The competition, on Saturday, April 2, will charge an entry fee of £20 to cover a five-hour, two-fish competition, and lunch. By securing sponsors, Alex hopes anglers will raise significant sums, all of which will be donated to the Cardiology Unit. Entry forms are available from Alex (Tel: 07810 007691) or at Achagour Fishery. A selection of valuable prizes should stimulate keen competition.
Club anglers will form the heart of a fairly substantial gathering at Achagour Trout Fishery next month for a charitable event to raise funds for the Cardiology Unit at Raigmore Hospital. The event is being launched by club member Alex Elliott, who suffered a major heart attack last year. He was treated at Raigmore Hospital prior to being transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where he underwent a successful triple heart bypass.
Another big fish for Alex, the trouting master
Club loses popular member
It is with great sadness that the club reports the death of Tommy Horne, a keen member and popular figure at the Little Isle hut ‘gathering place’, where he will be greatly missed. Tommy was widely known for his dedication to rescuing birds of prey, many of which he introduced to a wide public with regular displays in Eastgate, Inverness. He became heavily involved in training an eagle owl at his rescue centre in Croy, and in trying to capture another eagle owl that spent several weeks flying around the Hill district of Inverness.