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The Jim Boyd Fishing Reports
Lake of Menteith
Report 29th March 2011
Clarity 2.1m Water Temperature at 6ft 6C.
Another good weather opening day brought out the best in the Lake. The new fishing season was declared open by the Port’s most senior community member, Helen Armstrong (pictured left). Helen moved here 70 years ago at the age of 22, when she married into the village Armstrong Clan. Helen remarked that the “Lake of Menteith Fisheries provides fishing activities enjoyed by the young and the forever young, on this historic lake, within these beautiful surroundings”. Thanks also to piper Stewart Marshall for his excellent piping.
New Record Opening Day Catch
Despite a drop in pre-season stocking compared to last year, a new record catch was set and this may be attributable to increased catch and release in 2010. In total 674 fish were caught by the 36 boats, 481 were released and 215 were weighed in for 459lbs. There were plenty of overwintered fish in the catches, one boat which caught and returned 26 fish, said that over 20 were overwintered. The main catches of overwintered fish were further out from the shore – especially off the road shore (otherwise known as out in the middle). The best fish (right) of 7lbs 8oz was taken by George Beattie of Edinburgh (photo J.Boyd). The fish were caught on a variety of tactics (boobie, blob, buzzers, cormorants etc) and were not deep in the water.
Beware road closures between Rob Roy Hotel and Gartmore due to resurfacing (www.stirling.gov.uk/roadclosures)
Coulam In-built Electric Review.
Another point of interest
concerning the day was a public airing of Jim Coulam’s new boat complete with in built electric engine. The boat (pictured right) with delivery and sales helper (Ronald Orr) is powered by two large batteries below the central thwart, which are charged in situ. We have had the boat out for three days (24hrs) fishing without the battery being recharged (admittedly in flat calm conditions). This design is highly appealing to the discerning angler and fishery manager. The price tag (around the £7K mark) is the down side but the boat is certainly well designed and the manufacturers have estimated that using 3 phase white meter to recharge, charging costs would be 90p or 30-45p per day, giving possibly big energy savings relative to petrol. All who have tried the boat have given it rave reviews. It is quiet, economical, very probably more reliable than a petrol outboard, easy to operate versus a 4 stroke petrol outboard and drifts well. We were scratching our heads to think of a drawback and all we could come up with was the difficulty in rescuing a still intact fly line from the prop.
We have taken the decision to start selling a limited amount of terminal angling tackle at the fishery. This will include flies, nylon, lines etc.
Preseason Report 21st March 2011
Clarity 2.5m Water Temperature at 6ft 4.5C.
With the weather turning mild, it feels good to be getting the fishing season under way after a particularly long and quiet winter. The big news is that a new 20 year lease has finally been agreed for the fishery hut and car park which means that appropriate development plans, including a permit office and integral café, can now proceed.
Over the winter the website has been updated and we have new sections on catch and release, coaching and pike angling. This year we are trying to get new people into angling by way of Group Coaching Taster days. The group will involve a maximum teaching ratio of 6 clients per coach and includes tackle hire, boat hire and angling permit. Expert Tuition will be given in all aspects of the sport; tackle, casting, catching tips (and releasing) and boat handling. There are six courses planned for 2011 but this is subject to demand – see website coaching pages for further details. As an enticement to get your mates involved we are offering a 50% off deal on a day boat to the course candidate’s introducer (can be the candidate if they read about it first). We are also increasing the opportunities for pike fly fishing which will now be available on Monday and Thursday Evenings and by arrangement with the manager, when the fishery is quiet, during the day. Free introductory pike tuition and equipment hire is available (please contact the manager) for your first session.
The ice was with us for 66 days this winter – two or three weeks less than the winter of 2009/2010. It was a bit of surprise when the ice broke up, it was still 4-5 inches thick, but the severe gales at the start of February worked on the open water at the Portend Burn mouth, and the rotten ice gave way, taking a lot of reeds with it (see left). Last winter’s early onset and the particularly cold December meant that growth in the ponds was slower than in last year’s winter. Thus the initial stock fish weight will be around 1.75lb. There will be a fair number of them and they are excellent looking fish. The browns and some bigger bows will go in on Wednesday 23rd. 1800 fish in total will go in prior to opening day. The Ark well boat is loaded on Tuesday with stock fish in Gateside Bay (below).
Angling Tactics for the opening day will be to concentrate on the eastern basin from Reedy Point to Lochend. Popular methods will include mini-lures, boobies and buzzers on a variety of lines, probably not fished too deep.
Catch and Release
Catch and release has increased over the years at the Lake and this has improved the sport available to anglers in a sustainable way. With fish becoming scarcer annually, the fishery would like to see this trend continue, and if possible for anglers to adopt (at your discretion) a lower fish kill limit than the fishery maximum. Please refer to our catch and release web page for further information.
Our opening day is the 26th March and afterwards anglers are invited to join us for the Chairman’s Dinner at the Forth Inn. Looking forward to catching up. Tight Lines! Quint Glen
Week Ending 10th May 2009
The great news is that the Lake of Menteith is back in business. After being closed for over two weeks due to an unexplained major fish kill anglers will be delighted and relieved to learn that the Lake of Menteith re-opened for business yesterday.
Last Thursday, Professor Ronald Roberts president of the World Aquatic Vetinary Medical Association and Chair of Fish Health and Welfare at the European Food Safety Association, visited the fishery where he reviewed all of the reports and results from the various agencies who have been involved in the investigations. He also collected material from fish for his own tests which included cooking and eating a sample of fish from the affected area.
The meteorological history of the previous few weeks coupled with the nature of the Lake, which is somewhat eutrophic compared to traditional Scottish lochs and is generally shallow but with one particularly deep area, suggests that there has been a significant toxic event related to water quality. There is no evidence from the pathology of the fishes that there has been any infection.
The fish were, overall, in excellent condition. Prof. Roberts's opinion is that the most likely cause would be an upwelling of toxic anaerobic organic matter, gases and bacterial toxins from the very cold benthic areas of the deepest part of the Lake which is adjacent to where the first and most serious moralities occurred.
In his report Prof. Roberts concluded "This was a very temporary situation and there is now no evidence of any such contaminants remaining. Such events are rare and I have not personally experienced them to recur. I am now confident that all of the factors leading to this unfortunate event will now be dissipated. I am therefore happy to recommend that the fishery is now likely to be safe to open and that there should be no problem with successful anglers consuming their catch"