Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Loch level

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Loch level

Photo 01 - Is this summer??
Loch level
The loch is currently very low exposing some areas that require caution. The soft sand adjacent to the north bank of the Megget, the area from the village hall to the graveyard where sudden drop offs into very deep water are now apparent. John Wright and I carried out a rough measurement using the council’s depth gauge and found that the current level was around six inches below the new proposed lower loch level contained in the St Mary’s Loch option as part of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme.
The worry is that if after the implementation of this scheme, the shoreline in times of prolonged drought will be adjacent to a number of areas where there is a sharp drop off into some very deep water, in some cases of around 60ft! Are we to see the erection of safety signs warning picnickers/anglers of this situation? Such signs would surely have an impact on our fishing and visits by people seeking a day’s outing at the lochs. Not erecting such signs could well be construed as negligence leading to a tragedy! I have already made the group aware of this situation, and will invite them to take a walk around the loch to see for themselves the potential danger involved with this situation! If this situation comes about the loch could be a very dangerous place indeed!
I will write to Keith Robeson our spokesman on the steering group explaining the concerns we have as a club. Yesterday the rain was absolutely lashing down (again), why is this always the case on a Saturday? Anyway this morning the Tweed is huge and coloured, it will be interesting to see how the rain has affected the loch level.
Photo 02 - Its gie low!
Inter club Competition
The competition has now been completed and the two teams competing in the final were Kelso and Duns. The winners this year were Duns Angling club with six fish to Kelso’s four. Yet another feather in the cap for Davie Mitchell, the secretary of Selkirk AA. Davie puts in a tremendous amount of work every year in organising this event. Speaking to him on Tuesday, he intimated that for next year it may be permissible to use electric engines.
Be Prepared
Peter informed me yesterday of a father and son who came to fish on Thursday and had to abandon their outing due to the anglers curse, the infernal Midge!
Do not underestimate these insects because when in full attack mode they can be a source of immense discomfort and send a burly six footer into a sprint to his car for sanctuary! Our recommended dealers have much to help this situation so pay them a visit and give yourself a break. I find that “Schoo” and Avon’s “Skin So Soft” to be reasonably effective and couple this with a net and you can fish in reasonable comfort. Always remember however to remove your net when entering a retail establishment or they will probably think you are a bank robber and take appropriate action!
Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative Update
A very interesting meeting of the group took place on Tuesday night. Kenny Galt the TTGI biologist giving an outline of the movements of Sea Trout in the catchment. In particular he outlined the movement of one Tweed Sea Trout which was caught on the Yorkshire coast by an angler fly fishing for Mackerel last week!
From the tag on the fish the scientists were able to discern that the fish was tagged in July 2010, had been upriver and spawned and when caught, was probably on its way home to the catchment to spawn again. I’m going to try and persuade Kenny to arrange for a couple of Smolts from the loch to be tagged so we can monitor their movements!
It was also very interesting to hear of some of the Trout monitoring that takes place in the catchment. It is during the second year of life that the fastest portion of growth takes place when the Trout descends into the river (in our case the loch) and begins to pack on weight!
A Trout at the end of its second year often grows to around 8 inches in length, a period of very intense growth. This rate of growth slows down from this point on and is never seen again unless the Trout switches to eating other fish! Matilda our much reported cannibal Trout was a Trout in this category. She recorded great growth brought on by devouring Pike dead baits and no doubt other fish that she was able to capture. Incidentally she has not been seen for over a year and it looks very much like she was captured and taken by a desperate angler which if true would be a real shame!
Yes there is much good work taking place initiated by this group. We hope to become more involved with this work with a view to having more work centred on the lochs. How much better it is to move forward on a factual base rather than the ranting of loudmouth fools and self proclaimed experts!
There is still an opportunity for anyone interested to attend the Electrofishing exercise on Tuesday 27th of July. If you would like to be part of this project mail me on stmarysloch@gmail.com .
Photo 03 - A white root exposed by a water channel.
The Willow Tree
Have a look at the photo (03) which shows a Willow planted around 5 weeks ago. Already new leaves are appearing and note the length of the root it has sent out. It’s not simply by chance, but by design that this species is the most prolific around the loch, it is also one of the most useful growing right up to and even in the water. It is a species most attractive to insects and in summer you will notice a large number of Warblers and other species picking off insects which will be of much use to our young stock.
Alasdair the club secretary has obtained the required quotes from suppliers to supply our trees. It has been suggested to him that autumn would be the next suitable time for planting. At this time we will be making calls to obtain the required member assistance with this project
U Turn!
I was pleased to see the latest u turn by the bunglers that are the Con-dems, in particular George Osborne minister without a clue! Cutting coastguard stations to three would have been catastrophic. The new total of eleven seems much more realistic! Everyone accepts a degree of austerity is needed; these out of touch millionaire fools would have us living back in Victorian times with wages and conditions to match!

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