Sunday, 26 January 2014

Livebaiting!


Photo 01 - Visitor John Moralee with a stonker!
 
Livebaiting!

I had an interesting discussion with a visiting angler a few weeks ago during which he lamented the current ban on fishing with livebaits. He thought the ban restricted his sport and was at a loss to understand why it had come about. He stated that livebaiting was never his first choice only being used when other methods did not return results.

I know there are many who take a similar view but I firmly believe that the ban is a right and proper thing to do for the following reasons. Angling is ever increasingly coming onto the radar of the anti angling brigade and livebaiting is near the top of their agenda. It would be difficult to defend sticking a set of hooks into an otherwise unharmed fish and sentence it to death by attack from another predatory species. Even worse would be attracting no such interest as described above and allowing death to be a slow process by damage to internal organs or septicaemia.

The second reason is an environmental one and one that is increasingly leading to loss of biodiversity! Yes over four or five decades species of fish have been turning up in lochs all over the country and species that are not native to that water! Pike anglers have been responsible for much of this often tipping the remaining livebaits after a session into the water being fished introducing new species sometimes with devastating results!                         

One need only look to Loch Lomond where Ruffe (Pope) and in Lake Windermere where Roach are causing mayhem with indigenous species! The Ruffe in Lomond reproduce very effectively and are slowly eradicating the rare whitefish called Powan eating the eggs and severely reducing the year recruitment. In Windermere Roach are multiplying at an alarming rate in the eutrophic south basin. It has been suggested to climate change and increasing water temperature allows the alien invaders to increase breeding success competing with the nationally important endangered species of Arctic Charr indigenous to the lake! You might have thought that resident Pike would keep the invaders in check but Ruffe are so unpalatable with their huge spines and in the correct conditions Roach breeding like rats are too numerous for the Pike to deal with!

That great damage has been done is beyond contention, so far attempts to discover new selective poisons that target the alien invaders have not come up with a suitable product. Only time will tell how these endangered species fare, what is more worrying however is that if climate change continues introduced species will become a huge problem! This is because there are many bodies of water that contain these alien invaders but the habitat provided by those waters is at present not conducive to normal breeding.

Once these waters heat up by a few degrees and oligotrophic waters become mesotrophic or even eutrophic then biodiversity will be under real and a possible terminal threat! This move in habitat will provide the appropriate environment for these invaders to thrive and out compete the respective endangered species! imagine every loch and lake populated by Roach and only Roach, it does not bear thinking about! For this reason livebaiting had to be stopped, the sport of a few anglers cannot be considered above the need to maintain biodiversity and protecting endangered species!

Photo 02 - The usual Saturday swell!
 
The countdown begins!

In approximately seven weeks the 2014 Brown Trout season begins and earlier this week I took some time out to examine my tackle in readiness for the day. On checking the 1955 Carter of London split cane rod I was pleased to note that all the rings were intact and secure and the finish on the blank was intact with no signs of cracking or peeling. I had decided at the time of the rebuild to use Isocyanate automotive lacquer with a plasticiser added. It looks like it was a good choice, the finish being flexible and hardwearing and was achieved in two spray sessions!  I mentioned at the end of last season that the cork handle had worn in some parts, I have decided to leave this be as it is a comfortable handle and a new one would undoubtedly require some bedding in.

On examining my fly lines all were ok with the exception of the floating one which had a few cuts in it doubtless where I had stood upon it during furtive casting spurts. This damage is non repairable and the only solution is to replace it with a new one. I have again opted for a mid price Airflo as I find the flexibility and shooting characteristics to be good without resorting to silly money. The other lines were just cleaned and had conditioner applied to keep them supple for the coming season.

Flies were examined and any that had partially unwound or showed signs of rusting were consigned to the rubbish bin. Casts that were on my carrier were also discarded and new ones ordered to replace them, it would be a tragedy to lose a good fish over the price of a few pence, and in addition it’s an excuse to visit Turnbull’s our recommended tackle dealer in the town to see new products available. The reel’s were also stripped and cleaned and new grease applied to keep them running smoothly. So come midweek my tackle will be stashed ready for the new season, roll on the 15th of March!

Meetings and a proposed car park!

We received notice this week that our meeting regarding fish poaching which was to be held on Friday coming has been cancelled due to some of the participants being unable to attend. This is of little consequence as there is plenty time before the Muppet season begins with the advent of good weather. The meeting will hopefully be rescheduled for the following week.  The meeting will be attended by  police including the areas wildlife officer and two employees of the river Tweed Commission.  We have also received notification that the flood protection scheme meeting will be held in St Mary’s Hall on the 26th of February 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Any interested member may attend.

At this meeting those attending will be told of the transfer of ownership of the land owned by Scottish Water around the regulator to Scottish Borders Council.  The field currently inhabited by Arrabella the mare is to have the fence removed and the land put to some other use. The default position is that it be turned into a car park although locals will be asked to propose any other use they think might fit the bill. My own view is that yes a few parking spaces should be provided but that the rest of the field be retained for use by the horse if this is in keeping with the owners wish. This mild mannered affable equine is a favourite with families who visit the loch and brings many visitors to the area.

There would be a few problems associated with a car park in this area, it is situated next to the regulator where very deep and fast flowing water is situated and the barriers are most definitely not childproof! Similarly the Yarrow as it leaves the loch is very fast flowing in medium or high water and currently no fencing is present in this area!

The area can be frequently waterlogged and it is inevitable that someone will get their vehicle stuck, who will rescue them? I am assuming that the council will not have funds to tarmac the area although the “refurbishment” currently taking place in Galashiels would tend to suggest otherwise! A car park in this area will undoubtedly lead to more people traversing the road to Bowerhope and I am none too sure the residents there would welcome that! There would also be more litter even if bins are provided and of course there is the potential for drunken louts to take over the area leading to many difficulties! We will see what further transpires.
Photo 03 - The best bit of the day lasted half an hour!

The wider world in my view!

Puppets in meltdown!

It has most definitely been a very poor week for Puppet Clegg and his band of lying puppets! Yes Lord Rennard accused of molesting women has refused to resign from the failing party in defiance of Puppet Clegg. Of course the matter should have been investigated as soon as it had taken place Puppet Clegg for whatever reason did not do so!

Similarly sex pest Puppet Hancock who had been allowed to continue in his position despite the serious matters laid at his door. It looks like that in this case matters will proceed to criminal proceedings. Yet again Puppet Clegg is found wanting!

The result following the Cowdenbeath by election must have brought home to Puppet Clegg the reality of the Lib – Dem situation when rather embarrassingly they were pushed into last place by Scotland no hopers UKIP. The electorate has spoken the verdict no confidence in the lying puppets! This is very good news for the country as the puppets are simply an irrelevance in Scotland and the UK as a whole. Just look at them when the Scottish parliament is televised, puppets smirking and nodding yet none of them seem to have anything sensible to say! Their only claim to fame was in propping up an incompetent and hateful administration the electorate will not forget!

Puppet Clegg has been shown to be weak on these matters as he has in coalition with the Tories, the puppets are in terminal decline with the self destruct switch being activated, for the sake of the increasing numbers of poor in the country let’s hope the decline is rapid and permanent!

Are we better off today?

Listening to Lord Snooty this week we are all apparently all better off and should be thankful for it! Did you ever hear such poppycock! There are now 14 million people in the UK in poverty as defined by the UN. The UK is the fourth most unequal country in the world with the gap between the poor and those who have excess rapidly widening under these Con-Dem fools! They bang on about joblessness decreasing and granted it is! The problem is that these jobs are worthless low quality low skilled jobs that in a thriving country would not be offered to jobseekers!

Every aspect of the machinations of these Con – Dems is a ruse artificially constructed to try and convince the public of how well they have done, and what they have done is precisely nothing to benefit the ever increasing poor of this country. Oh they have rolled back the public sector and with it the careers of thousands and the excellent services provided by them! Yes passing on commercial opportunities to their own kind who pay the minimum wage and not much else!

The problem in this country is not the benefit scroungers who comprise only a small proportion of the money lost to the country but those conglomerates and rich individuals who rake in billions and pay the tax of a 5 man small business, the gap between the rich and the poor needs to be reigned in rapidly lest the country deteriorate into mass riots and anarchy! Such a scenario is on the horizon as those with silver spoons in their mouths inherit highly paid jobs not through ability but through birth! It’s happened many times before, in the First World War toffee nosed buffoons sent millions to their death because they had not the savvy to weigh up and plan a strategy that had a hope in hell of succeeding! They used men as though they were expendable pawns! The great depression riots are in danger of being relived!

Yes the old hierarchy and privileged classes assume all and the wretched poor pay the ultimate price. Nothing has changed since that time, power is still vested in the hands of the few, the rest of us are expected to be grateful for left over’s! It really won’t do and neither the Tory or Labour party seem to have any inclination to tackle this!  This country is in a shameful state, we seem content to allow the status quo to continue, Butcher Thatcher changed this country forever removing our manufacturing base making unemployment or working in mundane low reward jobs in supermarkets the norm! With increasing numbers of children now found to be malnourished due to poverty the aberration that are the Con – Dems should hang their heads in shame just a bunch of worthless, smug and arrogant Noddy’s!

Great Britain if it ever was such will never be again! Say what you like about Eck Salmond but he is at least offering a more equitable way of government where the gross riches of the affluent will be redistributed to the many, although what he proposes is not enough it is at least a step in the right direction!

Under the Con – Dems we will only get poorer. I mean what do a couple of millionaire posh boys know about real life and the hardships faced. They know nothing, only what their equally posh Bullingdon bred researchers tell them. Our current society is in terminal decline, it will only get worse if the country tolerates these Con – Dems any longer! We are not better off in spite of the fact that the rich of the country are amassing huge wealth, it needs to stop! Eck Salmond offers a ray of hope, the choice on September 18th becomes clearer!

Brass neck or what!

Yes the banks don’t want to pay out more than £2,000 of your money to you unless you can tell them what it is for! If they decide your reason is acceptable they will give it to you! Funny how they did not ask us for permission before bringing the country to its knees in 2008! That’s some amount of brass neck!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A meeting of some importance!



A meeting of some importance!

 

Photo 01 - Archive photo showing area of possible car park!
 
Yes a meeting has been arranged with the police which will also be attended by their wildlife officer and a representative of the River Tweed Commission towards the end of this month. The problems we have experienced this year have in a roundabout way led us to this point. It is clear that we cannot indeed no fishery could endure poaching and illegality on the scale we have had to endure and we desperately need the additional resources that can be offered by the above enforcing agencies. 

Naturally we go along to this meeting with open minds hopeful that we may be afforded some degree of support in ridding ourselves of these wretched individuals. Whilst this may or may not meet our expectations we are positive in our outlook. We must however impress upon club members that much reinforcement of our policies must come from you! Members are the most common users of the lochs and will possibly see things that may assist us in combating these Neds! If any member does see anything suspicious they should immediately phone our loch keeper or bailiff or if the occasion merits the police or River Tweed Commission Bailiffs!

If we are to successfully combat this assault on our recreational sport then we must all be proactive in our outlook, looking the other way is no longer an option! We must protect that which we have before a point is reached where what we have is no longer worth keeping!

Club membership

Renewals and new member applications are now due. All applications should be made to our membership secretary Mr Robert Simpson 105 Halliburton Place Galashiels TD1 2JG making cheques payable to St Mary’s Angling Club enclosing an SAE. Places for new members are limited so early application offers the best chance of membership of the club.

Fish stocking

I received a letter this week from the River Tweed Commission stating that some are still stocking ponds with fish and not adhering to the policy of stocking in the Tweed basin. Although the letter was copied to us it is simply for our information as we have not and will not stock fish in our lochs! Obviously from the tone of the letter someone has stocked in an inappropriate fashion which is not the greatest idea as the regulations are in place for good reasons!
 
 
Welcome visitor!
At 06.30 yesterday I thought I heard a Song Thrush singing, early but entirely possible. Turned the TV off and opened the door and sure enough a rightly proud Song Thrush was giving it some welly. What a treat to hear one so early in the year. No sign yet of the hooligans (Oystercatchers) at the loch but it will be soon. Also noted Blackbirds pairing off in a loose fashion and battling all day long. Seems nature is about to move into spring mode, hope it doesn't tempt fate!

Image 01 - Electric vaping starter kit! see below.
 
The wider world in my view!

Hollow words indeed!

Minister without a clue cocaine snorting posh boy Gideon Osborne this week announced that he would like to see the minimum wage upped to £7.00/hr! What a benevolent stance from a fool who only two days earlier rebutted Labours call for an increase! Fooling no one this dimwit cognisant of the fact that the Tories need to attract a significant slice of the working class vote offers the bribe to reinforce his oft used slogan “we are all in it together”! Of course we are not this ninny knows nothing of the struggle faced by working class people on a daily basis!

The arrogance of this fool is staggering to say the least! An increase of 70 pence an hour is absolutely nothing; it has no buying power whatsoever! It is simply a piece of obtuse political manoeuvring targeted to reduce the benefits bill and appease the more gullible types of working class poor!  I would rather have heard that he was to curtail the payments in wages and bonuses to his own kind who legally evade and illegally avoid the payment of taxes which in many cases run upwards of six figures. Of course ever since the days of Butcher Thatcher when the greed virus was released and she proudly proclaimed that there is no such thing as society, the rich have gained hugely compared to the working class poor! This and this alone is the reason for the huge inequality in our current society!

All the rhetoric spurted out by the Con – Dems is irrelevant as it is based on the status quo they do not offer a change to move towards equality! We have as our leaders a bunch of millionaire posh boys completely insulated by their bank balances supported by a band of lying puppets incapable of being trusted, their every move dictated by their need to cling on to power! It seems like a very strange recipe for good governance and so it has been!

Taxing hot pies will go down in history as one of the most crackpot ideas ever and the blundering has continued to the present day unabated! Now this could have been somewhat palatable if everyone was affected by their bungling, but as usual it has been the hard pressed working classes that have borne the brunt of their ineptitude! A government best described by words such as incompetent, inept and downright clueless they offer nothing to the wage earner in the country. There are many phrases that could be used when talking about these fools being in it together is certainly not one of them!

 

The cynicism of government and medical intransigence!

You can now see them all over the country people with the strange looking devices billowing out clouds of smoke (water vapour). Yes there is currently a revolution taking place with ever increasing numbers of smokers ditching the weed in favour of the electronic devices. Over the next few years it is predicted that millions more will become devotees of the vaping devices!

Having been an inveterate smoker of 40+ a day I have now been vaping for 17 months without even thinking of trying a “real” fag! The reason for this is quite simple, it is the routine involved with smoking! Yes the hand to mouth movements, the routine of filling the device and caring for it on a daily basis. Conventional methods sponsored by large pharmaceutical companies such as patches, gums and lozenges fail miserably in comparison to the electronic devices! The pharma giants rely on smokers trying and failing with their products only to be re referred by the medical agencies to try again keeping their profit levels sky high!

I myself have been through the medical structure many times and all through that time was never free of the intense desire to get back to proper smoking. That situation has never been re visited since I took up the electronic marvels, the movement from real cigarettes to the electrics taking a mere stress free two days! I have found this situation to be commonplace on speaking with others who have converted.  This being the case countrywide, why then are the medical establishment and government silent on the issue!

The BMA acknowledge the vast transformation taking place but since not enough time has elapsed to review long term studies will not commit to encouraging smokers to make the switch. The government are currently silent but are poised to pounce on vapers (user of these devices are called vapers) and slap them hard with tax as the huge amounts raised through cigarette sales drops quicker than a lead balloon!

You might have thought that a pragmatic view should prevail because looking at the facts vapers take in typically 4 chemicals, nicotine, vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol and flavouring all being manufactured to pharmaceutical standards. Cigarettes however have over 4,000 chemicals many of which are known carcinogens not to mention the lung clogging tar that real smokers endure! It looks like a simple choice to me and many others!

All however is not what it seems, many cigarette companies are now buying up the electronic cigarette manufacturers; many large pharma companies are lobbying to gain the rights to manufacture the E liquid to their own standards naturally massively inflating the price of such liquid to swell their already gross profits!

There is here the potential to save potentially millions of lives, to save the NHS millions of pounds in not having to treat smoking related illnesses, and generally to make for a more pleasant society.  Yet still they do not act! There may be long term adverse effects of vaping as there are with most of the food and drink that we consume! The adverse effects however must be hugely lower than that associated with cigarette smoking. This is an issue now being decided by public pressure, people desperate to give up cigarettes having had no joy by going through the medical system!

The situation however will soon change as the price of vaping equipment rises steadily as medicalisation of E liquids takes place and taxes are levied by government! In the history of tobacco this is the most significant development in getting people off the weed!  Let’s just hope the big pharma and government don’t ruin it and the health of millions!

If you would like to make the switch (don’t try the ones that look like cigarettes they’re crap!) and believe me it is incredibly easy, search vaping suppliers on the web or if you are local to Galashiels nip in to Vapourised in Market Street and they will get you started along with some great advice!


Sunday, 12 January 2014

The new fish pass!


Photo 01 - In great condition!
 
The new fish pass!

At last we have received the proposals and timetable for the works to take place as part of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme and of most interest to us the new fish pass. It has long been suspected that the fish pass that is currently in place restricts the movement of fish particularly in low water conditions. Certainly i have on many occasions noted numerous fish entering the loch via the regulator and in low water conditions many fish trapped in the various pools in the steps of the fish pass! Allowing fish to enter and leave the loch more freely can only be of benefit to our stocks in the loch.  It should also be noted that if the new fish pass is found to be detrimental to Eel movement a specific Eel pass will be constructed. It is vital that this species is supported as they are currently under severe threat on a Europe wide basis! Indeed at the lochs our population must have suffered in light of the poaching that has come to our attention. Below are the proposals and timescale for the works to be carried out.

Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme St Mary’s Loch Working Group Number 5 – Briefing Note 8th January 2014


Aims of this Briefing Note

1. Review all previous work and consultation

2. Identify recent improvements to the hydraulic model and the positive impacts on flow control

3. Identify how the existing fish pass needs to be modified to implement these flow control improvements

4. Identify the costs associated with the design and implementation of the fish pass improvements

5. Summarise the actions which still require to be undertaken

REVIEW OF PREVIOUS WORK

Previous Work – SMLWG

1. The St Mary’s Loch Working Group met on four separate occasions between 2010 and 2012 to advance proposals for flood storage at SML

2. The Working Group consisted of representatives from Scottish Water, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, The River Tweed Commission, Scottish Borders Council and CH2M Hill (Halcrow)

3. The final output from the SMLWG process at SMLWG no #4 ratified the basic flood storage /drought management proposals (July 2011)

4. The St Mary’s Loch Feasibility Study document was the product of the SMLWG process and was included as supporting documentation in the formal Scheme confirmation and CAR licence application

Previous Work – SML Feasibility Study

1. The key proposals and outcomes arising from the Feasibility Study were:

a) Increase the flood storage capacity of St Mary’s Loch by approx. 1.57 million cubic metres

b) Achieve flood storage increase through active control of the existing gates to keep mean loch levels 390mm lower than currently, plus raise the spill level of the loch by 250mm.

c) Incremental reduction in minimum compensation flows into Yarrow Water, based on level in the loch; reducing from “normal” comp flow of 89 Ml/d to 65 Ml/d, then to 41 Ml/d during exceptionally dry conditions. Proposed that gate positions are altered automatically in response to loch level and downstream flow conditions during Normal conditions.

d) Manual intervention required to move to Flood or Drought modes of operation.

e) The net effect on flood flows is to reduce the 1 in 2 year flow rate by up to 30% and reduce the 1 in 200 year flow rate by up to 7%. The reduction in flows during the 1 in 200 year event offsets the increase in levels downstream of Selkirk as a result of implementing the defences

f) During the proposed regime, the loch level associated with the 1 in 200 year plus climate change event will be 250mm higher than during the current regime.

g) The SMLFS proposals were also shown to have benefits during very dry conditions, such that water stocks could be preserved for longer with the lower proposed compensation flows.

h) Some minor works were included in the Scheme to amend the fish pass, such that flow conditions through the fish pass during the proposed regime are no worse than during the current regime.

Previous Work – Technical Variation to CAR Licence

1. The control of flows exiting St Mary’s Loch is covered by an existing CAR Licence ref CAR/L/1014229. Scottish Water are the responsible authority in relation to the conditions contained in the licence, which relate to flow from and level within the loch.

2. The proposed changes to flow control and levels within SML resulted in the need to apply for a Technical Variation to the original licence. This was submitted to SEPA on 5th December 2011.

3. Subsequent Requests for Information from SEPA related to a range potential geomorphological, hydraulic, ecological and hydro-geological impacts, including fish ecology and passage.

4. SEPA raised concerns that although the proposed alterations to the fish pass would allow water to flow more frequently over the weirs, the depth and volume of flow could be insufficient to sustain satisfactory fish passage.

5. In September 2013, SEPA identified that the current fish passage arrangement and proposed notch cut out in the top weir (included in the Scheme to ensure fish passage is not made any worse) were not satisfactory, and further efforts would be required to achieve more desirable flow depths and velocities

Previous Work – Operational Responsibilities

1. The SMLWG originally anticipated that the various roles and responsibilities associated with the SML FS option would be shared.

2. Scottish Borders Council would construct the works and ultimately be responsible for decisions to change the gate position from Normal to Wet or Dry Mode, but all such decisions would require input from SW, SEPA and SBC representatives forming an Operational Control Team (OCT).

3. Scottish Water would continue to maintain the equipment and continue to be the responsible authority on the CAR licence.

4. With time, an alternative approach was suggested, whereby all control over operation and maintenance of the SML outlet would become the sole responsibility of Scottish Borders Council.

5. This has subsequently evolved into a proposed situation where:

a) Scottish Borders acquire all the land owned by Scottish Water at SML, with the exception of the mobile telecoms mast and pumping station on the north shore

b) Scottish Borders Council will become the responsible authority on the revised CAR licence and also be responsible for the upkeep of the structure under the Reservoirs Act

c) There is no requirement for an OCT REVIEW OF HYDRAULIC MODEL

Hydraulic Model review (1)

1. In the increasingly likely event that SBC take control of responsibility for flows and levels at SML (plus all O&M needs), a full review of the hydraulic modelling was necessary to resolve the fish passage complexities.

2. Through careful testing of the hydraulic effects of introducing a series of notches into the existing fish pass, it became apparent that around 75% of the required flows could be passed through the fish pass without requiring operation of the gates.

3. The model identifies that gate operation is only necessary during wet periods when the net inflow to the loch exceeds the capacity of the fish pass, and during very dry periods when the weirs alone are unable to discharge the minimum compensation flow.

Hydraulic Model review (2)

1. Note that HYSIM hydrology represents a much drier regime than data received from Henderland gauge

2. Optimising the spillway length improves the flood attenuation characteristics and reduces the flood levels further at Lindean.

3. All compensation flows routed through the fish pass, ranging from Normal (1030 l/s) to Drought (475 l/s) – this flow range is ideal for salmonid passage

4. Note that flow regime through the notches is streaming, rather than plunging, thus reducing the impedance to fish passage.

5. Gate operation could be simply and automatically controlled by loch level monitoring (with manual override)

6. Propose that all flow measurement (for comp flow purposes) continues at Craig Douglas

PROPOSED FISH PASS MODIFICATIONS

Fish Pass Modifications (1)

Weir 1: Remove upper weir entirely Weir 2: 0.6m deep x 3.6m wide trapezoidal notch Weir 3: 0.55m deep x 3.5m wide trapezoidal notch Weir 4: 0.33m deep x 3.2m wide trapezoidal notch Weir 5: 0.24m deep x 2.1m wide trapezoidal notch Raise spillway and side walls by 0.25m

Possibility of introducing eel pass if main flow route is not conducive to eel passage Introduce rip rap and boulders to better replicate upland fast flowing watercourse – add intermediate resting pools where necessary

Note that all weirs will be stainless steel plates bolted into an oversized opening to allow for fine tuning of the flows and depths if required

Fish Pass Modifications (2)

PROGRAMME AND OUTSTANDING ACTIONS

Fish Pass Implementation Programme

The activities required to meet the current implementation programme for all the proposed works at St Mary’s Loch, including the fish pass, are detailed as follows:

ACTIVITY 2014

Asset transfer complete

CAR TV conditions confirmed

Main works tender period

Main works contract award

CAR licence transfer to SBC

Works at SML begin civil works MEICA works Fish pass operational Overall SML works commissioned

Outstanding Actions

1. The following actions require to be completed to ensure that the proposed fish pass can be implemented:

a) Transfer of the assets to Scottish Borders Council and all legal requirements concluded

b) Discuss the fish pass characteristics and requirements with all stakeholders at SMLWG #5

c) Submit the remaining information to SEPA to ensure the Tech Variation can be finally processed

d) Build the Tech Variation conditions into the tender documents

e) Ensure all fish pass requirements are included in the Works Information

f) SBC apply for a standalone CAR licence to become the responsible authority for control of flows and levels

g) Standalone CAR licence is authorised by SEPA and SBC take control of the flows and levels at or prior to contract award
 
Image 01 - The proposals for the new outlet.
 
A meeting is to be held in St Mary’s Hall Cappercleuch in February (date to be confirmed) where people may air their views, remember that this fish pass will be with us for many years so it is vital that the proposals are thoroughly examined! We will be present at this meeting. The works at the loch is expected to be completed in the 4th quarter of the year..

Memberships!

Renewals and new member applications are now due. All applications should be made to our membership secretary Mr Robert Simpson 105 Halliburton Place Galashiels TD1 2JG making cheques payable to St Mary’s Angling Club enclosing an SAE. Places for new members are limited so early application offers the best chance of membership of the club.

Photo 02 - The latest piece of rubbish we collected!
 
Our loch!

It has long been held by biologists and ecologists that the health of a water may be determined by the condition of the top predator in that water. It works on the premise that if the condition of the top predator is good, then the food chain beneath them is also good. Any detrimental variation in the food chain will be reflected by the condition of the Pike (our top predator). Photo 01 above shows a wee jack caught yesterday in absolutely tip top condition confirming to us that all species in the loch are thriving in wild water conditions! Peerless!

More on the 50lb Salmon!

Noted in the local rag (the Border Telegraph) respected tackle dealer Ian Wilson takes the same view as us on the subject! Yes he has called for verified scales and suitable sling to be readily available for the accurate weighing of fish to give an accurate weight of those fish rather than the length weight charts used by many to estimate weight.

I have a 30kg set of digital weighing scales and carp sack with me on the lochside at all times and the reason for this is simple! On catching a potential specimen fish I can accurately weigh the fish and if necessary when at home make up the weight with items of known weight to check the accuracy of the scales! Yes the suspected 50lb salmon will not be recorded in history as such, simply a very good fish close to 50lbs which is a real opportunity missed to publicise this potentially significant fish had it been weighed!

The wider world in my view!

A £90.00 haircut, a lying puppet and a choice!

Yes from the man who said “we are all in it together” Lord Snooty revealed that he pays £90.00 for a haircut! A sum of money that would constitute 3 weeks of spending on food for an elderly person or single mum! Is it any wonder these posh buffoons can command no respect in the country; it is and always will be them and us! Interesting to see that Lord Snooty’s barber received an MBE, probably just coincidence!

As expected with the turn of the year Puppet Clegg is beginning to make noises serving to differentiate his group of collaborator puppets from the big bad nasty Tories! Yes after 3.5 years of indefensible collusion trying to secretly support poor punishing policy he now wants to distance himself from the Tory hatchet men. Well to Puppet Clegg and his doomed ship of lying puppets the whole country can see exactly what you are doing. Perhaps arch buffoon and Butcher Thatcher clone Boris Johnston summed it up best - the Mayor of London, who this week called the Deputy Prime Minister a “prophylactic protection device”. In other words a condom, yes lap dog of Lord Snooty, a political figure now inextricably associated with lying and betrayal, in political parlance – a “has been”!

Minister without a clue, cocaine snorting, Bullingdon boy Gideon Osborne stated this week that the coming year would require of the poor working classes an extra 25 billion pounds of savings pushing the above group of people further into poverty! There is however now a real choice at least for us Scots and that is a socially fair government in the guise of the SNP!

Yes I was further glued to this movement when Paul Wheelhouse announced plans to wrest from the few landowners who own most of Scotland their land to move it into public ownership! This is an exciting opportunity to redistribute this wealth from the few to the many! Couple this to the pledge to re nationalize the Royal Mail and others and it becomes clear that there is for us Scots a real alternative to the incessant bungling of the posh boys! An upcoming day in September will go down in history as the most important date in our history for hundreds of years!

The “recovery” continues!

Yes driving through the town last week I was disappointed to see a number of shopkeepers throwing in the towel and closing early. Doubtless worn down by the tedium of the day not being able to speak as no customers ventured near! Yes the demise of the High street continues!

An eminent professor from the Centre for Retail Research Joshua Barnfield has predicted that in the coming year 12,000 shops large and small will close for good! Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor also sounded a warning that 151 significant retailers have “critical” problems and 15,792 have “significant” problems. Yes the banking crash and latterly the Con-Dems have much to answer for and as for the recovery much heralded by Lord Snooty, don’t bank on it!

Sunday, 5 January 2014


Photo 01 - Before the wind got up!
Every cloud has a silver lining!


Following our meeting with the police where we were given a resume of race equality law we feel that we are now better prepared to move forward without fear of impinging on this legislation. We were thoroughly surprised on hearing of some of the legislation and completely ignorant of the fact that we were close to contravening this law. None of us however are race relations lawyers and I suspect the vast majority of the public would be ignorant as to the workings of this legislation! With this in mind we have withdrawn our notice following the deplorable incidents that have taken place on the lochs this year and redrafted it to comply with the legislation. The updated notice is set out below and is for distribution to all our recommended dealers and other outlets to maximise publicity of our quandary!


 An appeal to the angling community!


 There are many genuine anglers out there some who visit us regularly and behave in an acceptable manner; it is to you anglers that we issue this appeal! Some anglers seem intent on destroying our fishery by fishing illegally without the required permits, by using practices outlawed in this country such as employing set lines and by fishing on an industrial scale and removing fish from our lochs which are protected! The predominant mode of fishing is that we practice sustainable fishing whereby anglers are encouraged to return fish safely to the lochs. If you would like a couple of Trout for the pot we have no problem with this! We cannot and will not tolerate fish removal on an industrial scale!


 The perpetrators of the heinous barbarity below were seen exiting a red/maroon Citroen Picasso people carrier and a hatchback saloon in silver thought to be a Kia or a Hyundai. They were seen heading in the direction of Galashiels! Unfortunately we do not have the registration details for these fish killers because if we did they would already be in the hands of the police! These people are completely out of control pillaging our fisheries; they must be stopped and brought to justice!


 Some of you however must know the identity of these fish thieves! We would say to you right thinking decent people – give us the identity of these thieves so we may bring them to the attention of the law!

  

Feelings at the lochs are now running very high as we see and hear of our valuable fish stock being mercilessly butchered and with them our future sport. We should also at this point stress that if we catch you red handed breaking our rules, the rules of the UK fishing community or EEC laws regarding the taking of Eels we will go out of our way to have you prosecuted to the full extent of the law! We will make an example of any fish thieves caught to the extent of taking out a private prosecution if that is what is required! You can do so by phoning or texting (anonymously if you wish) to any of the following contact points.

Aaron - 07724523777

Mr Xxxxx - 07780922756


 Richard – 07980350031


Or e mail - stmarysloch@gmail.com


In any case your privacy will be respected.


This is our policy on taking fish. If you have a valid permit you may take up to 4 Trout (in season) or 4 Perch. You may not under any circumstances remove any Pike or Eels from the lochs!

Life is a learning experience and we must all learn from our mistakes, only by reformulating policy in light of learning will we progress forward. Although no complaints were received during the time our notice was open to public viewing we would like to extend our sincere apologies to anyone who was offended by what was written. We published the article in good faith with no malice or racial intent whatsoever!

Throughout our discussions it soon became apparent to the police that we were under a huge amount of pressure regarding the illegal taking of fish from our lochs. We have previously tried to obtain help through the Border Federation of Angling clubs but our efforts led to nothing at all! We are to meet with the police in four weeks time to formulate a strategy to better tackle the problem facing our club. A representative of the River Tweed Commission will be present to input what they may offer. This development may offer us our best hope yet in combating what is the biggest threat to our club since it was formed in 1933!

Yes indeed, every cloud has a silver lining!

Photo 02 - Archive photo showing the old tree that is no more!
Membership renewal!

Memberships are now due, the fees are £35.00 for renewing members and £55.00 for new members. Spaces are limited so please be prompt with your applications. All applications should be sent to our membership secretary Robert Simpson 105 Halliburton Place Galashiels making cheques payable to St Marys Angling Club enclosing an SAE for quick turnaround.

The wider world in my view!

The great debate & our future!

Of course I refer to the independence debate called for by oor Eck the leader of the SNP. He has called on Lord Snooty to come and debate the pros and cons of becoming independent! Lord Snooty is none too keen preferring to palm off the responsibility to Alex Darling the leader of the anti independence campaign.

I am not in the least surprised by the stance taken by Lord Snooty! As far as debating skills are concerned Snooty will always end up as a poor second! Oh he is fine reading pre scripted lines always including the terms “hardworking families” “our country” and “doing the right thing”, but the prose in between is largely aspirational rather than factual and achievable. He has no capability for thinking on the hoof and most importantly he is a posh boy without the slightest idea of how the working classes are toiling under their ill thought out and in many cases bizarre policies! If indeed there is an economic recovery underway which I very much doubt, it is not because of their policies but in spite of them!

Yes Eck has the better of him in every respect and for this reason Snooty will never agree to such a debate! The bottom line for Lord Snooty is to “win the hearts of the Scots”. This will never happen to the extent that many Scots will vote for independence simply as a means of ensuring a Tory government never again destroys the very fabric of Scots communities as Butcher Thatcher did!

The pollsters have predicted a much closer vote than the current polls predict and as time moves on the gap will lessen considerably! Scots are passionate about social policies and deplore the poor bashing policies being promulgated by the jokers that are the Con-Dems! Yes as a nation we view the widening rich poor divide much more seriously than do the English, having a social conscience is a worthy trait and this also will be the undoing of the anti independence faction.

Scots people are now realising that the choice is more of the same damp squib reactionary politics or a new socially based government who place fairness and equity at the top of the agenda! Detractors of course say that there are a huge number of topics that require to be addressed and sorted and this is correct! It is also correct to say that already after three years of Con-Dem bungling there are a myriad of problems that will take years to put right, interminable and persistent bungling has led us to the precarious place we now find ourselves in!

Independence will not be plain sailing it will be a choppy journey with many unforeseen difficulties, but it will also be a new start with a blob of Plasticine which can be moulded to reflect the wishes of our society! I am now convinced that the way forward is independence, a fresh start where the excesses of rampant capitalism can be broken and thrown out in favour of people centred policies and most importantly to banish the greed in our current society which has been ramped up by the inept Con-Dems!

Far too many people in our current society are being forced to live like Dickensian peasants  not through fecklessness but due to lack of opportunity in a country with great wealth, much talent and a growable manufacturing base the current situation is quite simply unacceptable! 2014 could with the will of the Scots nation be the year to cast off the garments of social inequality and assume the ones of equitable prosperity!

Only a few days in......

Another cracking bungle this week from failed Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith this time he has only cost us 130 million pounds! Yes small beer given his recent past. His flagship policy to cut the number of benefit cheats and inept DSS staff has seen the 3.4 billion lost on illegal claims and overpayments rise this year (2013) to over 3.5 billion! I suppose given the usual magnitude of Con-Dem bungling this is actually very good!

Yes some people getting no benefit at all, many underpaid as yet again the Universal Credit system is once again revamped! I’m not sure between minister without a clue, cocaine snorting Gideon Osborne and Diddy Duncan Smith who should merit the title Bungler of the year 2013! The amount of money squandered by these two could have fully funded to the nth degree the NHS! It’s an absolute shocker, only a few days into the New Year and the bungling starts again! A dull and inept government, is there no respite from these fools?