CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

This has been a year of problems made worse by pointless regulations forced upon us by the Environment Agency and Natural England who are forcing more and more restrictions on what we do it has become very close to needing permission from them to get out of bed on a Sunday morning. This has led to the Anglers losing all interest in the river. There were a number of working parties and apart from the four people that run all of the work parties only THREE other people turned out this makes the very few that do turn out wonder why the hell we do. In the previous six years a kilometre of river has been cleaned up and six years ago there were very few fish seen there was a survey in 2018 which shows that area is now very productive. 2018 has as far as I can tell has had the best run of Sea Trout for many years this must be the result of the many hours of work done by a very few people!! The future of Fishing is in your hands if you do nothing to look after your rivers FISHING IS DOOMED and Catch and release is not the answer improving Spawning and Habitat is the only way forward this is evident on the Fowey as Juvenile Stocks mirror the effort increasing from 1999 to a peak around 2008 and now dwindling back towards 1999 figures there has been NO GRAVEL CLEANING ON EITHER RIVER THIS YEAR [2018] it will be very sad if all of the work I have done has been wasted and it will have be if NO ONE CARRIES ON THE WORK I HAVE DONE IN THE LAST 18 YEARS. So, fishing is in your hands either get involved and take some responsibility for looking after your rivers or watch them die. Tight lines for 2019.

The Chairman thanked everyone for their help on the river and he also thanked the Officers and Committee for their support of the Club and stressed the need for more members to help with working on the river.


SECRETARIES REPORT

2018 has been one of the driest seasons we have had for a long time. River levels extremely low for all methods. Even with the Camel being low it didn’t stop the early run of Spring Salmon and Seatrout entering the river. This carried on throughout the season, on several occasions I had phone calls from members reporting of good numbers of Seatrout and Salmon throughout the river Camel. I witnessed this myself on several occasions when fishing on the river. I can only think that all the gravel cleaning that has been carried out over the last six years is beginning to pay off. The weather didn’t change until November when the rain came, and the river levels rose up high, we were then faced with the problem of leaves which were late in falling this year. But this didn’t stop anglers going out fishing and one or two of our new members catching their first Salmon. We also had a new Website set up for 2018 www.bodminanglers.co.uk this was set up by Richard Grieve and John Lawrey and an excellent job they did with the new maps and up to date news etc. Thanks again Richard and John. Work parties started again in April with foot path maintenance which was advertised on the web site and on the Facebook group friends of the river Camel and Fowey news. But unfortunately, very poorly attended. I think the largest turnout was six members four of them were club officials. I have been told from a good source that there are a few members going around moaning about the state of the river banks and trees etc that are in the river. My only answer is we can’t do everything, and you have no right to moan especially if you don’t turn out on the working parties.

The Hon Sec thanked everyone for attending this evening. He informed everyone that we have retained all the fishing for the 2018 season and have access again at the Old Mill House at Helland Bridge. From what I have seen with the catch returns those that have been fishing on a regular basis have caught fish, he has also noticed a very large percentage of members are not bothering to fish at all. He also thanked all the members that have worked on the gravel cleaning, footpath maintenance, the Committee and the Officers of the Club for their help and support. The total hours worked on the Camel for 2017 were 192 hours, effort and turn out to help, it’s not hard work and we are normally finished by midday plus it can be quite entertaining. I have now been the Secretary for over 12 months until you take on the position you don’t realise how much work is involved with the running of the club. As I work full time it has been a struggle doing things and I doubt if I could have managed running it on my own, so I would like to thank the following people for their help. John Lawrey for the running of the web site, Graham Toms who has done more than the role of a Treasurer, and Chris Janes for dealing with important matters when I am unable to and my wife Lisa for taking on at short notice the position of Membership Secretary. Tight Lines for 2019 John Rossiter Secretary.

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARIES REPORT

After we were badly let down, we had a considerable mess to sort out. We have overcome the problems we were left with and things should be a lot smoother in the future. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this. To run the Club efficiently we need accurate up to date information so can you please fill in the new Membership Renewal form and Catch Return form accurately to help us to contact you. Tight lines Lisa Proposed changes to the news letter Due to the big changes with fishing we have lost about half of our members. We are now looking at ways of keeping spending money to a minimum. This will be the last year that we will be having the newsletter printed. It costs quite a bit of money and time to produce. As from next year you will find the newsletter and catch return/membership Renewal Form on the B.A.A website.

BODMIN ANGLERS ASSOCIATION MINUTES OF THE 62nd AGM

Held at the SWEB Club on Friday 23rd February 2018 The Chairman Mr. C Janes welcomed everyone to the meeting. APOLOGIES Apologies were received from Lady Molseworth St Aubyn, Steven Pearce, Trevor Hill, Robert Odgers, Roy Coombes, Ivan Lyne, Garry Marshall, Steve Meeks, Andy Stevens, Rodger Cox, and David White.

MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM The minutes of the previous AGM held at the Bodmin SWEB Club on Friday 24th February 2017 had been distributed to the members within the annual newsletter. It was proposed by Mr. Winn and seconded by Mr. Wooton that the minutes were a true record of the meeting and this was carried unanimously.

PRESENTATION BY SIMON TOMS FROM THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY Mr. Toms gave a talk about the conditions the Camel was in. Rod catches have been poor for some time. He also said that there has been a decline in Salmon numbers and the winter run had all but gone. He also mentioned about IFCA that there is no netting within the Camel Estuary. There also had been talks of habitat works on the Camel working with the Clubs and Natural England and possibly getting some funding.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

It was proposed by Mr. R Winn and seconded by Mr. O Rowe that Mr. C Janes carry on the position as Chairman. This was carried unanimously. It was proposed by Mr. R White and seconded by Mr. B Hodge that Mr. J Rossiter take the position of Secretary and the help from Mr. P Best as the Membership Secretary. This was carried unanimously. It was proposed by Mr. D Odgers and seconded by Mr. J Lawrey that Mr. G Toms carry on the position as Treasurer. This was carried unanimously. It was proposed by Mr. Hardiker and seconded by Mr. N White that all committee members who wished to carry on would. This was carried unanimously.

TREASURERS REPORT 

The treasurer reported that the club was still in a healthy state financially and we still had an income over expenditure. Also mentioned that there was no need to raise subscriptions and any one was welcome to look at the accounts.

APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS

It was proposed by Mr. P Best and seconded by Mr. J Lawrey that we re-appointed J & M Thomas as auditors and this was carried unanimously.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Commercial Fisherman Mr. G Eglington raised concerns that we are over run with Seals and Dolphins at sea and in the Estuary. He said other Commercial Fishermen have seen Seals and Dolphins with Salmon in their mouths and this is another problem being overlooked.

AUCTION

Mr. R Winn assisted by Mr. D Odgers conducted the auction which raised £185 for Club funds. The raffle run by Mr. D Odgers and Mr. B More was drawn and made £110 for Club funds. The meeting closed at 21.30 hours.


NOTICE OF EXTENSION TO THE RIVER CAMEL EMERGENCY SALMON PROTECTION BYELAW

As you will be aware, in October 2017, the Environment Agency implemented an emergency byelaw to protect Atlantic salmon in the River Camel.This was in response to an unprecedented and widespread decline recorded in juvenile salmon stocks that was detected through a comprehensive catchment wide juvenile fisheries monitoring programme conducted throughout the summer of 2017.

 It had been evident that the River Camel salmon rod catch has been declining in recent years. However, the extent of the loss of juvenile salmon is of particular concern and suggested a significant failure in adult salmon spawning success. Adult and juvenile trout stocks remain relatively healthy across the catchment suggesting that this is a salmon specific issue.

We are fully aware of the concerns expressed by the River Camel angling community regarding the status of salmon and the implementation of the salmon protection byelaw. This had been implemented with the intention of enabling salmon and sea trout fishing but in such a way that it protects salmon and helping to ensure that most adult fish are able to spawn successfully. We believe that this is the best approach to maintain the important River Camel migratory salmonid fishery whilst seeking to maximise the recovery of the juvenile salmon stock. In recognition of the concerns expressed by River Camel angling interests, we agreed to review the need for the byelaw following additional juvenile fish surveys conducted by us and the West Country Rivers Trust in 2018 and an appraisal of other catch data.

These surveys identified that whilst salmon fry abundance had improved at a small number of survey sites, it was clear that salmon fry and parr populations remained exceptionally poor across much of the catchment and therefore of continuing concern. There is now no doubt in our view that within two years, very few Atlantic salmon will return to the River Camel reflecting the exceptionally poor number of smolts that are likely to have left the river.

In September 2018, following completion of the most recent juvenile survey programmes, we attempted to convene a meeting with all of the key salmon angling clubs and riparian interests on the River Camel to present the results of the recent juvenile survey data and the trends evident within the rod catch data. The overall consensus of those who attended and reviewed the data with us was that there is a significant issue with the salmon stock and its population status on the River Camel. At this meeting and subsequently, there have been extensive ongoing discussions over the best way to implement the necessary protective measures, with a Catchment wide voluntary agreement being preferred by the Environment Agency.

Unfortunately a consensus on the voluntary application of the protective measures was not reached across the catchment at this time.

It has unfortunately become clear that obtaining this universal agreement and adoption of these measures cannot be achieved by angling interests across the River Camel at present. Therefore, we have decided, with the support of Defra, to extend the emergency byelaw period from 1st November 2018 for a further 6 months to the end of April 2019. This will provide a further opportunity to discuss the required measures with the angling interests or provide us with the necessary time to seek the implementation of a longer term salmon protection byelaw. 

The measures enforceable by the Emergency Byelaw are:

  • 100% catch and release - all salmon caught on rod and line are to be returned with minimum delay.
  • The use of worm for salmon fishing is prohibited.
  • Spinners, plugs and other artificial lures must be fitted with single, barbless hooks only.
  • Hooks used with artificial flies must have a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
  • Prawn or shrimp may be used in conjunction with a single, barbless hook with a maximum gape not exceeding 8mm.
  • Closure of the River Camel salmon and sea trout net fishery
The above measures will be in place until 30th April 2019 unless revoked by the Environment Agency. We are currently working on the River Camel Net Limitation Order (NLO) 2018 which will also consider the necessary package of measures to protect salmon and sea trout for rod and line and net fishing on the river. We will be continuing our consultation and would appreciate confirmation that your club or fishing interest would approve the suggested voluntary NLO measures. If a voluntary consensus cannot be reached a mandatory byelaw will have to be implemented across the catchment. We have also identified the River Camel as a priority catchment and identified a number of issues that we intend to investigate and deal working with the angling clubs and other partner organisations to maximise the opportunity for the recovery of salmon stocks within the Camel catchment. If you have any question about this please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Bryony Devoy
Fisheries Technical Specialist DCiS and Net Limitation Order Specialist National Fisheries Team Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment Department Environment and Business Directorate Environment Agency.

After a lot of searching I have at last found a link for the new river level gauge situated under the Camel trail bridge near to the Borough arms

https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/9149?direction=u

The gauge at Denby will be phased out over period of time, if you do use these gauges to determine where to fish it may be handy to note both gauge heights while the old one is still recording.

We are still waiting on the EA as to wether the current angling restrictions will be in place for another 6 months? Or not?

Many thanks to our secretary John Rossiter for making Rays plaque at Dunmere secure again, if left as it was I am sure it would have ended up in the dam.

The new website is now up and running, still a few adjustments to be made but here we are.

With the current conservation rules in place some anglers may not bother to go fishing on the Camel at all, what we as a club need to know is any information regarding fish seen, we need to know that fish are about and that the river is healthy, contact details are on this site.

Fowey Rivers Association Guidance for Salmon and Seatrout conservation on the river Fowey 2018

  • All Salmon caught before June 16th to be returned in accordance with national bylaw.
  • Voluntary catch and release of salmon to achieve a minimum of 90% annually
  • First salmon caught by an angler to be returned. One subsequent salmon may be retained in the catchment.
  • All coloured fish should be returned
  • Barbless, single hooks for bait fishing to be used all year
  • Barbless single hooks to be used on all lures / spinners from 31 August (to6 enable sea trout fishing)
  • No circle hooks to be used
  • No treble hooks to be used in conjunction with any fly, bait, lure or spinner
  • Worm fishing permitted to the end of August only (to enable sea trout bait fishing)
  • Voluntary end to the salmon fishing season on the 30 November
  • These recommendations will be reviewed annually with the EA
  • Voluntary bag limits of 10 sea trout per season, maximum of 4 sea trout per week, with a maximum bag limit of 2 sea trout per day.
In addition, always carry an appropriate knotless net, never beach a fish.
Keep the fish in the net in the water while unhooking and photographing.
Never pick the fish up by the wrist (tail).
When releasing, gently hold the fish with its head upstream and be patient, it will swim off when it is ready.
Failure to adopt these recommendations could result in enforcement by the EA with a compulsory bylaw.
Should the river be deemed to be “at risk” in any year, there will be a need to adopt additional protection, either moving to 100% catch and release with a presumption of implementing mandatory protection.
In addition:
  •  All sea trout smaller than 35cms(1lb) and those larger than 55 cm (4lbs) to be returned.
This effectively ensures that small sea trout are protected so that they can survive to spawn at least once and those mature, repeat spawning sea trout, which are poor to eat, can continue to contribute to spawning.

Following the AGM a rule change has been agreed -

Rule 60 formerly about the use of circle hooks was replaced by the following-
Rule 60. Barbless hooks when bait fishing are compulsory on Bodmin Anglers Association waters between 1st September to 15th December inclusive.
This means that if you use worms, shrimps, prawns, natural sand eels, cheese, oysters etc. as bait they must be mounted on a barbless hook.
This rule does not effect the use of a barbed hook on spinners spoons artificial flies or plugs.

Dear Members - Please find details below of 2 new Club Rules following our AGM on 26 Feb 2016 -

Rule 66. All hooks used for all methods of fishing before 16th June each year must be barbless

Rule 67. Sea trout over 20 inches long (500 millimetres) to be returned if lightly hooked and able to be returned with little damage (this is a “guideline rather than a rule)