Another year of fishing the River Derwent is at an end and I hope all members enjoyed fishing our little river. I would like to thank all members of the committee for their efforts over the last 12 months. As the 20010 season ended I looked at a difficult year for the Association but as always, Ian [Colborne, membership secretary] and I continue to enjoy the honour of being club secretaries of the Derwent Angling Association.
As always the AGM is vital to the running of this Association as it lets members meet and discuss their concerns with members of the committee. Last year’s AGM was well attended and on behalf of the committee I thank all who came and all who are attending today.
The Nissan game fair was an excellent day where we promoted the club among the fishing community. It was nice to see other clubs asking for advice and of course when we saw good practice we were not shy in gathering information.
We hope to have a guest evening with a world class and widely respected fisherman. Once dates are confirmed we will add them to the website.
To help with habitat restoration and to improve the quality of fishing for members, we will be asking for help from both The Grayling Society and the Wild Trout Trust. This, we hope, will involve a riverbank workshop where we will gain hands-on experience in creating both up- and downstream groins and scour pools.
The committee will contact The Grayling Society to get expert information to improve the depleted grayling stocks on the river and what we as an Association can do to improve the habitat for these wonderful fish. Getting hold of grayling to stock the river with has taken us up one dead end after another and we hope the Environment Agency support us in our endeavours.
I’m sure many of you have visited the club website and I would like to thank attendant member John Adair for his hard work and commitment in keeping it up to date. Anyone wishing to have articles or pictures added to the site please contact john through the site.
Also any members who have not given us their email addresses, could you please do so by putting it in the book provided or contact John through the website. This will allow us to keep you up to date with club business and guest speakers and the like.
The Association wishes to thank Jon Barnes for his demonstration of fishing French leaders which took place last summer. This was well attended and Jon has now shot videos of other techniques that can be viewed on the club website and on YouTube. Members wishing to be river watchers, could you please contact me at the end of the meeting?
We will also be taking names of members wishing to help with river bank maintenance in the coming year.
The junior competition was once again a massive hit with our junior membership and I would like to thank all who helped on the day. 27 young anglers caught 66 fish, with Josh Etheridge taking first place with a 6lb 1oz bag, followed closely by Sam Currie with 5lb 15oz, and in third place, Jonathan Swift with 5lb 14oz. The biggest fish of the day was caught by Arron Merritt with a bonny brownie of 1lb 15oz.
The sponsors of the competition deserve praise for their help in obtaining prizes handed out on the day. These were:
• Lawrence Hawley of Ultimate Fishing Supplies
• Hardy Greys
• Don Coe at Northumbrian Water
• AMH Angling, Anfield Plain
The senior competition was well attended and the Derwent Reservoir as usual proved to be a tough nut to crack. Results were as follows:
1) Gordon Swain
2) Chris Hope
3) Andrew Coates
And I came fourth – always the bridesmaid and never the bride!
The 2009 pollution incident
After an extremely long and stressful case I am happy to announce that a settlement has been reached with Northumbrian Water that will allow the club to re-stock the river and improve the habitat for spawning wild trout and grayling. The compensation, as reported, amounted to nearly £20,000, which has been ring-fenced to improve the affected area of the river.
I would like to thank all those who contributed, especially Will Rundle of Fish Legal. Without his expert help we would have been at a loss what to do. The Association is a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal is now part of the Trust and I would encourage all members to join on an individual basis. Visit their website for more information.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, the river went without its final stocking at the end of last season. The reason for this was unavoidable as our supplier, Bob Booth of Welham Park Trout Farms, suffered a heart attack and was unable to supply us with the fish. Bob has recovered well and will be supplying our fish for the upcoming season.
Any members who have friends wishing to join the Association could you please contact Ian as soon as possible as we have limited vacancies for the upcoming season. Contact Ian tonight or on 01207 591 454
I hope you all have an enjoyable 2011 season and continue to fish The Derwent with us.
Alan Farbridge, Secretary, Derwent Angling Association