The River Torridge Fishery Association
President: Lord Clinton
Chairman: Paul Ashworth Secretary: Charles Inniss
e-mail: [email protected]
NEWSREEL: WINTER 2019.
The salmon hatchery:
On Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th November we successfully trapped our 10 broodstock (5 hens and 5 cocks). Four of the hens are about 9lb together with one superb fish in excess of 13lb. All the cock fish are in the 4.5lb range. All the fish are in excellent condition and are now being looked after back at the hatchery. We were concerned that with the rivers having been in full spate for the last six weeks all the salmon may have gone through the fish pass, but our worries were unfounded. Indeed there seems to be a steady run in the Okement which is very encouraging.
The lid of the main broodstock tank needed repairing and this was completed by Ken Dunn and David Williams in time to receive the broodstock.
Last year there was a high mortality from the eggs of one of the hens, so the team will be looking closely at out procedures for stripping and fertilising the eggs to minimise the risk of high mortalities.
During the summer the EA carried out juvenile surveys at a limited number of sites on the main river and major tributaries. The results were encouraging. The site at Okehampton Castle on the River Okement always produces good results but this year it was quite outstanding particularly with the numbers of salmon parr.
The Annual Dinner and Raffle:
Another superb evening at The Half Moon. 47 of us enjoyed an excellent meal followed by the raffle and auction. Once again member support for the annual raffle was tremendous and over £1,500 was raised which will go towards continuing our efforts to improve the fishing on this beautiful river. In particular this money is used to finance the running of the hatchery. Particular thanks to Paul Ashworth, our Chairman, and his wife Geraldine who organised the raffle and the auction which as always went off without a hitch with the usual wonderful array of prizes.
The Fishing Season:
Following on from 2018 the salmon anglers were hoping for more water and more fish: but it was not to be. It has been another season with predominantly low flows with few salmon caught. We were all hoping that the autumn rains would arrive in time to provide some good fishing at the back end of the season. The rains did arrive but our weather went from one extreme to another. The river was in full spate for the last 10 days of the season and since then there has hardly been a dry day. In the last fortnight there have been two large floods, with the river over the top of the hedges at Sheepwash on 25th October.
The brown trout fishing in May and June was at times quite outstanding. Often although there was little surface activity anglers who persevered with a dry fly were rewarded with some excellent catches. As in 2018 several trout upwards of 2lb have been caught.
There seemed to be a better run of sea trout this year. A small spate in June encouraged fish to move upstream and they spread throughout the system. I haven’t heard of any very large sea trout being caught and the main run seems to have been in the 2/3lb range with some fish up to 5lb.