The River Torridge Fishery Association – Newsreel

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The River Torridge Fishery Association

President: Lord Clinton

Chairman: Paul Ashworth                                                                Secretary: Charles Inniss


The Salmon Hatchery

            Sadly I have to report that the annual programme to rear 30,000 swim-up fry at our hatchery   will once again not be going ahead. The EA would only allow us to access and use the fish pass at Monkokehampton Weir on the River Okement to trap our broodstock if unbelievably strict health and safety rules were followed. Our chairman Paul and vice-chairman Steve have worked incredibly hard in an effort to reach an agreed way forward: sadly to no avail. The main stumbling block has been the inability of the EA to respond promptly to any suggestions that Paul and Steve made. This confirms our suspicions that the EA would be delighted if the hatchery closed down permanently. But we are not giving up and are determined that the hatchery will be operational next year so that we can continue to support the development of a hatchery hub for all the south west rivers at Colliford reservoir.

Our Fishery Enforcement Officer

            For personal reasons Callum Underhill, who has been the Fishery Enforcement officer for the North Devon rivers for the last two years, will be leaving to work nearer his family home in Wessex. Callum has been a great support for our river especially with regard to the hatchery and we wish him well for the future.

The Annual Dinner

            Over 40 members and guests enjoyed a convivial evening at The Half Moon with good company and an excellent meal on Saturday 24th September. Thank you all for supporting the raffle so generously which made a profit of £1,520.   We were delighted that Mark Wormald was able to join us for the evening. He donated a copy of his book, “The Catch: Fishing for Ted Hughes” to the raffle. Much of the book is based on the Torridge where Ted Hughes so enjoyed his fishing. If you would like a copy contact Adam at The Half Moon who has copies: it would make an excellent Xmas gift.

The prize winners of the raffle: the case of wine Anthony Wilmington, the £50 Half Moon voucher Simon Hillcox, the £50 Snowbee voucher Martin Weeks and the book donated by Mark Wormald was won by a friend of Graham Henderson.

The Fishing Season

            Due to a complete lack of water the salmon fishing was virtually non-existent and no more than 15 fish were caught by the rods for the whole season. Sea trout fishing was also extremely difficult. On the plus side anglers, prior to the heatwave in July, enjoyed some excellent brown trout fishing with several fish over 2lb caught. It has been suggested that the brown trout are getting larger as they are gorging themselves on baby signal crayfish. One thing for sure the whole catchment is now infested with signal crayfish. 2011 was the last really dry year and this was followed by a very wet year in 2012 with good river flows and good numbers of salmon and sea trout: so here’s hoping for better fishing conditions in 2023: we certainly deserve it.

My very best wishes to you all for the festive season. Charles.