The River Torridge Fishery Association
President: Lord Clinton
Chairman: Paul Ashworth Secretary: Charles Inniss
e-mail: [email protected]
NEWSREEL: WINTER 2020
The salmon hatchery:
Sadly the hatchery programme for this winter is currently on hold. The hatchery team was ready to trap the broodstock from the fish pass at Monkokehampton Weir when the second lockdown restrictions were announced early in December. We have not given up hope and if the restrictions are lifted on 2ndDecember will endeavour to catch up at least a few broodstock, which by then should almost be ready for stripping.
Steve Phelps, our vice-Chairman, has been working closely with William Entwistle, the vice-chairman of the South West Rivers Association, to develop a South West Hatchery hub at the Colliford hatchery on the River Fowey. This hatchery is currently funded by South West Water in mitigation for the loss of spawning streams on the Fowey catchment when Colliford Reservoir was constructed. Initially the Torridge and the Axe will be the two rivers directly involved. With the support of the Colliford hatchery team, the Axe Association, South West Water, The South West Rivers Association and the EA we have permission to grow upto 50% of our eggs to the swim-up fry stage at the Colliford hatchery. Their progress will be monitored under almost laboratory conditions. Last year we achieved a very high success rate at our own hatchery and it will be very interesting to compare the results.
As salmon stocks in all the rivers in the South West continue to decline there may will be a need to develop and expand the Colliford hatchery so that it can support all the rivers in our region.
A new Fisheries Enforcement Officer:
Some good news to cheer you all!! Following the retirement of Paul Carter in the spring, the EA has appointed a new Fisheries Enforcement Officer (FEO) for North Devon. Callum Underhill is fully trained and skilled as a FEO and for the last five years has been based in North Wessex. Callum is very enthusiastic about his new appointment. He is a keen fisherman!! Paul Carter has been very supportive and will continue to do so. I am sure next season many of you will meet Callum on the riverbank.
The Annual Dinner and Raffle:
Sadly we were not able to hold the Annual Dinner at The Half Moon, but the raffle did go ahead and as usual it was wonderfully well supported: thank you all very much. The raffle, together with several generous donations, raised over £2,000 which will go a long way towards funding our own hatchery and the costs involved at the Colliford hatchery.
The winners of the raffle prizes were as follows:
1st prize: £100 wine voucher: Richard Henry, an extremely experienced and successful angler who has fished the Torridge and been a regular visitor at The Half Moon Inn for over 50 years.
2nd prize: £50 Snowbee voucher: Robert Clark, a friend of James Mumford. James has been fishing the Torridge for many years and still travels from his home in Somerset to fish for salmon and sea trout several times each season.
3rd prize: a day’s fishing on The Half Moon beats was won by Bill Blake from Somerset.
4th prize: a bottle of wine donated by Reg Lawton was won by Tim Birkbeck, a committee member.
5th prize: a day’s fishing on the famous Madeira beat was won by Nick Gunn, one of our newer members.
The Fishing Season:
For the first three weeks of the season the river was in spate and then all fishing stopped until the end of May, by which time the river, after a spring drought, was down to summer level. For the latter half of the season the weather was changeable and river levels held up reasonably well. Fishing effort has been very light, but those anglers who have fished regularly have been rewarded with some good catches. Barry Mills caught a salmon in excess of 20lb on the Little Warham water while Martin Weeks and his brother Ed enjoyed some excellent night sea trout fishing. Catch totals seem to have been similar to last year: about 30 salmon, 100 sea trout and plenty of good-sized brown trout.