GENERAL SECRETARY’S REPORT (Alan Hughes 0118 986 7430)
LEVEL 1 COACHING COURSE
We have recruited Lionel Cook, Nigel Sharp, Geoff Cousins and Nathan Clark who will be attending Level 1 courses in November. I am still waiting for dates for Simon East to attend but it looks like being the new year for this. Thank you to this five for helping us with this. This would give us a total of eight coaches which will greatly help with the running of Angling Tuition days. We will still need two more Level 2 coaches and we hope to have these in place for events commencing next Spring.
The island will be off limits whilst repairs are carried out to the watermill. It is expected to reopen mid November.
This venue will be our target for this Autumn as it has been somewhat neglected over the years. It is nearly 20 years since we bought this venue and a spruce up will be warmly received. We will be looking for help with this and have already received an offer, lets hope many more follow.
We are still working our way through the legal side of the Fishing Rights and access on this venue. There are other issues regarding water levels that Del will probably talk about but I don’t expect these issues to be resolved quickly.
Jamie Cook has been appointed as the new CEO for the Trust. Some of you may know him as he cut his teeth fishing RDAA waters as a boy. We wish him well and look forward to meeting up sometime in the future.
The disciplinary meeting was held prior to this meeting where the offender was given his permit back commencing the19th October.
FISHERIES OFFICERS REPORT
We recently carried out some gravel cleaning below the weir on Lower Benyons. We have been doing this now for around 10 years in various places. I believe it to be a very useful tool in promoting juvenile recruitment and something I feel we are now seeing a benefit from. I’d like to thank Linda Nemeth of Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and their volunteers for helping me out on the day.
WILLMOTTS & CALLOW POOL
These should be opening this month.
I have been receiving a lot of reports of the misuse of baitboats on our Whistley Mill venue. It would be easy to put a blanket ban on them, however in a last ditch attempt to control their use for the benefit of most members, I have spent some time dividing a map of the lake into different coloured zones. These zones will be assigned corresponding coloured swims, indicated by coloured pegs in the swims. These maps will be made available on our website along with a sign in the venue car park and also, from our Whistley bailiffs. Anyone caught with their ‘boat’ outside of their zone will have their permit endorsed in the first incidence and removed pending a disciplinary meeting if caught again.
RIVER KENNET LEVELS
I’ve been getting a lot of questions and reports of the fluctuating levels of the Kennet. We are aware of this and commissioned a report on it last winter, which we subsequently sent to the Environment Agency. They confirmed our findings and have been collecting data ever since recommendations to the owners and are awaiting a time frame for the remedy works to be carried out (the EA do not own the sluices).
There are several habitat improvement works being carried out locally at present that we have had a hand in. One is on the ‘southerchannel’ below our Padworth River section. This is a fairly large project to narrow the channel in places, re-place previously washed awagravels, the placement of some ‘woody debris’ flow deflectors and washing of existing gravels.
Another is the re-connection of the ‘old’ river course at Theale. This will create a huge juvenile shelter, something that is essential in times of flood. There is also a much smaller but, no less important juvenile shelter being opened up along the Holybrook.
FISHERY MANAGEMENT & MARKETING REPORT
RDAA FISHERIES FORUM
7.30pm Wednesday 13th November, Tilehurst British Legion, Downing Rd. RG31 5BB.
ALL WELCOME - COME AND HAVE YOUR SAY AND GET INVOLVED.
We have recently agreed to establish a new Fisheries Management Committee (FMC) under the chairmanship of our President, Martin Salter. The FMC is tasked with developing strategies and plans to increase volunteer engagement from the wider membership in support of the Fisheries Officer in the management, maintenance, care and promotion of the RDAA fisheries and to look for new opportunities and collaborations as a means of improving the quality of fishing available to members. They will be announcing some exciting new developments at the meeting. They want hear members’ views on how our fisheries can be improved and developed. Please come along and do spread the word to others.
RDAA WILD TROUT FISHING
The RDAA Upper Benyon’s stretch of Middle Kennet at Padworth has seen a noticeable increase in the population of sizeable wild trout. These fish have filled the gap left by declining numbers of chub and barbel on the river, although it has been pleasing to see evidence of some successful recruitment of these two species in recent years.
Whilst signal crayfish have caused big problems for the spring spawning fish trout, as winter spawners, have not been so badly impacted and have prospered.
Our colleagues at the Wild Trout Trust believe that Upper Benyon’s has the best potential to deliver quality spring fly fishing for large wild trout, particularly in the Mayfly Season. A view confirmed by trout fishing legend Charles Jardine on a recent visit.
The venue has produced fish to five pounds to both fly and coarse anglers and the lower river has thrown up specimens over ten pounds.
We have agreed to establish a specific 20 RDAA member trout section for a trial period of three years and are inviting applications from new and existing members. The annual cost is an extra £50 for existing members and £70 for new recruits plus, of course the usual annual subscription. Half of all places are to be reserved initially for existing RDAA members.
This will be some of the most affordable chalkstream wild trout fishing in the country and we are expecting demand to be high.
Trout Section members will be entitled to:
Exclusive fishing on from April 15th each year until June 16 thereafter shared with thecoarse fishery
Fly fishing on nearly a mile of river on Upper Benyons North (bank only but carefulwading allowed)
Fish with any single fly on floating line
Fly fish any other RDAA water from June 16 to March 14
All fish are to be logged and returned and barbless/debarbed hooks are compulsory.
Applications are now open and members should drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org to
register an interest and explain why you’d like to be considered for membership