ADMINISTRATORS of Loch Lomond’s salmon and sea trout fishing are trumpeting 2009 as “possibly the best” for the last 20 years.

Readers of the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association’s (LLAIA) online reports for June, updated yesterday, suggest catches of spring fish are higher than expected. “It is hard to keep track of fish landed and lost, but suffice to say the loch is fishing just fine,” says the Commitee entry.

20lb 2009 Loch Lomond springer
20lb 2009 Loch Lomond springer

Reports are largely anecdotal, but record 50 fish taken between April and May with at least one fish of over 20lb.  It is not evident why it is not possible to catalogue and update official catch returns online each month, as some fisheries are able to do.

It is also apparent from the large number of images on the site, that pleas by the Association of District Salmon Fishery Boards for a 100% catch and release policy during the 2009 spring run, appear  unheeded in the Loch Lomond catchment.  The Committee suggests permit holders can make their own choice whether or not to “take fish home”.

The June entry, aimed at membership recruitment, makes only passing reference to the recent clamour for change in the running of the LLAIA.

Between the Lines has received no response to our request for an interview to discuss how the LLAIA intends to heal the rift with its dissident members. However, the latest report concludes in a conciliatory tone:

“We are not perfect and much still  has to be done.  Each year sees progress towards our goal and within a few years others will get their chance to come on to the committee and attempt to manage the system as well as we have done.

“When we took over, the state of the LLAIA was in ruins, now we are much stronger and healthier than ever in our long history. We hope we can give over the reigns [sic] of our great association to others who are like minded and dedicated as we have been.

“In the meantime the arguments have ceased and perhaps the vast majority of our members are back to doing what they like best of all – fishing the Loch Lomond system and enjoying themselves.”

Meanwhile, the dissident members’ on their rival website, have published their version of events which led to last month’s emergency general meeting of the association, Victory over Apathy.

In it, they urge the LLAIA to play close attention to the findings and advice of the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust and to respond to the Trust’s catchment management plan.