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Menteith Fisheries Ltd, Ryeyards, Port of Menteith, FK8 3RA.BUTTON


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Lake Preseason Report 17th March 2010

Clarity 2.1m Water Temperature at 6ft 4C.
The ice was a long time in going and people were still skating (over the shallows) in March – not something locals have seen before. After 12 weeks of ice cover we were finally able to get the waders on and the boats out on the 9th March in time for a successful days pike fishing on the 13th. On the 10th March the water temperature was 3.2C from the top to the deepest part of the Lake. One of the Lake’s attributes is its shallowness – so temperature should rise quite quickly as the warmer weather arrives.

Another Lake attribute, Bailiff Douglas Fraser recently celebrated his 25th year at the fishery. Douglas (on left) got his start when he was 16 years old and has “enjoyed the work, fun, banter and occasional wind up” over the years. Nice to see the waves again after the endless ice!

It has, according to reports, been the coldest winter in Scotland since records began in 1914 and this has reduced the winter growth rate of our fish for the coming season – particularly those that are set to be stocked over the next three months. We are investigating sources of bigger fish to swap in to keep mean weights up but our stringent fish health requirements and space limitations make this a difficult option. Growth rates have been affected over the whole of the UK and there is no excess of quality and disease free stocking sized fish, and indeed our suppliers of restocking sized trout have also been struggling to meet their weight targets. To complicate matters further, fish can sometimes show “compensatory growth” after a growth check – so growth rates may be better than normal over the next month. Time will tell.

Our pre-season stocking is to be 1300 rainbow trout and mean weight is expected to be around 2lbs (range 1.75 to 2.25lbs) and 600 brown trout of average weight 3/4lb. Before the ice arrived there was a good head of rainbows in the Lake and we hope the deterrent effect of the winter ice on predators will have reduced our usual losses of over wintered fish. Oxygen was monitored during the thick ice period and found to be in plentiful supply. There is also a belief amongst the angling fraternity that the buzzer fishing on the Lake can be exceptional after a long freeze.

One of our top angling regulars gave me the following advice for early season tactics at the Lake. “If its calm a DI 5 or DI 7 line with boobies. If it is windy it’ll be better pulling with mini lures (e.g. Cats Whisker, Viva) on a DI 3 or wet cell 2. Black and green are favoured early colours at the Lake. If there is a mild spell and the weather is calm, buzzers on a midge tip or floater with a long leader are always worth a try. The areas that usually work well are Sam’s Point in to Reedy Bay and Hotel Bay, Shear Point and the Lochend Drifts.

This year the Lake is hosting (to name but a few); the Scottish Club Championships, The National Fly Fishing Championships (heats, semis and final) Anglian Water/Air Flow Team Heats, Menteith/ACStirling Boat League, Lexus Team Heats, Scottish Police National and International Events, Ladies National, Disabled National, SANA Open, Wateraid and the Lake Charity Event and the weekly young persons club the Cormorants. 

We have a reconstructed web site and have updated our albums with photos from 2008 and 2009. We also have a boat availability page which we hope anglers can consult to help them plan there fishing in the future - before making a booking by telephone or email. In addition we are installing a card payment machine which will accept mainly debit and some credit cards and this will be available shortly.  

Our opening day motors off on the 20th March and afterwards the anglers are invited to join us for the Chairman’s Dinner at the Forth Inn. Good Luck to all for the new season!  Below is a shot of the last of the ice - taken on the 8th March.

PS Look out for road closures on www.stirling.gov.uk/roadclosures. You will see roads in the area (Thornhill and Arnprior) are scheduled as closed now and for the next two weeks - while at the time of writing this they are open! So all the council website is doing is notifying us of a risk. Usually they put signs up when they are actually closing - so if in doubt give myself or Douglas a phone (see contacts page) QG

the ice retreats