Looking downstream on the River Cree
Looking upstream on the River Bladnoch
Felling of commercial forestry in Galloway Forest Park
Looking upstream on the River Luce
North American Signal Crayfish
The sandy beach at Loch Grannoch
Belted Galloway Cattle, or 'Belties'
Fly fishing on the River Cree
A small upland burn
The High Cree, looking towards Cairnsmore of Fleet
A small waterfall on the Buchan Burn
A salmon from the Kirkcudbrightshire Dee
Thank you very much to the match organisers Wayne, Gareth and Steve who very kindly let us be part of their two-day Loch Ken Coarse Fishing Match across the weekend of the 3rd/4th December. We attended the match on Saturday in the hope of gathering some coarse fish data and information from match anglers for consideration within the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership 'Loch Ken Fisheries Study' which we are to report on by July 2017.
The two-day match was fully booked with 36 anglers fishing along the West Bank and Glenlaggan. We met anglers early on Saturday before they drew their pegs (fishing spot) that they would be positioned at for the entire day and returned in the afternoon in time for an exciting weigh-in. For those of you unfamiliar with a coarse angling match, anglers each draw a peg/location on the loch where they fish for a set time (10:30-15:30 in this match). Anglers keep their day's catch in a keep net that is presented for weigh-in. The competition is won by the angler with the heaviest bag of fish at the end of each match day. Pegs are arranged in sections of 4 or 5 anglers and within each section (eight in total last weekend), a winning bag is also selected at the end of each day.
Each section is named and in last weekend's match, the West Bank stretch called 'Boulders' was the place to be, with one peg recording a total bag weight of 18lb on Saturday and over 21lb on Sunday! Some bags weighed around a couple of ounces and this was normally from a few small ruffe. The majority of catches were bream or hybrids. Perch, roach, dace and ruffe were also among the weekend's catches. We tried to sample as many of the fish as possible, taking a note of their lengths before releasing them back into the loch.
We would like to thank the match organisers and all the anglers who took part in last weekend's match. The amount of fish data we were able to collect at the end of the match was exactly what we were hoping for. In addition, the feedback from anglers regarding their thoughts on the fishery at present was immensely helpful and we will use their input to focus recommendations towards improving Loch Ken fishery - the main outcome of this study. We are looking forward to attending two further match days during the spring.