17th April Update

Lake of Menteith 17th April 2020


Water Temperature at 6ft 7C; Secchi disk Clarity 1.9m

Just a wee report to say hello to you all and pass on all our best wishes during these difficult times. We are relatively lucky here in the Port – it is rare to meet anyone unless they are visiting anglers. My thoughts are especially with those deemed at high risk and those in the towns and cities in built up areas. It is providing quality access to the outdoors for these groups that is usually one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
I have refrained from posting till now – as I didn’t want to rub salt in the wounds. It now seems right to be in touch.

It was our shortest season on record. We opened on Saturday 21st March and closed the next day on Sunday the 22nd March just prior to total lockdown announced on the 23rd March. Needless to say, there were some fine specimens/meals in the catches (below).

All the staff, Douglas Connor and Elma are currently on furlough – apart from myself, albeit on reduced hours – or that is the plan . I have been kept very busy, as there has been, and still is, much to be done. First off was reducing the stocking density in the ponds and this involved the netting of around 24000 fish. 8000 went straight into the Lake at Gateside, and the rest were redistributed to the pens and the cleared ponds to allow us to reduce density which reduces aggression (fin nipping) and also allows us to reduce feeding and growth – so we will have some available to stock for later on (some perhaps even for next year), when we get the all clear to reopen.
The ospreys are back, the woodpeckers are drumming and the willow is about to bloom. It has been driest and sunniest four weeks and I can remember. Burns are a trickle and loch level is low. Our stocking rate is more than double normal and with no anglers it is not surprising that when conditions are good the number of fish on the surface and the buzzers – are a sight for sore eyes (this rising picture from Thursday 16th March). The cormorants left us early this spring and this was partly due to our intensive scaring tactics that we employed over the winter. Last week I counted 4 birds on one occasion, 12 birds a few days later.

I went up the Craig o’ Port on Monday and thought this might be a fitting glimpse of the Lake to share. This most perfect specimen of a Rowan tree is clearly seen from the Lake – on the skyline behind Douglas’s house.
I have a few more fish to move and I have to clear out all the cancelled competitions (National Championship, Scottish club Championships, Disabled National and International, Ladies International, Anglian Water and many more……) from the online diary, to allow the spaces to be filled by the optimistic. Please get in touch if you want to try to re-arrange for later in the year or look in the booking diary from Wednesday of next week.
As to the future, I was speaking on the phone to the Chairman Alan Simpson this morning and we discussed how this might be a good time to review our whole operation to see how we can come out of this crisis equipped to go forward as a top class venue that is able to withstand the challenges of the future.

Unusual to be using the I word.
Regards and keep safe and well.