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    Blairgowrie, Rattray & District Angling Association


Minutes of Annual General Meeting 9 December 2022

  1. Welcome

    President Sean Dornan welcomed all present to the meeting and distributed copies of the 2021 AGM Minute and the 2022 Statement of Accounts for perusal. Grant Findlay then delivered the following message from the Honorary President, Jamie MacPherson.:
    “Good Evening to You All,
    I am so sorry that I cannot be with you this evening, but a diary clash has prevented me travelling North. Anyway, I send best wishes to all of you gathered, and the entire membership, and I trust you have had a good meeting!We are delighted to continue or association with the Angling Club for another year and I hope that next year we see a better head of water throughout the year that allowed some fabulous fish to be caught in the Spring. Yes, Milos – I very much enjoyed seeing your photos earlier in the year! Keep them coming.I do also want to echo the sentiments of others by relaying my personal thanks to Peter and Alasdair for their unwavering support of the club, but more importantly the friendship shown towards my late father, and now to me! They have done so much for the club, and I know they will continue to offer their help to all, but hopefully now have some time for some fishing! Our good wishes go to you both, and many thanks.In the meantime, I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas, and Tight Lines in the New Year. Best wishes, Jamie”

  2. Apologies

    Apologies were received from J. MacPherson, G. Kellie, T. Melville and G. Wilkinson (Sooty)

    Trophies and Tokens

    Alasdair Campbell presented the trophies and tokens for the 2022 season: -

    Trophy Awards Season 2022



    Runner Up

    Buchan Cup

    Association Champion

    D. Hogg

    S. Brown

    Murdoch Cup

    Fingask Loch Competitions

    D. Hogg

    S. Brown

    Loch Leven Cup

    Loch Leven Champion

    No Competition

    No Competition

    McNab Cup

    White Loch Heaviest Trout



    Glen Cup

    Fingask Final Competition

    J. Beedie

    D. Bell

    Constitutional Cup

    River Champion

    No Competition

    No Competition

    Macpherson of Cluny Cup

    Salmon Champion

    J. Thompson


    John Beaton Rosebowl

    Monikie Trophy

    J. Dornan

    G. Kellie

    Angus Trophy

    Fingask Loch Heaviest Trout



    Dave Mitchell Cup

    White Loch Best basket



    Rainbow Trophy

    Rescobie Cup

    D. Hogg

    W. Petrie

    John Oliver Trophy

    Fingask Loch Best Basket



    Summer Cup

    Fingask Competition Week

    No Competition

    No Competition

    Junior Cup

    Junior Champion

    No Competition

    No Competition

    Neil Gonella Trophy

    Opening Competition on Fingask

    S. Brown

    D. Hogg

    Competition Secretary’s Report

    Alasdair intimated that the Club had sadly lost three members during the past year: Willie Turner, a Committee member for over 40 years, Peter Irvine, a former Vice President and Committee member and Norman Laing, a long-time club member. The Club competition season started on Saturday 2 April 2022 at Fingask which fished well with trout showing all over the loch. A good day’s fishing was had by all parties. April and May outings continued to produce some very good catches with fish active in the upper layers of the loch and midge tip / glass lines seeing greatest success. However, the hot and bright conditions in June and July saw fish lying deep and hard to find other than with HiD lines and blobs / boobies.

    Throughout the year, the Club organised a number of successful outings to Rescobie and one to Monikie. A second visit to Monikie had to be cancelled due to high winds. On 16 and 17 July 2022, the Club held a very successful charity event on Fingask and Whiteloch in aid of Cancer Research. This followed a proposal by member Garry Milne who also kindly donated a wide selection of personally tied flies as part of the fundraising effort. A barbecue, delivered by Head Chef Chic Campbell, together with post-event donations, swelled the total sum raised to £1200 which was split equally between Roxburghe House in Dundee and the Oncology Unit at Perth Royal Infirmary. Messages of thanks from both recipients were read out to the meeting and have been published on the BRDAA website. Following this success, it is intended to hold a similar charity event in 2023.  The River Ericht had a very productive Spring with some big salmon being seen and caught. The best fish, weighing 27lb,s was caught by Club member Jamie Thompson, winning him the Macpherson Trophy. Other notable catches reported included a 20lb salmon caught by last year’s champion, Milos Vasiljevic from the Blairgowrie bank and a season’s bag of 14 fish to the rod of John Paul Williamson.

    The pike fishers, on Fingask, also saw great success with Ian Hay landing a number of excellent fish on the fly, the largest of which was a 27lb specimen.

    In closing, Alasdair thanked all those who had helped to ensure the lochs ran efficiently throughout the season to the benefit of members and guests before announcing his intention to retire from the role.
    He was thanked by the Chair for his sterling work on behalf of the Club and this was echoed by those present. The need for a new Competition Secretary would be dependent on members’ consideration of a proposal regarding the continuation of competitions for the 2023 season.


  3. Minute of 2021 AGM

    Having been considered by members present, duly proposed by C. Campbell and seconded by S. Brown the content of the minute was accepted as a true record of the 2021 AGM.

  4. Matters Arising

    The Chairman intimated that the majority of matters arising from the 2021 AGM related to the River Ericht and included: -

    • Deterioration of the weirs and fish pass at Blairgowrie Bridge

    • Lade intake sluices / smolt screens

    • Abstraction

    • Pollution from old town dump

    • Riverbank subsidence

    • Crayfish

      In season 2022, the Association had been asked join a new River Ericht Focus Group run by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board and 4 members of Committee (Grant Kellie, Peter Lock, Andrew Lees and Gavin Robertson) volunteered. As the work of the Focus Group encompassed most of the aforementioned matters arising, Gavin Robertson provided an update.

  5. River Ericht Focus Group

    Gavin advised that the River Ericht Focus Group was set up in May, a combination of BRDAA Committee members and staff / members of TDSFB including the Director Dr David Summers and Mike Brown, the Operations Manager. It was a mix of local knowledge and passion for the river combined with science, enforcement, media and fundraising experience. It was a means of supporting and taking forward the work which the Club, particularly Grant Kellie, has been leading on. The Focus Group has real potential but it is still in its infancy. The Group had identified 3 main issues affecting the Ericht: -

    1. Water abstraction - mainly the top weir and lade but together with agricultural abstraction on Ericht and its tributaries, is the current level of abstraction appropriate? A review by SEPA to move the river from “moderate to good ecological status” appears to be the key to most issues - this has been long promised but remains undelivered.

    2. Physical barriers - top and bottom weirs, the lade and the broken fish pass. Owners unidentified. Various agencies / companies do what they need to do but are only looking after their own limited interests with little thought being given to the salmon and the wider ecology of the river.

    3. Increasing numbers of predators, especially fish-eating birds.
      As a means of persuading the various interested parties to take long promised improvement action to ensure safe passage for migratory fish (adults and smolts), the Group is seeking to use the Scottish Government’s recently launched Wild Salmon Strategy which provides the vision that “Scotland’s rivers have healthy, self-sustaining populations of wild Atlantic salmon that achieve good conservation status.

      Focus Group Actions

      • Peter Lock, Davie Hogg and Gavin had met with Fish Farm staff, including the new MD, who stated that they were willing to work with the Club and others to improve the current situation but nothing specific was volunteered.

      • Presentations had been made to Tay Rivers Trust and TDSFB and both support the Ericht Project. Both also accepted that fish returning to the Ericht swim through the famous beats of the middle and lower River Tay and recognise that the Ericht as the main Spring salmon generator in the entire Tay catchment. The issues experienced on the Ericht are not just problems for the Club and local riparian owners.

      • Letters have been sent to MSPs including John Swinney and Mhairi Gougeon and an exchange of correspondence continues.

      • On 22 November a meeting was held on the Ericht to fully brief key Scottish Government officials.

      • Updated Scottish Government response is awaited but will hopefully now be better informed.

      • On 5 December 2022 Goosander / Cormorant counts were carried out in support of the TDSFB management licence.

      • Collation of evidence for submission to any future SEPA review / supporting next steps

    Gavin closed by saying that further actions were heavily dependent on the content of the next SG response but may include public awareness raising, a conference, public petition / lobbying of local councillors / MSPs / MPs and a media campaign. It is vital to make the narrative about the wider ecology of the river, not just fishing - involving other groups / interested parties.


  6. Chairman’s Report

    Sean Dornan offered thanks to all benefactors for the kindness of permitting our members and guests to use their waters, access roads and parking areas and to all other businesses and individuals supporting the Association and its aims:

    • Jamie MacPherson for the Blairgowrie Bank fishings.

    • West Grange Fishings for access to and use of the Rattray Bank fishings.

    • Paul Barnard for Tinkletap.

    • Steve Simpson of Whiteloch Farm for Fingask.

    • Druidsmere Estate for Whiteloch.

    • Mr. Nicholson of Rosemount Farm for access to allow litter picking.

    • Kate Fleming’s for the collection of subscriptions and sale of tickets.

    • Jas. Crockart and Rob Strachan for the sale of tickets.

    • The members and associate members involved in the river bank and loch work parties.

    • Garry Milne for his charity event suggestion and donation of flies.

    • Chic Campbell for services to bankside cookery.

    • Peter Lock, Grant Kellie, Andrew Lees and Gavin Robertson for their work on the River Ericht Focus Group.

    • Sandy Brown for his work on the club website and Supersaas booking system


  7. River report

    As Grant Kellie had tendered his apologies, there was no additional river report. This will be provided to the first Committee meeting in 2023.


  8. Secretary’s report

    Peter Lock stated that 2022 had been a fairly routine year and that the conduct of the Club and its fishings were more or less back to normal. He updated members on the following:

    • The coded entry system for the lochs had been introduced and, following some minor teething problems, was working well.

    • The loch CCTV system had reduced the number of unwelcome visitors, littering and vandalism and had contributed to an overall safer environment in the wider area.

    • Thanks to the good offices of Steve Simpson, arrangements for fishing Fingask would continue.

    • Druidsmere Estate was currently for sale. If the sale is not finalised prior to the start of the season, it has been agreed by the existing owner that the Club’s access will continue. The Club hopes to continue its current arrangement with the new owners.

    • For 2023, the Association’s arrangements for fishing the Ericht (Tinkletap, Blairgowrie and Rattray banks) would continue.

    • A proposal by West Grange Fishings in respect of the fishing upstream of Blairgowrie Bridge would be heard by members later in the agenda.

    • Club Membership had reduced slightly to 272.

    • Whiteloch had seen a fall in returns of £2012 as it had been very lightly fished.

    • The cost of stock fish was predicted to rise for 2023 and a proposed increase in fees would be tabled for consideration later in the agenda.


  9. Treasurer’s report

    Peter Lock stated that the Club’s finances were in order and in a very healthy position with £56,841 in the bank. Members noted this favourable position and had no further questions in this regard.

    Treasurers report acceptance Proposed by Paul Grant, Seconded by Paul Chambers Insert.

    Mr. Lock then formally announced his intention to retire from both Secretary and Treasurer positions after over two decades serving the Club. He thanked Davie Hogg, Alasdair Campbell, Sooty, Sandy Brown and Shaun Dornan and all who have assisted over the years for their help and support.

    Members proposed a special vote of thanks to Peter for his years of dedicated service.


  10. River proposal

    Andrew Lees, West Grange Fishings, advised the meeting that there are sometimes limitations of access between bank sharing partners (Blairgowrie Members and Rattray Bank Guests only) when fishing the waters above the bridge from the top of Tordarroch pool downstream to the Blairgowrie Bridge. Following completion of the letting accommodation at West Grange, this would increase from 2023 onwards. To alleviate fishing pressure, but retain access for all to this stretch of water when at the “correct” height, he proposed the following:-

    That according to the existing daily rota, whichever of the two partners has the fishing on the upper beat also has the fishing above Blairgowrie Bridge up to 1pm. From 1pm onward until midnight then the lower beat has access to the waters above the bridge. The area between Tinkletap and the top of Tordarroch on the Blairgowrie Bank only would remain accessible to members on a daily basis.
    Advantages would be that from the top of Tordarroch to Blairgowrie Bridge,

    • both partners will get an equal independent opportunity to fish above Blairgowrie Bridge from both banks on a rotating daily basis each day.

    • All anglers will have better access to the waters and can fish from either bank as per preference
      The alternative is for a daily rota in line with the current rota where access to waters above bridge are available to whichever partner has the upper beat.

      Members sought some clarification of this proposal which was provided. There followed discussion after which the proposal was carried unanimously without need for vote.

      Decision - proposal accepted.

      Action - to be added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  11. Limitation of access for the river below Blairgowrie Bridge.

    S. Dornan advised that Committee members (2) have been approached by members opining that there are too many anglers with access to the river causing overcrowding and thereby limiting access for members. It should be noted that the annual numbers of guest tickets sold is already limited with less than 6 season or weekly tickets sold per annum over the last 5 years and a maximum of 12 guest day tickets sold on a daily basis.

    Following Discussion by Committee, the proposal is that, if voted as necessary, then the Club could restrict Guest River Ericht anglers to the 5 weekdays only. This may reduce income but not significantly.

    Following discussion and clarification of the proposal, it was put to a vote with most members abstaining. Of those members who voted, the majority was in favour of the proposed change which was therefore agreed.

    Decision - proposal accepted.

    Action - to be added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  12. Proposed introduction of Booking System for River Ericht

    S. Dornan advised that the introduction of Associate River & Loch members from 2021 has increased the numbers of anglers fishing the river but he stated that the majority of these members are not frequent fishers so will have a limited effect on numbers fishing daily anyway. The additional income from these members (who pay an annual fee which is more than double that of ordinary members) assists the Association to improve the river with payment of associated costs for the benefit of all members & guests.
    He questioned whether members would be in favour of limiting numbers of fishers on the river each day and that if such limitation is to be introduced, then this may be achieved by introducing a booking system as per the proposed introduction for future loch bookings system.
    Members sought clarification on both aspects of this proposal and there followed discussion. In summary, members felt that the main issue in terms of perceived crowding on the river, especially at favourable water heights, was not so much the number of anglers but rather the conduct and behaviour of some anglers e.g., failure to make acceptable progress down a pool. Members were unanimously not in favour of limiting numbers of river anglers and so the need for a booking system was not met.

    Decision - proposal not supported. Action - no further action required.

  13. Membership Details Update

    S. Dornan reported that, at the start of season 2022, existing and new members were asked to update their details in preparation for season 2023. Forms were available in Kate Fleming’s shop and on the website. The membership details are required to update current “likeness” for membership cards, to facilitate contact, by a choice of methods, with all members regarding Association news and information and to confirm addresses and postcodes. The matter had been discussed by Committee which proposed that no 2023 memberships will be started / renewed until the necessary details have been submitted. Following a short discussion this proposal was agreed unanimously by those present.

    Decision - Proposal to be implemented without change.

    Action - to be added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  14. Supersass Booking System

    This relates to the proposed new electronic booking system for the lochs only meantime. Sandy Brown outlined the system and its perceived benefits. During his presentation and the discussion which followed, he confirmed that: -

    • the system is extremely flexible and can be configured to the Club’s exact requirement rather than the Club having to conform to the system’s limitations.

    • Members will be able to book boats not only in advance as per the current system, but also on the day of fishing.

    • Members will be able to see online how many boats have been booked / are available.

    • Rather than introduce an electronic payment system at the same time, the current payment method will continue.

    • This system will support booking of evening sessions where implemented.

    • Members can book / cancel and rebook boats on the day.

    • A trial system has been successfully tested by a number of members across a range of ages and levels of IT literacy.

    • For those that do not feel confident in using electronic booking system through the website help will be offered.

    • The current “Ghillie phone” will continue to be operated in the short to medium term.

    • As per the previous agenda item, all members will have to provide photos and certain other details to use the system.

      It was agreed that the only viable alternative was to identify a member or members who were willing to staff the “Ghillie phone” going forward. There being no volunteers, a lively discussion ensued during which members’ remaining concerns were aired and reassurance provided.

      Decision - Supersaas system to be implemented for lochs only from 1 April 2023.

      Action - to be progressed by Sandy Brown and added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  15. Salmon Returns

    S. Dornan advised that any angler who fishes for salmon / sea trout on association waters must submit a return stating the number of days fished per month, catch weights, bank fished and whether fish caught were kept or released. The returns information is a government requirement enforceable by law with fines for non-compliance.

    He asked members to please remember that BRDAA adheres to current TDSFB guidelines of total “catch & release”.

    If Supersaas were to be used for the river then it could automatically calculate salmon returns on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis if all anglers co-operate. As Supersaas is not to be implemented for the river at this time, it is essential for all members affected to better use the current system. Due to the poor response of salmon return requests annually, despite making the form readily available in different formats, it is proposed by Committee that, from 2023, anyone not completing their return will receive a “yellow card” first warning. If an angler fails to submit their return a second time (red card) then they risk losing access to club waters for a year or loss of membership following consideration by Committee.Following a very short discussion, members unanimously supported this proposal.

    Decision - Proposal to be implemented for 2023 season.

    Action – to be added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  16. Competitions future

    A. Campbell advised that, currently, the number of anglers attending competitions has decreased to a level where we are barely filling 3 boats and asked members whether there was any point in continuing to organise competitions. Members, particularly those who regularly fish the lochs and take part in competitions, discussed the matter. They were unanimous in considering that all competitions should be suspended until further notice.

    Decision - No club competitions to be organised.

    Action - to be placed on Committee agenda for action and communication.


  17. Club Fees

    Peter Lock reminded members of the anticipated increase in the cost of stock fish for the lochs for 2023. Given the current economic climate, it was proposed to maintain the current membership / subscription costs with the exception of the Junior membership which would be made free of charge in order to encourage younger members to join. To cover the cost of stock fish, it was proposed to increase the cost of member and guest loch tickets by £1. This would not cover all of the cost increase: the balance being paid from Club funds.There followed discussion whereby members unanimously agreed the reduction to nil cost of the Junior membership. Members then made a counter proposal that the loch ticket increase should be £2, meaning that the whole increase in cost of stock fish would be met by those using the loch. The amended proposal was supported unanimously.

    Decision - cost of loch trout tickets to be increased by £2 for 2023 season.

    Action - to be added to Committee agenda for implementation and communication.


  18. Retiring Office Bearers / Club Committee

    Peter Lock is retiring from the Secretary / Treasurer roles.Paul Hastie had previously agreed to take on the role of Treasurer. This appointment was properly proposed by P. Lock & seconded by D. Hogg and unanimously supported by those present.

    Alasdair Campbell will retire from the position of Competitions Secretary. The decision having been taken to suspend all club competitions, a replacement in this role will not be required.

    Peter Lock, Alasdair Campbell and Davie Hogg have kindly agreed to remain as Committee members.


  19. Purchase of new boats

    Peter Lock described the condition of the Association boats on both lochs and the need to replace two of the fleet which were around 50 years old and their hulls were becoming “thin”. Peter had received prices for two suitably sized and equipped replacements and had negotiated favourable delivery rates as part of a planned groupage delivery to Scotland in 2023. The cost was £8500 for both boats, delivered to Blairgowrie when quoted in 2022.

    Decision - members unanimously agreed this purchase.

    Action - Peter Lock to progress and matter to be added to Committee agenda for governance.


  20. Any Other Competent Business

  1. Loch Fishing Start / Finish Times

     member present requested clarification of start / finish times for the Association lochs as it was felt some inconsistency had developed, perhaps through a lack of understanding of the agreed times, In the resultant discussion it was agreed that: -

    Decision - members may arrive at the lochs no earlier than 0830 to launch boats at 0900.

    Action - matter to be added to Committee agenda for implementation / communication to members and guests.


  2. Loch Catch / Keep / Return Limits

    A member present sought clarification of the catch / keep / return limits for the Association lochs. After a short discussion, it was agreed that; -

    Decision - Persons fishing the Association lochs are entitled to a 10 fish catch limit and are at liberty to keep up to 4 fish, returning the remaining 6.


  3. River Bank Work Budget

A member present reminded the meeting of the Committee’s previous discussions regarding the disappointing numbers of members who had attended the 2022 river bank work parties. To ensure that necessary work was carried out during 2023, the Committee had undertaken to provide a sum of money to pay for commercial contractors to augment the 2023 work parties. Following a brief discussion, members agreed that this would be appropriate and would represent a very worthwhile investment in the Ericht fishings to the benefit of members and guests. It was recognised that the nature and full extent of the required work would not be known until the river is surveyed during the first quarter of 2023.

Decision - the Association will provide a sum of money in support of river bank work.

Decision - Grant Kellie, Andrew Lees and Gavin Robertson will survey the river banks in early 2023 and make report to the Committee.

There being no further business, the meeting was closed.

Minute of Annual General Meeting, 9 December 2022 Presented by Minute Secretary Gavin Robertson



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