SPRING FISH LETTER 2012
As you will be aware it has been a very challenging Spring season on the Dee this year. A traditional February saw several days lost to grue but despite that there were good catches and the Commonty, in particular, did well against its 5-year average. The cold February gave way to a ridiculously warm March with Aboyne at 23?C, recording its highest ever Spring temperature. Six days later there was 6 inches of snow on the ground. Fishing on the Dee has certainly got variety!
Because of the very low water levels in March going into April, the overall catch on the Dee has been down as against the previous year. However, Ballogie and Carlogie maintained good catches and were, once again, the top beats on the Dee for the Spring rod catch, with Carlogie for the second year running doing a remarkable May catch of 70 fish.
Carlogie averaged just short of 35 fish per rod and Ballogie just a whisker less at 34 per rod. The next nearest Dee beat was Lower Crathes with 30.25 fish per rod.
I have mentioned previously that the Dee Board Assessments, for managing the fishery, are a considerable element of our costs. In 2014 the new rate of Assessment based on the revaluation of the fisheries will be operational. Due to the success of Ballogie and Carlogie over recent years there will be a sizeable increase in the Assessment of these two beats. Last season Ballogie caught approximately 6% of the total river catch and Carlogie 5.5%. The Assessment is broadly proportional to these catches. This could mean increases in the Assessment in the order of 100%. I hope to be able to accommodate this increase in costs by a steady increase in the charges for fishing, so avoiding a major increase for 2014.
We keep a careful eye on the charges made by other beats on the Dee and other rivers and I am confident that what we offer very good and competitive prices, for what has proved over recent years to be the best Spring fishing in Scotland.
By next season we hope to have extended Ford Cottage, improved access to the fishing on Ballogie below the Bridge and have Sean and family settled in their new house at Potarch, where he will be better able to keep an eye on both the River and fishers. However, I shall say more about forward plans in the Autumn Fishletter.