Anglers warned of ‘catastrophically low’ water levels in Forth and Clyde Canal

Scottish angling boss Gus Brindle has revealed that water levels in stretches of the Forth & Clyde Canal, which is popular with anglers from the Lothians, is, in some areas, "catastrophically low".

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 4:55 am
Gus Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, has warned of low water levels.

Brindle, chairman of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, said the situation is due to a water supply incident at the Monkland pipeline which provides 70 per cent of the water supply required by the canal.

An investigation is underway and Brindle said Scottish Canals are in touch with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and water may need to be pumped into the canal.

This may take time but Brindle added: "It should be stressed that not all of the canal is affected and Scottish Canals staff are monitoring fish stocks in areas of low water. "

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Water levels in stretches of the Forth and Clyde Canal have been described as "catastrophically low". Picture: John Devlin

Anglers and members of the public who spot fish in distress or stranded should email [email protected]

Brindle added: "Individuals should not attempt to enter the canal to affect fish rescues themselves. The canal bed has large deposits of deep silt in some areas with hidden unknown objects, both of which could represent significant risk to life."

Meanwhile, Eliburn Reservoir at Livingston, closed to allow fish to spawn, has now reopened.

The fourth match in the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling League is today at Alex's Pond at Orchill near Auchterarder.

The best seven scores of the 11 rounds count for places.

Matchday three saw 14 anglers compete and the weather was kind – it was a warm sunny day with no wind.

The pond fished well and the winner was Dave Mulholland. He gave up counting the chub he landed and he also had a carp in his net for 24lb 10oz.

Second was Scott McGhee who had a mixed catch that included carp and he put 9lb 4oz on the scales to pip Tony Ball by 4oz.

Meanwhile, Tweeddale Millennium near Gifford will host a bait competition on Saturday, June 19, from noon to 4pm with a £100 first prize.

Second place receives £70 and third £50 and any legitimate method can be used apart from spinning. Entries via the Tweeddale Trout Fishery's Facebook page.

Over in West Lothian, Allandale Tarn near West Calder confirm that the new hours of fishing are 9am to 10pm excluding Tuesdays as the fishery is closed one day every week.

Daddy long legs and buzzers plus beetle patterns have been producing but the warm weather is not conducive to angling.

At Bowden Springs near Linlithgow, Iain Telford landed three cracking brown trout in three casts. His bag was highlighted by a 10lb brown trout and the pattern which did the damage was a sedge.

Nearly, at Linlithgow Loch, Ashington Kingfishers from Newcastle found the brisk east wind tricky during their two-day visit which included a practice day on the Saturday and a competition on the Sunday.

These anglers fish under international rules which means no anchoring and a size limit on flies and lures.

On their first day they netted 14 fish, mostly on buzzers and sink tip lines. It was different on the competition day and the anglers used fast sinking lines with various cats and boobies and fished the deep water. They hooked into 26 fish for 82lb plus 15 returned and remarks were made about the quality of the fish.

Also out on the water were IBM Freshwater AC who kept 12 fish for 35lb with a best fish of 4lb. They were tempted by cormorants and buzzers while Prinlaws AC returned 12 on buzzers and crunchers, best fish 4½lbs.

Ferry Fly Fishers kept 33 fish for 90lb and returned 25 and these were mostly caught on damsels and tequila boobies in the deep water.

North Berwick AC have also visited and they scored with diawl bachs and buzzers.

Trevor Gibson returned 12 on black and red buzzers and Tam Easton returned 11 on a black green lure and Nigel Muckle returned 11 on cat's whisker with a fast intermediate line.

A spokesman said: "We continue to stock weekly and all parts of the loch are fishable. Boats are available for most days for full day or four-hour sessions. Evening sessions are from approximately 4pm until dusk."

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A reminder that the Open Day at Cobbinshaw near West Calder for potential news members is on Sunday, July 4, when anglers can see the facilities and fish free for three hours, weather permitting.

There is an entrance fee of £150 and annual subscription of £306.

Harlaw in the Pentland Hills has been fishing well even on cold nights with heavy mist and East winds. Robert Ross, company secretary of Malleny Angling, who administer the water, said that he landed despite a cold mist sweeping the water.

He added: "Generally, this type of cold Easterly puts the fish down, but not this evening when the water temperature was several degrees warmer than the air temperature."

Between 7.30pm and 8.30pm he landed six fish, the largest about 3.25lb, and also lost another three.

Trout were actively taking a small black buzzer but also chasing either a fast moving nymph or minnow. He opted to fish a sink tip line with a cast of two small lures, both tied on size 10 short shank hooks.

He fished a black hothead dancer on the point and a yellow dancer on the dropper with a cast length of 12ft at a depth of about 2ft with a figure of eight irregular slow stop start retrieve and added: "The quality of the fish was superb and fought like a fish twice the size, fabulous fishing."

Over the Pentlands at Glencorse Reservoir, owner Bill Taylor said fishing recently has been much more challenging with the brisk winds and changeable weather.

Some anglers are still catching on D3 or fast glass lines with hot head damsels, diawl bach, cormorants and various fabs and boobies .

He reminded anglers that fishing is strictly fly only and there is no bank fishing. Boats need to be booked in advance and no walk-ins are taken. Bookings should be made by phone or email.

Rosslynlee report tricky conditions this week with the water warming and fish going deeper. James Meyes, however, landed eight on Millennium bug and Gordon Bunce six on daddy and buzzer patterns.

In the sea, Jimmy Green won the third round of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League's summer series which was a rover from Belhaven Beach to West Sands. It was a codling of 1lb 9oz

The second round was at Seacliff Beach where Simon Swift took the honours with a 20cm fish on a perfect night of weather but not for catching fish.

The fourth round is on June 23 at a venue which will be confirmed on the club's Facebook page three days before the event.

Riverside Drive in Dundee is the venue for the Scottish Shore Angling Match Group's first event of the season with fishing today from 1pm to 6pm. There is a maximum of 45 anglers and the draw will include some of Scotland's top anglers.