Angling: Good news as prices are frozen on Almond

Bruce Hope, chairman of West Lothian Angling Association, has confirmed that a season permit will remain at £15 for their almost nine-mile stretch of The Almond.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 7:30 am
Bruce Hope (right) shows an attendee at West Lothian Angling Associations monthly fly tying sessions how it is done. Pic: Nigel Duncan

The decision was taken at this year’s annual meeting of the club, which has more than 130 permit holders and ambitious plans to increase adult membership and encourage children to become interested in ecology and in the sport itself.

Members are currently encouraged to send in their catch returns as soon as possible and Bruce said that fishing on the river had been good last year for members who come from as far afield as Doune in Stirlingshire and Haddington in East Lothian.

He said: “It is viable to keep the price at £15 for our fishing and that it good news for everyone. We are still growing as a club and we continue to look after the river for future generations of trout anglers.

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“Education is key (for that) and it is important for youngsters to know what the life cycle of fish in our river is about. What better way to do that is to link with schools show youngsters trout eggs hatching and then releasing them into the river.”

Volunteer bailiffs have been recruited for next season to assist the work of the Forth River Trust and the chairman said: “As a club, we want to do what we can to police our own waters.”

The West Lothian section of the Almond is roughly from the M8 motorway to Kirkton in Livingston. The migratory season opens on February 1, however this only applies to an upper limit of Almondell Country Park. The brown trout season for the whole river starts on March 15.

Bruce added: “There are plenty of brown trout to be had of various sizes averaging around 1lb and, if you are lucky enough, there are salmon and sea trout towards the end of the year.

“The Almond water quality is improving and, with the work of the Forth Rivers trust have been doing with barriers, sampling etc, it is all going in the right direction.”

Full details of fishing, dates and prices will be available soon on the Facebook page run by West Lothian Angling Association.

Elsewhere, River Esk, Musselburgh and District Angling Association (MDAA) host their AGM on Tuesday, December 3 (7.30pm) at Musselburgh Congregational Church.

Chairman Chris Halliday said all are welcome and he reminded any anglers yet to send in a catch return to do so by email to [email protected]

Meanwhile, the gates now open at 8am at Rosslynlee near Roslin and close at 4pm. Pottishaw Fishery near Whitburn have also confirmed their winter hours. It is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to dusk, with catering available on Saturday and Sunday. This includes soup, rolls, tea and coffee and Rae’s fab cakes.

Ticket prices at £10 catch and release and £15 kill (one fish).

Bangour Fishery in West Lothian have confirmed they will be closed from December to mid-March.

Bowden Springs near Linlithgow remains open and some quality trout have been caught on the milder days, according to owner Jim Gargaro.

The best fish caught was a 12lb rainbow and the best method is slow sinker with yellow dancer on a very slow retrieve, or a bung with buzzers set around the 6ft mark.

On the bait loch, local angler hooked for rainbow trout for 9lbs 8oz and the best method has been ledgered power bait.

On to the sea now, and there has been an encouraging interest from Lothians anglers in St Serfs SAC’s 22nd annual Xmas Competition, which carries a £1,000 prize for the heaviest cod.

The event is on Sunday, December 8 and boundaries are Elie to St Andrews.

Registration is at Anstruther Golf Club from 9am to 11.30am with fishing from noon to 6pm. Weigh-in is 6pm to 7pm and entry is £15 with seniors and juniors £5.

Deals on Reels will be there for tackle and bait supplies and this is a Penn Sea League event, with heaviest bag prizes to tenth place and heaviest fish prizes to fourth position.

All juniors receive a prize.