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Rickmansworth Conservative Angling Society Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 21st March 2018

Meeting opened: 20:05

Apologies: Andy Robinson, Bruce Clargo, Barry Harrowing, Gary Newman, Russ Sargent.

Attendance: 46 Members

Approval of Last Year’s AGM minutes; Proposed – Les Bailly, Seconded – Bruce Grundon.

Approved - Unanimously

Matters Arising: No matters arising.

Chairman’s Report and Questions:

Tony updated the membership on the recent negotiation with Clancy Docwra on the license for Troy lake, reducing their suggested 6% annual increase down to 4% and a seven year license, renewable after 5 years. This extra two year period is to enable us to remove our fish stocks, should we be unable to renew the license for any reason.

Question from the floor: Will the Clancy bank swims be re-opened to fishing in the future.

Tony: Unfortunately we have no access to the Clancy bank for the foreseeable future. However, the position may change,  so we can negotiate access to the two swims at either end of the bank


Rod: Can we also remind members to take care casting towards the Clancy bank as any 'crack-offs' are liable to send leads into the Clancy car park.

Tony reported that Affinity water had recently employed an Estate Management company, Delcour Maclaren, to manage all their properties  including the Pynesfield lakes. We will therefore be dealing with them rather than going through our previous direct contact with Affinity. Tony's friend and Estate Manager, Craig Huckle is sadly moving on in the company and will take over the role of Asset Management, with little to do with the actual running of the estates.


Tony then indicated that there was no further updates since the Chairman's report provided in the Agenda for the AGM but invited any further questions from the floor. No questions were forthcoming.

Treasurers Report:

Bernie provided the account totals, as detailed in the balance sheets distributed with the AGM schedule.

Bernie explained that there had been a large outgoing this year in the form of the new club hut, and asked members to please do their best to look after it, enabling it to give many years’ service. A further exceptional outgoing this year was the purchase of the new tractor for maintenance work around the fishery.

Rod took this opportunity to thank the members that had volunteered their time towards the installation of the new hut.

Bernie then invited any further questions from the floor regarding the treasurers report. With no further questions forthcoming, Bernie provided the report from auditor Cathy Barr. Bernie proposed a vote that Cathy Barr be used as Accounts auditor again next year. Passed Unanimously.

Secretary's Report:

Rob explained that there was no updates to report on since provision of the Secretary’s report in the AGM agenda, then invited any questions from the floor. With no questions forthcoming Rob thanked the Committee for the efforts over the past season, and requested that members do their best to attend one of the Close season work parties.

Water management:


Dave reported that over 500 kg of crayfish had been removed from Pynesfield Small Lake over the past season by the trappers. Dave requested that members make sure crayfish traps are left in the water, to prevent bait attracting rats and damage to the traps.

Dave reported that water levels on the lakes had recovered well over winter, but that the outflow sluice from the small lake requires some repair work which will help it retain a slightly higher water level, this will be addressed at the first close season work party.

Dave reported that a significant amount of tree work will be undertaken through the close season work parties, including removal of the large fallen tree from the Orchard causeway, as well as some in a number of swims around the lake. Work will also include improving access on some swims making them more accessible and fishable at lower water levels.

Dave also reported that fifteen C5 fish from VS fisheries had been stocked into Pynesfield small lake in November and that pictures of the stocked fish were included in the Christmas RCAS newsletter. It is planned that another 15 fish will be delivered from VS next winter in line with the stocking policy agreed at the 2017 AGM.

Dave then invited comments from the floor on how the fifteen fish should be split between the lakes, and whether members were happy to continue with the agreed stocking policy.

Question from the floor: How big have the stocked fish reached in Pynesfield Large?

Scott: We are aware that some of the stock fish from 5/6 years ago have now reached the 30lb mark.

Question from the floor: Why is there an area fenced off on the ‘lawns’ on Pynesfield Large?

Tony: Affinity have fenced off some areas to install new testing boreholes to monitor any effect of HS2 on their ground water supply. Members are still able to enter the area for access to the lake.

Bailiffs Report:

Rod reported the resignation of long standing committee member and bailiff Bob Perkins and thanked him for his services to the club.

Rod requested that members be aware that the lack of fence at the boundary to Clancy means that it is easy for people to access the site, once they have entered through Clancy’s main gates. We have already had incidents of members of the public entering the fishery through this route, including two people that helped themselves to one of the clubs dinghys and went for a ‘joy-boat’ around on Troy lake, as well as the toilet block being broken into. This means the site is not as safe as it once was and anglers need to be aware of leaving tackle unattended or on view within cars etc.

Rod also reminded members that there will be a start of the season BBQ again at the Club hut for the start of the season.

At this point Tony requested Bob Perkins onto the stage. Bob was presented with Harefield Tackle Vouchers and thanked for his commitment to the club over the years, Bob received a hearty round of applause from the members.

Membership secretary:

Simon reported that were no further updates since the report distributed in the AGM agenda and invited any questions.

Question from the floor: How many names have been removed from the waiting list?

Simon: We typically remove 3-4 per year, generally when the proposer tells us they no longer want them on the waiting list. Two membership places have come up for next season, we currently have seven names on the family waiting list.

Tony reminded members of the new PO Box address, and Simon's new email address – rcasmembers@gmail.com.

Subscription Fees for 2018-2019:

No Changes

Election of the committee:

The floor voted unanimously in favour of re-electing the existing committee on block.

A further unanimous vote was taken to vote for John Carter to take on the committee position of 'Troy Liaison Officer and Bailiff'.

Proposed changes to the rules.

Proposal: 20 'Troy' Members to fish Troy lake only from 16th June 2018 to 14th March 2019. Proposal to be voted on at each AGM for the following year.

Result of members vote: Passed Unanimous.

Motion Passed.

Question from the floor: How many people on the waiting list took up the option of Troy membership for the past season?

Simon: We filled 18 of the 20 places last year.

Question from the floor: How many of the ‘original’ Troy members are remaining?

Simon: Around 10.

Proposal: Half way rule. An Angler may only fish waters halfway towards another Angler, be that on an opposite or adjacent bank.

Result of members vote: Carried Unanimously.

Motion Passed.

Any Other Business.

Tony invited any further business or points of discussion from the floor.

Comment from the floor: Noticeable that toilets had been left in poor condition this winter.

Rod: Unfortunately Clancy operatives that have been present for the building work over winter have been accessing our toilet block and leaving it in a poor state. We will be looking to put new locks on the toilet to limit access.

Comment from the floor: It would be a good idea to leave some cleaning materials so members could help maintain toilets.

Question from the floor: Is the door on the lawns toilet going to be replaced as it is currently half missing?

Rod: Yes we will replace the door.

Question from the floor: Fishing has seemed particularly hard this season on the small lake, have we got an estimate of how many fish are left?

Rod and Dave: We think we have lost up to eleven fish from the small lake this year, at a rough estimate we think there are 60-80 fish remaining, but it is difficult to gauge with accuracy.

Question from floor: We think numbers may be lower than that. Have we considered introducing more fish into the Pynesfield lakes, due to the numbers lost this year.?

Question from the floor: What about stocking larger numbers of C3 fish?

Question from the floor: What about introducing a faster growing strain of carp?

Dave: We agreed at the AGM in 2017 to order 15 C5 fish per year. Members are able to put a proposal to the committee prior to the AGM if they would like to see this changed or increased. We reviewed a number of the fish suppliers on the quality of the fish they produced and price and agreed that VS fish were our favoured supplier.

Bernie: Our experience of VS fish at another Colne Valley club has shown that they grow very well.

Question from the floor: How much do the C5 fish cost?

Tony: The 15 C5 fish cost us around £4800. If members felt we should stock more fish we will consider proposals, for example 30 fish in total for next year, so 15 to each of the Pynesfield lakes.

Question from floor: What about stocking Troy lake?

Dave: Troy has received a number of stock fish in recent years. We also have evidence of natural recruitment in Troy, with fish being caught at sizes smaller than which we have stocked.

Comment from the floor: It is difficult to propose stocking levels without knowing exactly what number of fish we currently have in the lakes.

Tony: Agreed, it is apparent that we need to review our stocking levels, based on a reasonable judgement of what fish we currently have. We are not going to come to an agreed proposal in discussion this evening, however your comments are duly noted and we will discuss how best to address this issue at the next committee meeting.

At this point Tony asked if there are any further questions, none were forthcoming.

With no further business the meeting closed at 21.33pm.