Lomond: meantime, it's stalemate

Lomond: meantime, it's stalemate

SO WHERE exactly does Loch Lomond and its angling go from here?

Hopes that last week’s emergency meeting of members of the LLAIA might bring the bitter row over administration of salmon and sea trout fishing on the famous loch and river system to some kind of a head, if not a conclusion, seem to have been premature.

Far from resolving the issue, the meeting only seems to have focused attention on the extent of the rift between the existing LLAIA committee under chairman Michael Brady, and the breakaway group led by Malcolm MacCormick.

The vote on the main issue of “which committee” was narrow with just six separating the two sides.  The turnout, allowing for claims of audience “packing” by both camps, was around 20%, although it is a measure of the cynicism evident in some quarters that even the membership numbers are disputed.

A six vote majority does not represent a vote of confidence in the status quo. Neither does it deliver a mandate to the existing administration to disregard the alternative committee campaigners.

As with any dispute, whether it’s of Middle East proportions, or more parochially the question of how to resolve a disagreement over angling club policy and procedures, there has to be some compromise.

The first move in this direction came quickly.  Last Friday morning the following comment, understood to be from a leading member of the breakaway group, was posted in response to Between The Lines’ report on the emergency meeting result:

“It’s now up to the elected committee to unite the association. I would like to see big changes in the management of our club. Perhaps they should consider bringing some of the alternative committee on to theirs. After all the club has an almost 52 – 48% split; how else can we bring both sides together?

“A suggestion may be to co-op enough willing members to fill the whole committee of 16 spaces. The extra 8 persons could be made up of the alternative committee and any other willing members.”

On the surface this seems a commonsense proposal and is already being discussed among LLAIA supporters.  But it will need the existing committee to open the door to a deal.  And there are no immediate signs they are prepared to do that.

A number of long-standing LLAIA members in the audience last week praised existing committee man Colin McCrory for his skilful presentation of the case for the current organisation.  Others welcomed the role played by Ian Chivas, the Luss Estates factor in acting as an independent chairman and his control of what was a highly-charged gathering.

Whether either might play a leading role in any compromise restructure remains to be seen. Changes to the LLAIA, its governance and future development will take time to implement and the rebuilding of trust among all the players, even longer.

Meantime, it’s stalemate.  And regardless of the success of any smolt programme which in itself will take around five years to bear serious results, a position of no change cannot be in the immediate best interests of the loch or its fishing.

Between The Lines has asked the chairman of the LLAIA, Michael Brady, for an interview to discuss the outcome of the EGM and how he sees the way ahead.  We’ll let you know the response.

We’ll also attempt to report in greater detail in the near future on how the smolt programme will function.

Advertisements