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Secretary’s Annual Report 2020

The Association’s Management Committee met in full 4 times since the last AGM. The meetings were all well attended and your elected representatives worked hard to serve your interests.
As far as the Secretary’s work goes, I was pretty much kept going with email enquiries from visiting anglers and queries resulting from our online membership availability. I also get quite a few phonecalls from pending visitors asking for additional information, queries and in particular where to go and how to get there etc.
We received a letter from our lawyers regarding our old site on Stenness at the Standing Stones, asking whether we might transfer ownership to the new hotel proprietors. Negotiations are still ongoing in this regard.
I was delighted to receive an email from SANACC asking if we would host the 2023 International in June of that year. We responded to say we would. Early days yet but I’m sure we will hear a lot more about this in the forthcoming years.
It was very concerning to hear that the Scottish Government’s Marine Scotland have not given us permission to stock Skaill this year, and the same applies to North Loch, Roos Loch, Meikle Water, St Mary’s Loch, all the Westray lochs, Heldale, St Mary’s and Stromness Reservoir.  Their reasons are somewhat vague and a bit complicated, but is loosely based preserving the natural strain of trout in the respective lochs, and not mixing this strain with fish taken from elsewhere (for example putting Harray fish into Skaill). They also seem to be against stocking where there might be a natural spawning burn feeding the loch – so they ask us to prove that there’s not before they will permit.  I think it’s pretty safe to say they are generally against stocking. We have written them with our concerns on a number of occasions now and have received absolutely no response to our concerns. 
As we move increasingly rapidly towards paperless and electronic ways of doing things, we have decided to do away with our printed annual programme – and publish the same on our website. So it’s all on there and can be uploaded, downloaded, stuck in electronic diaries and so on.
Site keys and locks are also being changed for the start of this season. So the old keys will not work anymore. This has been done for security reasons and also to help prevent non-members from accessing our site facilities.
Much of the remaining work will be covered in the Sub-committee Convenors reports, and I thank all those involved for their hard work and dedication throughout the year, and in particular the President and Treasurer for their excellent support, and a special mention to Alan Craigie and Brian Thomas who kept the Competitions and Entertainments sub-committee going during most of the competition season.
Malcolm Russell – OTFA Secretary
25th  February 2020