KEIGHLEY Angling Club's chairman's report has been given to members.

It said: "The past 18 months have not been easy for anyone but fortunately fishing has been allowed for much of the time and the committee has had to be on its toes throughout.

"The ill health of the chairman Fred Farrington, changes to Trustees, the Yorkshire Bank counter closing, having to find a new auditor and new year books to produce all in a lockdown have not been easy.

"On a lighter note our retiring honorary auditor Dennis Renshaw reached the age of 80. We thank him for the many years of excellent service he has provided for the club and wish him well for the future.

"With people spending more time outdoors we have seen an increase in membership and more and more members fishing the canal which helps justify the rents we are paying.

"The match scene is steadily emerging with the challenge match involving Skipton AC now an annual event and a Winter League now under way.

"As Covid restrictions eased in the summer, we were approached by the Aire Rivers Trust and used Roberts Pond to host a junior fishing and aquatic life study session for a group of disadvantaged youngsters who all managed to catch fish with the help of the coaches provided.

"The ongoing problems of poaching, cormorant predation and difficult access at Whitefield's Reservoir came to a head when Yorkshire Water announced they were going to drop the level to facilitate repairs to the dam wall and then sell it off.

"With no more assurances forthcoming the committee thought it prudent to remove any remaining fish to the safety of Roberts Pond and await further developments. At this time, we still have no news.

"At the moment the committee is working on a development plan for Roberts Pond to include improved access, car parking, renewing platforms and the feasibility of desilting.

"During the pandemic several of the committee spent time visiting and enquiring about waters that might realistically be available for the club to acquire but their efforts so far have been to no avail.

"The river continues to improve with different year classes of most species in evidence and several reports of specimen chub being caught.

"Working parties have continued to wage the war on the riverside vegetation and peg maintenance but manpower has always been limited.

"Evidence of barbel catches on our length have been thin on the ground and the committee is exploring the cost of a restocking programme to re-establish a species which has declined.

"Lastly, if you want to get involved, have a particular expertise or want to make a difference we are always looking for new committee members."