To start with, there have been many worrying reports in the newspapers and on the radio regarding cutbacks in the water industry. The chances are that these won’t necessarily affect us directly, but I have a horrible feeling that changes will sneak up on us in covert ways.

The shareholders of the big water companies need to see profit margins increasing year by year. No longer is it good enough to merely maintain a respectable balance in the bank. Several of our water companies are in fact owned by French concerns. This has always struck me as being rather bizarre, but I presume it to be a long-term measure to ensure that if water on the other side of the channel starts to look a little bit dodgy, they can start pumping ours!!!

Back to home matters. The first repercussion that I have heard of following the cutbacks, is that the old Welsh Water Fly Fishing Competition sponsored by Hyder over the past couple of years, is looking for a new sponsor. True this is a small problem, as being such a successful competition, it is pretty likely that someone will step in soon.

There have been announcements of plenty of job losses. In my own area, there are 300 jobs to go. When you look at the staffing on the reservoirs, you cannot really imagine them having less people, but in all probability, it will have to happen. So it may be that your permit isn’t checked so regularly, or your boat isn’t cleaned out or fuelled up so assiduously. The banks, which on the vast majority of reservoirs these days look great, may well be less well tended, and car parks and areas for anglers to rest could well fall into disrepair.

I hope that I am proved wrong. I hope that the fantastic fishing that has been the trademark of most of our large reservoirs over the past few years continues. How about all of us as responsible anglers making an effort to help the reservoir staff? Lets see an end to discarded nylon. Wouldn’t it be good if the wardens only have to refuel boats instead of having to clear out our rubbish? What about a bit more commonsense in the sphere of relationships between anglers – less of the rivalry between boat and bank, or boat and boat for a favourite anchor spot?

A new season is just around the corner. Let's make the year 2000 one to remember for all the right reasons on our major reservoirs.