The Ending at Fascadale

By the early 1980s the fall in catches was becoming more apparent.  There was growing pressure from the rod interest to restrict netting. The value of the catch was becoming distorted by the arrival in the market of large quantities of farmed salmon

The Macleods, who had owned Fascadale since 1968 negotiated the sale of the fishery with Paul Taylor over the winter of 1984/5. The Taylors had fished the Kilchoan side in 1983 and 1984: Paul Taylor had worked at Fascadale most seasons from 1975. The sale fell through over a disagreement on price.

Mark  James and his wife Nicky  bought Fascadale and arrived, with their young family in early 1986. Mark fished the six nets on the north coast as well as trying the south coast nets for a couple of seasons. Tragically Mark died in a diving accident off Ockle Point in 1991. His widow and the children left Fascadale soon afterwards to be closer to their family in the south.  There is a cairn built on the headland by the bay to commemorate Mark.

The house at Fascadale was let for a few years in the mid 1990s until the Ardnamurchan Estate bought the property at Fascadale and the fishing rights at the end of that decade.

The Estate cleared the property of the by then very dilapidated  sheds. The large boat shed built by the Macleods was dismantled to be reconstructed by Loch Mudle: the icehouse and packing shed were left standing. Unfortunately, the small stone stable which was also left standing has since lost its roof.

©Paul Taylor

A sale was organised to dispose of what boats and equipment were still on the premises before the clear out. A local man, Dochie Cameron, who had been part of the crew many years earlier bought OB 226 “Iolair” and some nets.  Most of what was not sold just went to the dump or was burnt.

Within the following few years the house and bothy were also demolished and replaced by new holiday cottages. A third property was also built very close by on the site of a ruined shepherd’s cottage

©Paul Taylor

The icehouse and packing shed remain and thanks to the generosity of the Ardnamurchan Estate the salmon coble OB 209 is now back at Fascadale and under cover. Other than these few buildings and the boat the only other evidence of the fishing is a few metal pins on the rocks by the beach and the faint outlines of the ice pans.

©Paul Taylor