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#Angling - The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) has announced its line-up for the 2017 FIPS-ed Feeder World Championships.

Michael Buchwalder, Nick Howell, Cathal Hughes, Johnny McKinnley, Rimantas Kondrackas and Paul Leese comprise the team to represent Ireland in Portugal this June.

“I am very pleased to be able to present a refreshed world championship team this year, and welcome the three new members to the squad,” said team manager Brenton Sweeney. “In the last three years, Ireland has achieved a team silver medal and four section wins and we are currently ranked 12th in the world.

"It has always been my ambition to introduce younger members to the squad and it’s great to start my second term by welcoming the enthusiastic Johnny and Rimantas along with Nick, who brings extensive knowledge of international championships.

“Former team member Philip Jackson and Paul Heaney of Lurgan CAC will provide support to the team in Portugal and I’m delighted to appoint Philip my assistant manager as we coach these anglers at home and away.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the NCFFI and our sponsors for their invaluable support as we look to the year ahead.”

Teams are also being assembled for the European Championships in Italy this May and the Worlds in Belgium in September, as well as the Home Internationals in Scotland the following month.

The NCFFI is a voluntary body, a member of the Angling Council of Ireland and the national governing body for coarse and predator angling recognised by Sport Ireland and SportNI.

Published in Angling

The first salmon of 2017 has been caught in the Careysville Fishery on the Munster Blackwater on the opening day of the river, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland. Angler Ronan O’Connor caught a fresh run salmon on Wednesday, 1st of February in Fermoy, Co. Cork.

The salmon, which weighed 7lbs, was confirmed as the first salmon caught in 2017 by Inland Fisheries Ireland today. The fish was caught while the river was high with around two foot visibility at 4pm on Wednesday. O’Connor’s success followed a morning of stormy weather which cleared slightly before he managed to catch the elusive salmon.

Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “The 2017 fishing season has commenced in earnest now and we are delighted that the first salmon of the New Year has been caught. Ireland is known as an angling destination across Europe as a result of its indigenous wild fish populations and impressive scenery. With over 273,600 domestic anglers in Ireland, Ronan O’Connor did extremely well to secure the title for catching the first fish of 2017.

We look forward to growing angling participation in Ireland even more this year. Our fisheries resource is hugely valuable and offers rural communities sustainable tourism and job opportunities outside of the traditional tourist seasons. We will continue to work with these communities to develop our angling infrastructure and improve access with a view to increasing angling participation and growing local economic growth as a result.”

Anglers looking for fishing information in Ireland in 2017 can visit www.fishinginireland.info for the latest news and fishing reports. For those looking to try out fishing for the first time, Inland Fisheries Ireland will run a number of Education and Outreach initiatives throughout the year.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Angling enthusiasts fear for the health of Ireland’s salmon stocks after the first ever catch-less January since records began, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

Dubliner Ronan O’Connor landed Ireland’s first salmon of 2017, a seven-pounder, on the Blackwater in Cork in recent days – over a month since the season began on open rivers across the island.

Towards the end of January, Belfast Telegraph angling correspondent Vic Thomas said the situation was “worrying” and “puzzling”.

"About five years ago the first fish was always caught on the first day in January - it is unusual,” he noted.

Thomas’ concerns have been echoed by River Downes Fishery owner Shane Gallagher, who added that “it is difficult to remain optimistic about the future of Irish salmon angling when more than half our rivers are closed to anglers and salmon licence sales have almost halved since 2002.”

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland is seeking submissions from angling enthusiasts and other interested parties in relation to a proposal to introduce a byelaw to:

  • Introduce a minimum takeable size limit for trout of 30cm (12”).
  • Introduce a bag limit of two trout per angler per day.

The proposed byelaw would apply to all waters of the River Erne upstream of Derryheen Bridge, west of Butler’s Bridge, Co Cavan, including the waters of the Cavan River, Annallee, Dromore, Laragh, Bunnoe and Knappagh tributaries.

Submissions should be marked ‘Public consultation – Annallee-Dromore (River Erne)’ and sent by email to [email protected] or by post to:

The Director,
Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Station Road,
Ballyshannon,
Co Donegal

All submissions must be received in writing and will be published on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Thursday 2 March.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) spent 188,404 staff hours and carried out 31,180 patrols in 2016 to protect Ireland’s fisheries resource, it was announced yesterday (Wednesday 25 January) at the launch of the IFI Protection Review.

The review highlights the results of recent protection work of the nation’s fisheries resource, which contributes €836 million annually to the Irish economy.

IFI’s programme saw fisheries officers patrol the entire resource – which includes 74,000km of rivers and streams, 128,000 hectares of lakes and 5,500km of coastline – in their attempts to apprehend those responsible for illegal fishing or angling and environmental offences.

Some key findings from the Fisheries Protection 2016 Review include:

  • 103 prosecution cases initiated for breaches of fisheries and environmental legislation, regarded as one of the most important tools in the prevention of illegal fishing activities in the long term.
  • 1,487 items of illegal fishing equipment seized, including 301 illegal fishing nets which measured 14,782 metres in total – about the same distance from Leinster House to Dublin Airport.
  • 22,066 environmental inspections across a variety of sites including farms, industrial premises, wastewater plants, forestry sites and wind farms as well general inspections for pollutants in the natural habitat. Inspections were carried out by environmental officers with a view to mitigating against potential environmental incidents which could have a detrimental impact on fish populations and fish habitats.
  • 36,979 inspections of recreational anglers carried out nationwide to ensure anglers were compliant with the fisheries acts, which aim to protect fish populations.

Minister of State for Inland Fisheries Sean Kyne, who opened IFI’s Oireachtas Briefing Day event yesterday, said: “Close to 200,000 man hours speaks for itself but I want to commend Inland Fisheries Ireland for the immense and dedicated efforts they have put into protecting our invaluable inland fisheries resource.

“The vast array of river, lake and coastal based habitats present huge logistical challenges for our frontline protection staff and for Inland Fisheries Ireland management. These challenges are being met by augmenting traditional patrol and protection methods with state-of-the-art surveillance technologies and new and innovative patrol methods in the ever changing environment in which services are delivered.”

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne added: “The role of Inland Fisheries Ireland is to act as steward of the inland fisheries resource and that role is crucial as we endeavour to protect and conserve Ireland’s aquatic habitat and the wild, indigenous fish populations who live within it.

“Our fisheries and environmental officers worked relentlessly in 2016 to ensure the continued availability of this resource to communities nationwide for recreational and business opportunities.

“The resource contributes €836 million to the Irish economy every year and in particular, it supports rural and peripheral communities through tourism opportunities which may not be there otherwise. Our National Strategy for Angling Development outlines how we can grow the economic contribution by an additional €96 million per year and our protection programme goes hand in hand in helping us realise those ambitions.”

The fisheries protection programme comprised planned day and night patrols, covert patrols and intelligence-led surveillance operations, and specifically targeted the fish species most at risk during particular seasons.

The principle methods used for patrols were boats (1,151 patrols), kayaks (188 patrols) and personal water craft (37 patrols) while land-based patrols were carried out using quad bikes (84 patrols), bicycles (363 patrols) and by vehicles and foot (29,357 patrols).

In addition to the use of traditional methods, fisheries officers used advanced surveillance equipment including night vision scopes, thermal imaging scopes and enhanced optical surveillance scopes to help them in their work.

IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development is the first national framework for the development of Ireland’s angling resource. The strategy will deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions to ensure that fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced and will see an investment of €25 million over the next five years to grow the socio-economic contribution of angling in Ireland.

Last year, over €1 million was invested by IFI in angling development projects alone, which included 50 angling access projects as part of the Capital Grants Fund plus ongoing investment in more than 4,000 angling structures.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Tuesday 31 January is the deadline for anglers across the island of Ireland to express their interest in joining one of two teams prepping for international competitions this year.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland (NCFFI) will be sending teams to the European Championships in Italy on 20-21 May and the Worlds in Belgium on 9-10 September, as well as the Home Internationals in Scotland this October.

Interested anglers should complete the application form available HERE or by January 31 or contact Senior Float Team manager Vincent Walsh at [email protected] or +353 87 256 3669.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Two Cork brothers have been convicted of stroke hauling a salmon last August in breach of Section 170 (1) of the 1959 Fisheries Act last August.

At a sitting of Clonakilty District Court on 3 January, Judge David Waters imposed fines of €750 and costs of €500 each on Niall and Lawrence Fitzpatrick over the incident at Goose Pond on the Argideen River in Co Cork on 1 August 2016.

The charges had been vigorously contested by the brothers, but Judge Waters convicted the men and remarked upon the “unwarranted and unfounded allegations” made against Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fisheries officers who gave evidence in court.

The brothers had accused the fisheries officers of lying to the court, claiming that they had caught the salmon by fly fishing and that the fish had “swallowed the hook”.

After hearing evidence from the fisheries officers in regard to marks on the fish, Judge Waters was satisfied that the fish had in fact been stroke hauled, a mechanism by which a weighted instrument or device is used to foul-hook the fish.

Sean Long, director of the South West River Basin District, said following the verdict: “Ireland’s wild indigenous fish populations must be protected and conserved for future generations. This is an extremely valuable resource which makes a significant economic contribution to the local economy through angling tourism.

“This court case sends a clear message that illegal fishing activity will not be tolerated in Cork. Our fisheries officers are committed to protecting this resource for the public through overt and covert surveillance operations and we will continue to hold those who carry out illegal activity, which damages our resource, accountable.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - Gorey anglers have expressed ‘outrage’ over the closure of the River Slaney for salmon fishing in 2017, as the Gorey Guardian reports.

Minister of State Seán Kyne said the move was made to help replenish and conserve stocks in the Wicklow and Wexford river, where worms for bait and barbed hooks have also been prohibited for the coming year.

But Slaney River Trust members have hit out at the ban, suggesting that the absence of even catch-and-release fishing for salmon will see angling numbers decline and encourage poaching on what’s a significant resource for the South East.

73 rivers have been approved to open for salmon angling this year, as previously reported on Afloat.ie — though that figure is nine fewer than those opened to full angling or catch-and-release in 2016.

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - A Mayo man has been convicted of obstructing a fisheries officer and failing to produce a salmon licence over an incident on the River Moy.

At a sitting of Castlebar District Court on 3 January, Judge Mary Devins imposed fines totalling €600 on David Egan of Claremorris.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) brought the case against Egan when he was found fishing a section of the Cloongee Fishery on the River Moy in the Pollagh area and was not in possession of a valid permit or salmon angling licence.

Solicitor Dermot Hewson, acting on behalf of IFI, outlined the facts of the case against Egan and his refusal to hand over his fishing gear. No defence was offered by Egan, who pleaded guilty to both charges.

IFI’s ownership of the fishing rights on the Pollagh section of the Cloongee Fishery, near Foxford, was disputed previously but was confirmed at a special sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court in 2012.

The fishery was purchased from the private owners by the former North Western Regional Fisheries Board on behalf of the State in 2005.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “The regulation of angling on the River Moy is imperative if we are to effectively conserve and protect this valuable resource.

“Incidents of obstruction of Fisheries Officers have become quite common and this court case sends a clear message that this will not be tolerated.

Dr Byrne added that the Cloongee Fishery “is well known as a very productive salmon fishery and Inland Fisheries Ireland has ensured that permits are available locally at a reasonable cost. The fisheries resource offers huge value from both a recreational and economic perspective to the local community.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to apprehend those who carry out illegal fishing activity.”

Published in Angling

Mr. Sean Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2016. These will come into effect from Sunday 1 January 2017.

Minister Kyne said “In all, 73 rivers will open for angling activity in 2017 and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis. 46 of these rivers will be fully open with a further 27 for angling on a “catch & release” basis. ”

The Minister has also directed that Inland Fisheries Ireland IFI carry out a full review of the Catch and Release element of fisheries management policy ahead of the 2018 season.

He said, “Ireland has been managing fisheries in accordance with the scientific advice since 2006 and that will continue. However, I am keen that after 10 years, the catch and release element of the policy is examined to explore whether changes might actually benefit the management of our fisheries”
Minister Kyne received management advice in relation to over 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland IFI, in advance of setting out the legislation for 2017. This advice was also made available as part of a public consultation process. This was based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon. This committee comprises scientists from IFI, an Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute, the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI- Northern Ireland) other State bodies and third level institutions.

Over 90 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process. Based on this the Minister has introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2017.

Management advise based on the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCS) assessment of rivers/estuaries/harbours is that:-

· 46 rivers should be open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;
· 27 rivers should be classified as open for “catch and release” angling; and
· 73 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.

Published in Angling
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