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#Angling - Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, has today (Wednesday 9 August) welcomed a new €2 million funding call from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) for angling projects and conservation initiatives.

The funding call, which consists of three separate funding streams, will help ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced into the future.

The 2017 IFI funding call is made up of the following funds:

“As minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, I have ensured that significant funding under the National Strategy for Angling Development was available from my Department in 2017 to help Inland Fisheries Ireland develop a wide ranging investment initiative,” said Minister Kyne. 

“I welcome the fact that the funding programme is rooted in community-led actions and I support Inland Fisheries Ireland in its enhancement plans. I also want to encourage angling bodies, community groups and local authorities to take up the funding opportunity and meet the development challenge at local, regional and national level.”

IFI is inviting applications for funding for projects across a number of areas, from fisheries habitat enhancement and sustainable development works to marketing and promotional projects for angling. 

Applications are invited from groups, associations, clubs, local authorities or other appropriate bodies looking to improve Ireland’s fisheries resource.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “Today’s announcement sees Inland Fisheries Ireland make over €2 million available to communities nationwide, for projects which will help contribute to an accessible and sustainable world class inland fisheries and sea angling resource for all. 

“We want to ensure that we continue to invest in conservation, while also developing our angling offering in Ireland. While the National Strategy for Angling Development funding stream focuses on improving angling access with a view to attracting more domestic and overseas anglers to the pursuit, the Salmon Conservation Fund and Midland Fisheries Fund re-invest the contributions of anglers into valuable initiatives which a view to promoting the recovery of salmon stocks and habitats and supporting sustainable development works in the Midlands respectively.”

IFI will hold regional information workshops for those interested in applying for funding with a view to giving participants a better understanding of the various funding streams and how they can apply via an online system. 

The workshops will take place at the following locations and dates (7pm each date unless otherwise stated):

  • Tuesday 29 August - Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
  • Wednesday 30 August - Castle Hotel, Macroom, Co Cork
  • Thursday 31 August - Maldron Hotel, Southern Ring Road, Roxboro, Limerick
  • Monday 4 September - CityNorth Hotel, Gormanston, Co Meath
  • Tuesday 5 September - Great National Hotel, N26 Dublin Road, Ballina, Co Mayo
  • Wednesday 6 September - Menlo Park Hotel, Headford Road, Co Galway
  • Tuesday 12 September - Harvey's Point Country Hotel, Lough Eske, Donegal Town
  • Thursday 14 September - Athlone Springs Hotel, Monksland, Athlone, Co Roscommon
  • Tuesday 19-Thursday 21 September (all day) - National Ploughing Championships, Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly

Members of the public who will be attending the workshops are asked to RSVP to [email protected], indicating which workshop they will be going to along with their name and contact details.

The closing date for applications to IFI’s 2017 funding call is Friday 13 October. For more information and to apply, see the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, has officially opened a new fish counter facility in the designated spring salmon fishery on the River Lackagh.

The project, which was devised and delivered by Inland Fisheries Ireland, was completed in recent months and will provide important data for the future management of spring salmon, grilse and sea trout stocks for the River Lackagh catchment, which incorporates Lough Beagh, situated in Glenveagh National Park.

This major infrastructural project, which was funded under IFI’s Salmon Conservation Fund, includes installation of a crump weir, Logie fish counter and access road to the Lackagh River at Creeslough, Co Donegal.

The counter will provide verifiable, accurate data on the size, duration and timing of fish migration through the fishery.

The River Lackagh counter project was developed by IFI in response to closure of the River Lackagh salmon fishery in 2007, when scientific advice indicated that salmon stocks had fallen to below their conservation limit.

The salmon fishery remained closed to enable fish stocks re-build until 2013 when electrofishing surveys confirmed that juvenile salmon stocks had recovered sufficiently to allow for the re-opening of the salmon fishery on a ‘catch and release’ basis.

IFI says the new counter will be a valuable addition to its national suite of index counters and represents the organisation’s first counter on the north Donegal coast.

Minister Kyne said he is “delighted to officially open this fish counter which will help protect fish stocks in the area. Angling is a valuable asset to local communities here in Donegal. This development will help us ensure the sustainability of fish populations for future generations.”

IFI chief executive added: “This fish counter provides real time data on fish stocks in the fishery and allows us to adapt to changing stock levels. This is crucial both from a conservation and economic viewpoint as this fishery contains valuable wild fish populations.

“I would like to acknowledge all our partners in this project who recognised the importance of this project and worked with us to delivery this facility for the local area.”

Angling in Ireland currently contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs which are often in rural and peripheral communities.

IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to ensure the sustainable development of the natural angling resource in a conservation focused manner. If realised, the strategy could help increase the economic contribution of angling by €53 million annually and support 18,000 jobs.

IFI collaborated with several partners on the River Lackagh project including Donegal County Council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and ESB Networks. IFI also acknowledges the assistance of Creeslough & District Angling Association, owners Hillary Keegan and John Coyle and service providers WD Buchanan & Co Ltd, H Harkin Plan Hire Ltd and Source Civil Ltd.

Published in Angling

#Tourism - Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust is hosting an information event on opportunities in angling tourism for business owners and the public in Waterville and surrounding areas later this month.

The event, which takes place at The Sea Lodge in Waterville, Co Kerry on Thursday 27 April at 7.30pm, will focus on sharing results from a recent economic survey carried out in Waterville among angling tourists to the area.

The research reveals some key opportunities for business and service providers in the locality.

The Waterville Anglers Survey queried 207 anglers visiting the area and found that on average, angling visitors spend €644 per fishing trip, or €114 per day.

The impact of this expenditure is far reaching across the local community, with €451 spent on non-angling items such as accommodation, restaurants/cafés and groceries, and €193 of angling expenditure on items such as angling guides, boat hire and equipment.

This daily spend of anglers in Waterville (€114) far exceeds the spending of non-angling visitors to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts Report 2015 cites expenditure of non-angling visitors and holiday makers at €68 and €89 respectively per person per day in 2015.

The research, which was carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland with Waterville Lakes and River Trust, highlights the significant recreational and economic value of the fisheries resource to the area.

Rod Robinson, spokesperson for Waterville Lakes and Trust, said: “Waterville is a popular destination for anglers and this research shows us the huge economic contribution they make to Waterville and the potential opportunity which exists for the community.

“We are inviting the public, business owners and tourist operators to come along and hear more so that together we can grow our offering around the fisheries amenity.”

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, added: “We know at a national level that the fisheries resource contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually but this local research also tells us that there is significant value of angling tourists to this community.

“We also note that the research once more confirms that angling visitors spend more than non-angling tourists and that they visit outside of the traditional tourist season, supporting local businesses and jobs while doing so.”

The information event is open to all to attend. For more details, contact Rod Robinson at Waterville Lakes and Trust via email at [email protected]

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland says it is fully committed to the ongoing protection of the Gweebarra fishery in accordance with the High Court judgement of Justice Laffoy delivered on 19 December 2012.

Anglers wishing to fish the Gweebarra fishery from the opening of the angling season tomorrow (Saturday 1 April) are required to have a valid licence and permit, which are available from the village shop in Doochary, Glenties Angling Centre (phone 074 955 1141) or online from Donegal Angling Holidays.

A halt on fishery offence summonses, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, has prompted IFI to withdraw a number of cases, including those related to the Gweebarra fishery which were before the Donegal courts in recent days.

However, in the interim all current provisions and offences of the Inland Fisheries Acts continue in fill force and effect, and any alleged offenders remain liable to prosecution.

Published in Angling

#Angling - A total of 79 angling initiatives — almost double the number of recipients in 2016 — will be supported to the tune of €30,000 in Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) 2017 Sponsorship Scheme.

This year’s recipients were decided with a focus on those which help grow Ireland’s angling tourism product and support novice anglers:

  • 19 international angling events which will be held in Ireland.
  • 15 Irish angling teams travelling overseas to international angling events.
  • 28 coaching/juvenile events aimed at novice and young anglers.
  • 16 national angling events held in Ireland for domestic participants.
  • 1 seminar which will help the exchange of information, ideas and practical experiences on fisheries management.

The angling groups, located in 19 counties across the country, will be supported through financial aid and where possible, through resource support from IFI staff.

The sponsorship scheme was announced in December with applications invited from anglers, angling clubs and organisations nationwide. In total, there were over 100 applications to this year’s fund.

Suzanne Campion, IFI head of business development, said: “We have a unique opportunity in Ireland when it comes to angling as a result of our beautiful landscapes and wild fish populations. This is coupled with a large number of engaged angling groups across the country.

“We are committed to supporting those groups in helping to increase participation in angling and to position Ireland as a premier national and international angling destination. This will grow the recreational availability and contribution of angling to communities across Ireland and will also support businesses and jobs in rural communities.”

IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development aims to increase overseas angling visits from 163,000 in 2015 to 173,000 and increase domestic participation of 273,000 anglers annually by 0.5%.

Angling in Ireland is currently worth €836 million to Ireland’s economy annually, supporting upwards of 11,000 jobs. If increase in participation is realised, angling could bring in an additional €53 million annually and support 18,000 jobs.

Find more more information on the initiatives awarded funding under the 2017 sponsorship scheme HERE.

Published in Angling

Angling tourists to Waterville, Co. Kerry spend on average €644 during their stay, according to research published today by Inland Fisheries Ireland with assistance from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). The research, which was carried out withthe Waterville Lakes and River Trust, highlights the significant recreational and economic value of the fisheries resource to the area.

The Waterville Angler Survey, which surveyed 207 anglers during the 2015 angling season found that, on average, angling visitors to Waterville spend €644 per fishing trip or €114 per day. The impact of this expenditure is far reaching across the local community with €451 spent on non-angling items such as accommodation, restaurants/cafes and groceries and €193 of angling expenditure on items such as angling guides, boat hire and equipment.

The daily spend of anglers in Waterville (€114) far exceeds the spending of non-angling visitors to Ireland. Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Facts Report 2015 cites expenditure of non-angling visitors and holiday makers at €68 and €89 per person per day in 2015.

Angling visitors also show huge loyalty to Waterville which is a renowned fishing destination for domestic and overseas anglers. Of those surveyed, 40 per cent have visited the area more than 20 times with 60 per cent visiting 10 times or more, an extremely high return rate in tourism terms. Anglers tend to spend a few days in the area with almost a quarter (24 per cent) staying longer than a week, 25 per cent staying two nights and a further 24 per cent staying two or three nights. An incredible 99.5 per cent of those surveyed said they would like to return to Waterville again.

Angling was often the sole attraction of the area to these visitors with 40 per cent taking part in no alternative activities during their stay. The majority of anglers travelled to Waterville with friends or family with two thirds (68 per cent) reporting that their party contained between two to four anglers who fished during their stay. They came from Great Britain (17.5 per cent), mainland Europe (5 per cent), other overseas areas (2 per cent) and Ireland (75.5%).

Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Waterville is one of Ireland’s many precious fishing locations. Ireland is known for its indigenous wild fish populations and beautiful scenery which make it a top angling destination. This research in the Waterville area confirms that angling is bringing huge economic value to this rural community. We know that anglers to Waterville often visit outside of the Summer Months (May 40 per cent, April 28 per cent and October 19 per cent), thereby extending the season for tourism season providers. Anglers also tend to develop a relationship with an area which can lead to them taking multiple trips per year.

We cannot underestimate the importance of protecting this resource both in terms of our responsibility to the aquatic habitat and the fish that live there, but also to the community and local businesses which benefit hugely from the resource throughout the year.”

Key Findings from the Waterville Angler Study:

  • On average angling visitors to Waterville spend €644 per fishing trip, which breaks down as €114 spend per day
  • 53% have visited Waterville for more than 10 years, and 31% have visited for more than 20 years
  • Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of anglers stay longer than a week, 25 per cent staying two nights and a further 24% staying two or three nights
  • Anglers came from Great Britain (17.5 per cent), mainland Europe (5 per cent), other overseas areas (2 per cent) and Ireland (75.5%).
  • Anglers from Great Britain stay in Waterville an average of 8.2 nights during their trips and Irish anglers stay on average for 3.2 nights
  • Nearly half of respondents (44%) preferred to stay in B&B accommodation with 18% choosing Self Catering and 15% staying in Hotels.
  • The most popular months for angling visitors are June (57%) and September (48.7%) along with July (45.5%), August (44%) however May (40%), April (28%) and October (19%) still attract angling tourism, outside of the traditional tourism season.
  • Lake fishing was the most popular (87%), 46% fished the rivers and 40% participated in shore angling
  • 84% of respondents fished for sea trout, 76% for salmon and 48% for brown trout.
Published in Angling

#IFI - Inland Fisheries Ireland has officially signed up to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) Partnership Programme, which helps integrate energy management into public sector organisations.

This new partnership will see IFI follow a clear path to achieving targeted energy savings of 33% across the public sector, with a view to achieving year-on-year savings of greater than 3% on top of the 21% increase in efficiency already reached sector-wide.

The State fisheries body says it has already commenced a number of energy saving initiatives in recent years, which include the introduction of ‘green patrols’ for fisheries officers using kayaks and bicycles to patrol angling areas on inland waterways; installing solar panels and insulation on buildings; fuel monitoring and fleet audits; altering lighting; and trialling an electric vehicle.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne commented: “As custodians of the fisheries resource, Inland Fisheries Ireland recognises the importance of energy management as a highly cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping to reverse climate change.

“Today [Tuesday 7 March] we have formally committed to reducing our energy usage and our carbon emissions and we look forward to working with the SEAI on reaching our goal by 2020.

“There are many benefits to energy efficiency and aside from environmental reasons; we are also motivated by the desire to operate in a lean manner. We know that many organisations can achieve 20% monetary savings in energy use through proven management and technology solutions so as an organisation, we will benefit year on year.”

Jim Gannon, CEO of the SEAI, added that the agency “is working closely with the public sector to help them to achieve energy savings and agencies such as IFI have a key role to play.

“Already, public bodies have achieved more than €600 million in energy efficiency savings in the last few years with SEAI’s assistance. With more partnerships like the one Inland Fisheries Ireland has committed to today, even more public sector savings can be achieved as we move towards a low carbon future.”

Published in News Update

#Angling - Plans to introduce non-native fish species into Irish lakes have been alleged by Irish angling enthusiasts, as the Mayo News reported recently.

A social media post via the Irish Pike Society, which has since been removed, claimed that fishermen from the UK and Ireland were planning this month to introduce various non-native fish such as catfish and barbel into designated brown trout fisheries that include Lough Mask and Lough Conn.

Inland Fisheries Ireland confirmed they were aware of the claims and were monitoring the situation.

According to the Connacht Tribune, the allegation is the latest incident in an ongoing dispute between anglers who want to keep western loughs free of predatory fish like pike, and others who feel undue preference is given to salmon and trout.

Published in Angling

#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
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