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#Angling - A new project at Ballisodare Fishing Club outside the Co Sligo village will help protect this important fishery in the North West.

The private fishery, which was developed last year to include a state-of-the-art fishery office and two public viewing platforms, is a renowned salmon angling destination.

However, the fishery was vulnerable to illegal fishing and a protection programme was required to ensure the sustainability of local fish stocks.

The project, which was devised and delivered by the club, was supported with funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) National Strategy for Angling Development.

The director of Ballisodare Fishery Ltd and Ballisodare Fishing Club successfully secured funding of €20,000 from IFI in October 2017 with the project completed a year later in October 2018.

This section of the fishery was vulnerable to illegal activity in the past as Ballisodare Fishery is the entry point for salmon from the tide into the freshwater and large numbers of fish are often present.

It is hoped that the security system will now support protection activities with the installation of modern security lighting alongside a CCTV system to allow for 24-hour monitoring of the fishery.

The high-standard security system incorporates security cameras which have a night vision mode and flood lighting.

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at IFI, said: “This new protection system in Ballisodare will play an important role in deterring illegal fishing and catching those who continue to commit offences. This is crucial if we want to conserve this resource for future generations.

“It is fitting that this project has been completed just as we celebrate International Year of the Salmon which takes place in 2019 and offers us an opportunity to start a conversation about the importance of conservation and how we can inspire action in this regard across Ireland.”

Published in Angling

The owner of an angling centre from Moycullen was convicted at Galway District Court last Tuesday 5 February for the illegal use of a net and for possession of an unlawfully captured trout.

The court heard that Michael Canney, with an address at Portarra Lodge, was approached by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) fisheries officers on the morning of 25 June 2018 as he was hauling an illegal net into a lake boat on Lough Corrib.

Diorai Ford, solicitor acting for IFI, outlined to the court that fisheries officers had covertly kept the illegal net under surveillance throughout the night.

The net had been fishing since the previous evening when it was discovered during a routine fisheries patrol.

Canney was accompanied in the boat by a foreign student who was staying with him where he operates an angling centre.

When Canney retrieved the net into the boat, it contained one dead brown trout. While in the act of lifting the net, Canney was approached by a fisheries officer on a personal water craft.

Canney was co-operative throughout. The equipment used in the commission of the offences was seized and included a lake boat and engine.

Solicitor for the defendant, Sinead Fitzpatrick, stated in his defence that Canney had a group of Italian anglers staying with him at the time and he was undertaking a survey to see what fish stocks were in the area.

Judge Mary Fahy commented that she knew several people who fish legally on a regular basis on Lough Corrib and that Canney was a mature man and that he knew that what he was doing was illegal.

Judge Fahy convicted Mr Canney on both counts, and imposed a fine of €500 for the use of an unlawful net, along with a fine of €500 for the possession of an unlawfully captured trout.

Costs of €600 were awarded to IFI’s solicitor. The boat and engine that Canney used in the commission of the offences were also forfeited.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “Lough Corrib is considered Ireland’s finest wild brown trout fishery and is also a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) designated for the protection of numerous aquatic species including Atlantic salmon.

“Lough Corrib attracts a vast number of anglers from all over the world who enjoy the unique angling for wild brown trout, Atlantic salmon, pike and coarse fish that the lake offers.

“This conviction reflects the long hours that dedicated fisheries officers spend on a daily basis in protecting our valuable fisheries resource.”

Published in Angling

#FishKill - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) prosecuted Irish Water yesterday (Tuesday 5 February) at Ballina District Court for the discharge of a harmful substance into the Ballycorrigan River on 17 May last year, causing a fish kill.

Among the fish mortalities were 100 brown trout of different age groups, three juvenile salmon and one stone loach which were killed when a cleaning substance was discharged into the river.

Judge Patrick Durcan heard evidence from Michael Fitzsimons, a senior fisheries environmental officer with IFI, that a detailed investigation was carried out following a pollution report received from the general public.

It found that the fish kill was caused by a combination of effluents arising from an uncontrolled maintenance event from Irish Water’s Ballina/Killaloe wastewater treatment plant.

Irish Water entered a guilty plea. Judge Durcan directed Irish Water to pay IFI’s legal costs of €2,290 and fined the body €2,500.

Judge Durcan stated that Irish Water did not take into consideration the environment and conditions when discharging into the river and that Ireland’s rivers are its most important natural resource.

He said that while these resources are maintained under the vigilance of Inland IFI, Irish Water needs to be vigilant, too.

Amanda Mooney, director of the Shannon River Basin District with IFI, said: “Irish Water co-operated fully with Inland Fisheries Ireland’s investigation and updated its cleaning protocols for the use of chemicals in treatment plants nationwide with more appropriate methods now in use as a direct result of this incident.

“Our fisheries resource is an extremely valuable asset, both from a recreational and economic perspective and it is crucial that we continue to protect and conserve it for future generations to enjoy.”

Published in Inland Waterways

#Angling - Four new Irish record fish were caught by anglers last year, according to the just published Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report for 2018.

New records were set for four marine species: golden grey mullet, thin-lipped mullet, black bream and tope.

The two mullet species were taken in Cork, with Noel Lane from Cork taking the 2.95kg thin-lipped mullet from Cork Harbour on 15 July, and Stephen O’Neill hooking the golden grey mullet of 1.52kg on 15 August.

Elsewhere, the 34.02kg tope was caught off Greystones, Co Wicklow by Stephen Hanway from Dublin on 3 October, and Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford was the venue for the 1.45kg black sea bream caught by Welsh angler Gordon Thornes on 17 September.

The anglers will be presented with their awards and certificates at the ISFC Awards Day on Saturday 16 February in conjunction with the Ireland Angling Show at the National Show Centre in Swords.

Further details of these record fish are in the Irish Specimen Fish Committee Report 2018. The committee, which is supported by Inland Fisheries Ireland, is an independent all-Ireland voluntary body which verifies and records the capture of large fish caught on rod by anglers in freshwater and marine waters.

As well as the new record, detailed information on 393 specimen fish (large fish) taken by anglers from venues throughout Ireland in 2018, comprising many different species, is detailed in the report.

The main species were smaller shark species like smooth hound and spurdog, while in freshwater, carp and pike dominated. All fish were caught, weighed, measured and released.

Hard copies of the report are available from Inland Fisheries Ireland offices nationally.

Published in Angling

#Angling - A new project on the River Easkey in Co Sligo which has improved and developed angling access to the wild salmon river between Sligo and Ballina has now been completed.

The project, which was delivered by River Easkey Angling Association, received support from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) via the National Strategy for Angling Development.

Structures such as footbridges, stiles, and ladders were installed along the river, which is located on the Wild Atlantic Way, while walkway routes on the banks of the salmon and trout fishery were also improved.

The work took place upstream of the famous Workhouse Bridge as part of the second phase of this project which initially involved similar works downstream of the bridge last year.

In total, the project has delivered eight new access points to angling, 13 footbridges ranging from three to four metres in length, and five kilometres of improved trail access.

Sean Canney, Minister of State for responsibility for inland fisheries, said on Wednesday (23 January): “I welcome the continuing efforts of Inland Fisheries Ireland in delivering under the National Strategy for Angling Development in partnership and collaboration with local angling clubs and community groups nationwide.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland committed €23,500 in total to support the Easkey project with €10,000 awarded in 2017 and a further €13,500 granted in 2018.

“I also want to congratulate the River Easkey Angling Association on its excellent development ethos. They are a progressive group that helpfully operates an open policy for holders of a State Salmon License with season and day tickets available for access,” he added.

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at IFI, said: “The River Easkey Angling Association has done fantastic work in developing this area as an angling destination. While completing this project and working closely with our project officers, they have given due diligence to everything from financial and environmental governance to biosecurity considerations ensuring the conservation and protection of this wonderful resource.”

Alan Spencer, assistant secretary of the River Easkey Angling Association, expressed the club’s thanks to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s staff for all their help and support during the project, as well as gratitude to landowners who permitted the club and its contractor access to the river through their property.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland has launched a recruitment campaign for seasonal fisheries officers nationwide.

The seasonal positions offer an opportunity to protect and develop Ireland’s rivers, lakes and waterways during the summer months. There are up to 40 positions on offer across six River Basin Districts.

Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for inland fisheries, said: “Fisheries officers play a vital role in protecting, conserving, managing and developing Ireland’s precious natural fisheries resource.

“They help enforce fisheries legislation which protects against illegal fishing activity and support the development of the resource through the maintenance of angling infrastructure.

“The recruitment of up to 40 seasonal officers will reinforce the critical work of Inland Fisheries Ireland during the high activity period of the year when there is increased demand for protection, conservation and support.”

Roisin Bradley, head of HR at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said the seasonal roles “offer an excellent opportunity to spend your summer outdoors helping to protect and enhance Ireland’s rivers, lakes and coastline.

“Our fisheries officers are custodians of this precious natural fisheries resource. We are looking for people across the country who enjoy working outdoors, who are passionate about protecting our fisheries resource and who have excellent interpersonal skills.”

The roles are available on a six-month basis with contracts commencing from late April and training provided to all new recruits. The locations for the new positions will be based across the country in the following districts:

  • Eastern River Basin District: five vacancies across Kilcoole, Co Wicklow; Dundalk, Co Louth; Drogheda, Co Louth; CityWest, Co Dublin.
  • South Eastern River Basin District: seven vacancies across Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary; Enniscorthy, Co Wexford; New Ross, Co Wexford.
  • South Western River Basin District: five vacancies across Farnanes, Co Cork; Kenmare, Co Kerry; Killorglin, Co Kerry; Bantry, Co Cork.
  • Shannon River Basin District: six vacancies across Listowel, Co Kerry; Limerick, Co Limerick; Birr, Co Offaly; Sheelin, Co Westmeath.
  • Western River Basin District: five vacancies across Galway City and Ballinakill, Co Galway; Ballina and Bangor Erris, Co Mayo; Sligo, Co Sligo.
  • North Western River Basin District: six vacancies across Cavan town, Co Cavan; Letterkenny, Glenties, Ballyshannon and Gweedore, Co Donegal.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 8 February 2019. To find out more about the roles and how to apply, visit fisheriesireland.ie/careers.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Angling - Sean Canney, Minister of State with responsibility for inland fisheries, has welcomed the success of Newport Sea Angling Club in Co Mayo in securing fishing equipment for junior anglers in the community.

Along with many others around Ireland, including the Finglas Youth Resource Centre in north Dublin, the club received funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland’s National Strategy for Angling Development to help support the recruitment of novices to the pursuit of angling.

Minister Canney said: “Newport Sea Angling Club has a strong junior membership hosting multiple events for young anglers every year. The club provides novice anglers with equipment, tackle, rods and life jackets during junior events.

“This helps in promoting angling to a new generation and also ensures that parents do not have to invest in any equipment until children have tried angling a number of times.

“I am happy to see Inland Fisheries Ireland stand behind the Newport club’s excellent initiative and I am confident their efforts will bring new participants into this healthy outdoor pastime.”

The club’s youth outreach initiatives attract many junior anglers with up to 60 juniors attending their National Junior Competition every year.

This new equipment will assist the club in training novice anglers in sea angling skills. In addition to fishing equipment, the club will also purchase a projector and screen for the club which will be used to assist them in theoretical training sessions.

Declan Moran of Newport Sea Angling Club said: “We hope that we can remove any pressure on parents or guardians to purchase angling equipment at the outset until their child has tried the pursuit and intends to continue with it. We believe this is one of the reasons why the club is so successful in introducing many young novice anglers to sea fishing each year.

“At Newport Sea Angling Club, we are committed to helping the next generation of anglers by passing on the necessary angling skills and introducing them to the pursuit in a safe and friendly environment.”

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Newport Sea Angling Club has a long history of supporting junior anglers with a number of popular junior events held in Newport every year. We are delighted to support the club through the National Strategy for Angling Development fund to enable the purchase of more fishing equipment.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their work to date in recruiting new junior members and we look forward to seeing even more growth in sea angling in Newport and the surrounds in years to come! By increasing participating in angling among the next generation, we are securing the future of our precious and valuable natural resource.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - Finglas Youth Resource Centre (FYRC) has been awarded €4,800 to purchase new equipment for angling.

The centre, which works with young people from ages 10 to 24 in the Finglas area, delivers a fishing programme which Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has proved to be extremely popular with local participants.

Funding has now been granted to the centre by IFI to support it in engaging young people around the pursuit.

FYRC first introduced a fishing programme to the community in the summer of 2016. The high level of demand resulted in a need for more resources and equipment to ensure its delivery.

This new equipment will allow the programme to expand its reach into the greater Finglas area and provide better angling opportunities for participants.

IFI granted the funding through its National Strategy for Angling Development which aims to ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced with a view to ensuring a sustainable habitat and the delivery of the economic, health and recreational benefits which they offer to communities across Ireland.

It’s hoped to grow the angling sector’s socio-economic contribution of €836 million per year by an additional €60 million annually through the strategy.

This would be achieved by driving angling participation among domestic and overseas visitors, which in turn is supported by improving access to fishing and developing angling infrastructure.

“It is fantastic that there is such a demand from young people in Finglas to access angling and to enjoy it as a pursuit on an ongoing basis,” said IFI’s Suzanne Campion.

“Finglas Youth Resource Centre provides valuable support and guidance to young people and we are delighted to support and work alongside them in promoting angling in the area.

“Angling is a pursuit that can be enjoyed at any age or ability, in a group or in solitude and it offers many health and wellbeing benefits.

“We hope that the young people who pass through the doors of Finglas Youth Resource Centre in the coming years will reap the many recreational rewards which our fisheries resource has to offer.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - Only hours after 84 Irish rivers were opened to salmon angling on Tuesday 1 January, the first salmon of 2019 was caught and released on the Lackagh River in Co Donegal.

Michael McCann of Templeard, Derry landed the 5lb fish in the Garden Pool on the Lackagh River at 9.25am yesterday using a single barbless hook, before it was released back into the water.

The fish was also the first salmon caught and released during International Year of the Salmon which takes place throughout 2019.

McCann was one of 22 anglers who were fishing on the Lackagh at the time of the catch. The river is not known for producing the first salmon of the angling season — in 2018, the first was recorded on the River Drowes in Leitrim on 30 January while in 2017 it was caught on the Munster Blackwater in Cork on 1 February.

Congratulating McCann on his catch, Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “We are particularly delighted that the first salmon of 2019 was caught and released in a sustainable manner in Donegal in compliance with the 2019 regulations.

“I would urge anglers to step up their conservation efforts and engage in catch and release angling in 2019. The new year coincides with International Year of the Salmon which aims to raise awareness of some of the challenges facing salmon stocks across the Northern hemisphere.

“Salmon populations have plummeted in recent years with the number of salmon returning to Irish shores decreasing by over 70%, which is very concerning.

“We look forward to promoting this global initiative in Ireland which aims to bring people together to share knowledge, raise awareness and take action on how we can ensure the resilience of salmon in Ireland and across the Northern hemisphere.”

The Lackagh River is open to catch and release fishing during the 2019 season. The regulations for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery for 2019 including the list of open, catch and release and closed rivers can be found on the IFI website.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Submissions are now open in a public consultation hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) around a proposed angling bye-law which focuses on the conservation of sea trout and brown trout on the River Bandon.

The new bye-law aims to help conserve the numbers of brown trout of all sizes taken from upstream areas of the river and its tributaries, as well as the numbers of young sea trout taken in the lower river and upper estuary.

There is currently no minimum length size specified when catching and retaining a sea trout or brown trout on the river. In addition, there is no ‘bag limit’ on the number of brown trout an angler can retain.

The new bye-law would set a minimum length of 25 centimetres for any sea trout or any brown trout caught and retained on the waters of the River Bandon and its tributaries, and a bag limit of not more than three brown trout per day on the waters of the River Bandon and its tributaries.

The bye-law would also require anglers to fish by catch-and-release methods, ban the use of worms, and allow only single barbless hooks in angling for brown trout once the three per-day bag limit had been reached.

Interested parties should make a submission to the consultation in writing. Submissions should be marked ‘Public consultation – River Bandon (Conservation of Trout)’ and be submitted by post to Inland Fisheries Ireland, Sunnyside House, Macroom, Co Cork, P12 X602 or by email to [email protected]

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 5pm on Monday 31 December. All submissions received by IFI will be published on its website at www.fisheriesireland.ie.

Published in Angling
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