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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

#Angling - Fishing Futures, a project targeting local community groups in Wicklow, has been awarded funding from Inland Fisheries Ireland to help support its work.

The project, which is organised by the Wicklow Travellers Group, allows young people to experience angling in a safe and supervised environment.

Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has welcomed the initiative and the funding by IFI of €1,630 through the National Strategy for Angling Development.

“This investment will support the purchase of new fishing equipment enabling larger groups to engage in angling trips and increase participation across the community,” said Minister Canney.

“Over the coming year, local volunteer anglers and an outreach worker working with Wicklow Travellers Group will provide access to young people to organised angling activities as an enjoyable and rewarding component of healthy outdoor pursuits.”

Participants in the project will learn about water safety, bait collection and preservation, healthy lifestyle as well as practical angling skills.

The project ultimately aims to provide novice anglers with the necessary skills to engage in mainstream angling with local clubs.

Since the inception of the project over 11 years ago, it has engaged with many groups from the community. Some of the volunteer anglers who support the project today took part in the initiative themselves over a decade ago.

Published in Angling

Letterkenny Educate Together National School has been named winner of the national education programme Something Fishy for 2019.

The students from fifth class were presented with the Something Fishy perpetual trophy and a monetary prize by Minister for Education Joe McCue at their school yesterday (Monday 19 November).

The pupils received the national accolade for their project called Save Our Schools (SOS), which saw the class build a website aimed at engaging other children and young people to learn about fish and the importance of protecting the fisheries resource for angling and inland fishing.

The webpage included digital games and video content, all devised and produced by the children themselves.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, 99 national schools and 10 education centres took part in the Something Fishy programme, reaching some 3,000 students.

The Something Fishy education programme is an initiative of Inland Fisheries Ireland, in partnership with Blackrock Education Centre, which allows students to learn about fish and the environment in a local context.

Students enjoy classroom-based activities as well as practical field trips with fisheries officers as part of the programme, which is promoted and delivered by education centres nationwide. In addition, students compile and submit projects on their learning for assessment by an independent judging panel.

Teachers and students participating in the Something Fishy programme explore eight different lessons on the fisheries resource, after which they receive a visit from inland fisheries Oofficers who introduce them to their local river and the fish and invertebrates who live within in. Since its inception in 2005, over 50,000 students have participated in the programme.

Minister McHugh said: “This year’s award is particularly special as we embark, in conjunction with countries all over the world, on the International Year of the Salmon to celebrate the shared cultural and mythological place of salmon in societies around the globe.

He added: “I am particularly proud that Donegal, and especially the Letterkenny area, has built up an excellent pedigree in this competition with this year’s champions following in the footsteps of Gartan NS who won the title last year.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “Letterkenny Educate Together really impressed the judging panel with their use of digital communications to highlight significant conservation messages for their peers. I would like to congratulate the children and their teachers, Nakita Burke and Cliona Marley, for showcasing important learnings about the local fisheries environment in such an effective manner.”

Jacqui Dillon, director of Donegal Education Centre, said the county’s second win in two years “is reflective of the commitment of the teachers involved and the keen interest they have engendered in their pupils”.

Published in Angling

#Angling - The Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-law was yesterday (Thursday 25 October) signed by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton.

The overall intention behind the bye-law is to afford additional protection to wild brown trout in seven distinctive State–owned waters where established stock control measures are already in place as a matter of existing policy.

The seven waters are Lough Sheelin in the Limerick Fishery District; Loughs Conn and Cullin the Ballina Fishery District; Loughs Corrib, Mask and Carra in the Galway Fishery District; and Lough Arrow in the Sligo Fishery District.

Sean Canney, who is succeeding Sean Kyne as Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, welcomed the bye-law as an important initiative for brown trout fisheries particularly in the West of Ireland.

“My predecessor Seán Kyne gave notice of his proposals to make the bye-law and also instigated a public consultation during which observations and views expressed across the full range of stakeholders,” said Minister Canney.

“I am happy as incoming minister to support Minister Kyne’s long-standing initiative and his hard work over all of 2018 in bringing the bye-law to fruition.”

Minister Kyne said: “As minister with responsibility for inland fisheries, I had carefully considered the submissions made in the public consultation.

“The bye-law relates to seven limestone lakes which are quite unique in terms of topography and trout habitat and have long been managed as wild brown trout fisheries via established stock management programmes. From that perspective, I considered that these waters are especially important.

“The bye-law was just about complete when I was taking on my new role and I am grateful for the support of Ministers Bruton and Canney for bringing it over the line,” he added.

The bye-law gives statutory status to the policy designation of this small number of distinctive waters and means that the waters concerned will continue to be managed primarily as brown trout waters.

Minister Kyne had indicated his view that the importance of these waters should be reflected by way of statutory designation and commenced that process in the department.

The bye-law also includes the prohibition on the introduction of fish to the designated waters which is consistent with the overall policy thrust of Inland Fisheries Ireland to manage these waters primarily as brown trout waters.

The advantages of this measure include addressing biosecurity and genetic concerns, control and management of the potential transfer of pathogens, and safeguarding against the introduction of alien invasive fish species.

The announcement came as Bord Iascaigh Mhara is hosting a two-day conference on the scientific developments within the salmon farming industry in Galway’s Maldron Hotel on 25-26 of October.

Outlining the purpose of the event, BIM’s Geoffrey Robinson said: “With increasing global demand for fish, aquaculture is now the fastest-growing animal food production sector in the world. Consequently, fish farming operations are rapidly evolving with new technologies and equipment constantly being developed.

“Part of BIM’s work is to help fish farmers to keep their operations at the cutting edge of technology and an event like this allows us to showcase the latest innovations to Irish operators. There will be a number of interesting developments discussed not least the growing use of cleaner fish and desalination systems.”

Twenty-five separate presentations from national and international experts will cover the latest research and technological developments within the sector on issues such as fish health and welfare, structural and service equipment as well as organic certification.

“While production volumes in Ireland are small by international standards, we have a reputation for excellence in organic salmon production and it is important that our operations maintain this high standard. Incorporating leading edge technologies can improve our production efficiencies and strengthen our sustainable practices,” Mr Robinson added.

In 2017 Irish salmon production increased 15.6% to 19,305 tonnes, with a value of €141.2 million. The industry employs 210 people, primarily in production sites along the west coast of Ireland. Irish salmon is exported to diverse markets across the EU, North America and the Near and Far East.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Anglers fishing in Ireland will now be allowed to keep one bass a day from Monday 1 October till the end of 2018.

The move follows new advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) that affects all divisions around the island of Ireland.

According to this advice, recreational angling does not impact on bass stocks to the degree previously believed.

ICES also estimates a 10% higher survival rate from catch-and-release angling than previous figures.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) reminds bass anglers that a minimum size limit of 42cm still applies.

“Bass anglers have an extremely positive approach to bass conservation using catch and release alongside good handling in order to maintain the species and their recreational activity,” IFI says.

“Anglers, through their conservation-oriented ethos, have been the key stakeholders in supporting research into bass stock status over the past five years by providing catch and fish stock data, which has underpinned provision of scientific and management advice.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has confirmed a fish kill on the River Tolka that was reported earlier this week.

Fisheries investigators found dead fish over a 5km stretch of the river in the Tolka Valley Park area, following the report on Tuesday 18 September.

According to IFI, a “significant source of polluting material has been identified” and samples were taken for analysis.

In the meantime “relevant parties are undertaking appropriate remedial action” as the investigation continues.

Also this week, Minister of State for inland fisheries Seán Kyne committed €300,000 for the removal of an invasive waterweed in Lough Corrib.

IFI will begin operations in 2019 to remove the aquatic plant Lagarosiphon major from the lough, after successful cutting and picking operations over the summer months this year.

In addition to these management operations, IFI commenced a research project last month which aims to establish the current distribution of L major in Lough Corrib.

New innovative methods are being trialled to survey the aquatic plant as part of this research. These include unmanned aerial drones, sub-aquatic remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and modern remote sensing techniques.

Speaking as he visited IFI’s stand at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister Kyne also asked the fisheries body and his department to continue liaison with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), who have responsibility for the legislation covering Alien Invasive Species (AIS).

Published in Angling

#Angling - Novice anglers are invited to try their hand at fishing at the upcoming National Ploughing Championships.

Inland Fisheries Ireland will attend the three days that kick off in Screggan near Tullamore, Co Offaly from tomorrow, Tuesday 18 September, with a fun fishing simulator suitable for all the family.

The simulator will be present at IFI stand within the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment’s tent at the championships.

Fisheries officers will be on hand to answer questions from members of the public around best farming practice on waterways, and how to take up angling as a novice, as well to provide information and guidance around Ireland’s fish species and the aquatic environment.

There will also be aquariums with a range of coarse and game fish species on display.

“The participation of the public in the fisheries resource is vital in ensuring it is protected and enhanced in a sustainable manner for both the recreational and economic benefits it offers to communities nationwide,” says Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development.

“We are looking forward to sharing insights into the fisheries resource, and the indigenous fish species that live within it, with both the general public and the farming community.”

Also exhibiting at the National Ploughing Championships this year are Leave No Trace Ireland and the Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme, who aim to highlight the impact of plastics in our oceans at their stand in the the Department of Community and Rural Affairs tent.

“A truckload of plastic waste finds its way into the ocean every minute of every day, and it is estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic by weight than fish in the ocean unless behaviours change,” explains Maura Lyons, chief executive of Leave No Trace Ireland.

“Although we are all contributing to this worldwide epidemic, recent campaigns such as Say #No to Plastic have generated an amazing amount of supporters at community levels – particularly with children and families wanting to create change.”

With the research being completed in Ireland and around the world, results of plastics making their way into the ocean are showing a significant impact on the marine environment and animals.

Unprecedented levels of microscopic plastic particles were recently detected in an oceanic survey carried out by phytoplankton, biotoxin and oceanographic scientists from the Marine Institute.

From the larger plastics to clothes fibres from our washing machines all making their way into the ocean, visitors to the Leave No Trace/Explorers Education stand will get an opportunity to learn how long it takes for single-use plastic to break down, as well as receiving tips on how to go plastic free.

Those attending will also get to see live native marine species that are typically found in rock pools around the Irish coast including dogfish, plaice and starfish in the Explorers display boat.

“It is great to see an increased interest from children, schools, communities and businesses in Ireland that have already committed to reducing single-use plastics by offering alternatives for customers,” Lyons says. “These small changes can result in big impacts, which will help encourage a change in behaviours.”

Published in Angling

#Angling - Salmon and sea trout anglers are reminded of the importance of returning their 2018 angling logbook and unused gill tags to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

These returns provide vital information and facilitate informed decision-making on Ireland’s wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks, according to the fisheries body.

Anglers are asked to return their logbook as part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, which regulates salmon and sea trout fishing in Ireland and is administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

In accordance with this scheme, anglers are required by law to return their completed logbook and all unused tags to the issuing office once they have finished fishing for the season, or as soon as the season is over at the end of September and no later than the 19 October annually.

Anglers are reminded that they can only retain a maximum of one salmon per day in a fishery with a surplus, provided they still have remaining tags in the month of September.

The return of logbooks and tags can be done via the business return envelope which was supplied at the time of license purchase. In the absence of such an envelope, anglers can return their completed logbook and unused tags to the IFI office addressed on their licence/logbook.

The records from this year’s angler returns will support management decisions in 2019.

As part of the scheme, an angler must attach a valid gill tag to a salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) immediately on landing. They then must enter the details of the catch and gill tag used into their logbook. If the fish is to be released, anglers must also make a catch record in their logbook.

IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “As the end of season approaches, we are reminding salmon and sea trout anglers to return their logbooks and unused tags as soon as possible.

“The vast majority of anglers appreciate the importance of their data in terms of the conservation of our precious fisheries resource.”

For more information on the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme and IFI, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie. Any queries in relation to the scheme can be sent to [email protected]

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland advises anglers that, where conditions are suitable locally, catch-and-release angling for salmon may be resumed after the lifting of an appeal for a voluntary halt.

The fisheries body thanks all anglers for their assistance since the appeal made after July’s high water temperatures and drought conditions, which called for a cessation of fishing in catch-and-release rivers or where bag limits had been reached on open rivers.

While there are still low water levels in many parts of the country, water temperatures have now returned to within normal limits.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Seán Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, has signed off three new angling bye-laws which affect the Corrib catchment in Galway and Mayo.

The bye-laws, which have been requested by local angling clubs, concern the Abbert and Grange Rivers, the Clare River and the Cong River and Canal, and reflect the support of the clubs for the conservation imperative and the sustainable management of the local fisheries resource.

The Abbert and Grange Rivers (Annual Close Season) Bye-Law extends the closed season for all angling on the Abbert and Grange Rivers by two months to cover the period from the 1st of September until the 31st of March annually.

This bye-law is being introduced at the request of the angling clubs on the Clare system and will act as a vital conservation measure.

Both rivers make a significant contribution to wild brown trout stocks in the Clare River system and Lough Corrib. The new bye-law will afford greater protection to spawning salmonids in these two very important tributaries of the Clare River.

The Western Fisheries Region River Clare (Revocation) Bye-Law permits all legal angling methods on the Clare River from Daly’s Bridge in the townland of Corrandrum to a point 300 metres upstream of the footbridge at Anbally in the townlands of Anbally and Turloughmartin, Co Galway.

This section of river was previously restricted to fly fishing only. However, this new bye-law will bring this short section of the river into line with the rest of the Clare River. This bye-law was introduced at the request of the local angling club.

The Upper and Lower Limits of Cong River and Cong Canal Bye-Law clearly defines the upstream boundary between Lough Mask and the Cong Canal and the downstream boundary between the Cong River and Lough Corrib.

The purpose of the bye-law is to enable the effective enforcement of legislation governing the open angling seasons for trout and salmon on the Cong Canal/River as these differ from the open seasons for these species on Loughs Corrib and Mask.

This bye-law will also remove any difficulty in identifying the correct angling season at the extremities of the Cong River/Canal and will afford greater protection to highly prized ferox trout which are known to spawn in the Cong River/Canal.

“We welcome the introduction of these bye-laws in Galway and Mayo which will help us to enforce relevant legislation and enhance the resource in the long term,” said Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.

“The introductions of these bye-laws follow public consultations whereby stakeholders were invited to input their views and insights into the proposed new regulations. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fisheries officers will now protect these rivers in line with the new laws in place.”

Anglers are requested to familiarise themselves with the details of the new bye-laws, which can be found on the website of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Pike in Irish waters may have changed their diet preferences, according to a new report launched this week by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The report looks at new research carried out in 2016 on Lough Conn in Co Mayo and Lough Derravaragh in Co Westmeath and provides an insight into the dietary habits of pike.

Previous dietary research carried out in the 1960s and 1970s in Lough Derravaragh and Lough Sheelin (located across Westmeath, Meath and Cavan) indicated that pike preferred to eat brown trout and perch.

However, this latest research reveals that pike appear to have changed their prey preference and now predominately eat roach.

Researchers in Scotland and England have also found similar changes in pike diet occurring in Scotland (at Loch Lomond) and England (at Lake Windermere). It is thought the changes in diet are due to the invasion of roach in these waters.

The research examines whether pike and brown trout can co-exist in the same habitat. Using statistical models, it found that the species could live together within relatively large deep lakes with strong stream connectivity. However, in small, low-complex systems, pike introductions could potentially have a devastating impact on resident brown trout populations.

The practice of pike removal and the impact it has on brown trout stocks is also examined. The findings suggest that pike removal may only be effective in protecting brown trout populations in systems where trout are the only available prey, but may have little effect in systems where other prey, such as roach, is available.

“This research was initiated to answer some ongoing questions relating to the dietary preference of pike and the pike-brown trout interactions in lakes across Ireland,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne. “Previous studies in this area were carried out more than 50 years ago which is a long time within our changing lake systems.

“This research is important as it gives an insight into the behaviour of the pike species and provides updated information around their relationship with brown trout. The changing food web and altered preferences of predators in the water systems highlights the need for continued monitoring and updated data to inform effective management strategies.

“This research will now be considered alongside the many historic, socio-economic and management factors which all inform fisheries management and development work. Inland Fisheries Ireland uses the best available scientific information to underpin management decision making and advice.”

For further information visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/pikeresearch.

Published in Angling
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