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Displaying items by tag: Sea Trout

Legislation approved by Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan will allow for 81 rivers to be accessible for salmon and sea trout angling next year.

Of the 81, 42 will be open, with a further 39 open to “catch and release” angling, he said, noting the “general improvements in stocks from 2023 have been maintained for 2024”.

However, 66 rivers are to be closed as they have no sustainable surplus available, a point highlighted recently by an Afloat reader in County Cork.

The legislation is based on management advice from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) for over 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland, which was based on individual scientific assessments.

The minister said the assessments are carried out every year by the Technical Expert Group on Salmon (TEGOS) – an all-island independent scientific group comprising experts from a range of bodies.

“Many of our rivers are not at a sufficiently high-water quality level to support sustainable stocks, often caused by agricultural activities, and to a lesser extent, insufficient treatment of waste water,” he said.

“ This year’s advice was also made available as part of a statutory public consultation process during which written submissions from stakeholders (including the recreational and commercial fishing and the environmental sectors) were sought on the draft regulations,” he said.

“Ireland has long been internationally recognised for embedding the conservation imperative as a vital component of our management of the precious salmon resource,” Ryan said.

“ While the policy has served us well for more than a decade, I intend, as part of a broader inland fisheries policy review, to set out options for improvement, with an even greater focus on conservation, in our management regime and for modernising licensing requirements, to ensure access to the resource where its conservation and biodiversity needs are met,” he said.

The list of rivers is downloadable below as a PDF file 

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A sea trout tagged as part of a collaborative project led by the Loughs Agency and the River Faughan Anglers has provided remarkable insights into the growth and behaviour of these elusive fish within the Lough Foyle system.

The ‘Casting for Knowledge’ initiative highlights the value of combining the expertise of local anglers and scientific researchers to unravel the mysteries of sea trout ecology.

The sea trout in question, which bore the tag number 7841, was implanted on 12 May 2022 in the Faughan River thanks to the generous support of the River Faughan Anglers, who purchased the tag. The fish was then caught by a member of the club in the lower reaches of the river on 3 July this year.

This sea trout exhibited a unique pattern of behaviour by never venturing out to sea, and instead remaining exclusively within the Lough Foyle system.

In addition, the tagged sea trout demonstrated an impressive growth rate during this period, gaining 620 grams over the course of 14 months.

The Loughs Agency has championed the discovery as “a testament to the successful collaborative working between scientific researchers and angling clubs of the Faughan, Roe and Carrickmore rivers”.

Dr Diego del Villar, senior scientific officer at the Loughs Agency and lead scientist on the Casting for Knowledge project, expressed excitement about these significant findings.

“The journey of this sea trout showcases the immense potential of collaboration between anglers and scientists,” he said. “By harnessing the knowledge and expertise of local angling clubs, we can unlock crucial insights that have far-reaching implications for the management and conservation of these remarkable fish.”

Gerry Quinn, secretary at River Faughan Anglers added: “Having sponsored several tags, we were really interested to learn that a sea trout which was tagged on 12 May last year had successfully negotiated the various perils of the Faughan’s tidal stretch and Lough Foyle, and returned to the river just short of 14 months later. Indeed, the fact it was caught a few hundred yards from where it was tagged was quite the surprise.

“As fishers of the Faughan’s sea-going trout and custodians of the river, we welcome the opportunity to participate in and sponsor programmes which help to inform us about the lives of these elusive children of the tides.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the 24 projects awarded a total of €999,272 from the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund.

The competitive fund, administered by IFI, supports sustainable development initiatives to ensure native salmon and sea trout can survive and thrive, and overcome challenges they face in the wild.

The transformative new fish conservation projects in 12 different counties include:

  • Riverside fencing and solar pasture drinking pumps in Co Offaly to minimise pollution by livestock encroachment in water.
  • A major fish barrier removal scheme in Co Wicklow to help improve river connectivity for migratory fish and eel.
  • A project to curb the spread of the invasive plant species, rhododendron, on river catchments in Co Mayo to benefit in-stream habitat quality.
  • Spawning enhancement and habitat restoration works in the River Boyne catchment in Co Meath.
  • Surveillance measures, using environmental DNA, to monitor the presence of invasive pink salmon species in Irish rivers nationwide.

Announcing the projects on Friday (26 May), Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said: “I welcome the nearly €1m in funding which IFI is investing in projects across Ireland to improve and protect our incredibly important freshwater fish and their habitats.

“Our rivers are like the nature and biodiversity arteries of the country. Since the 1980s we have seen a significant deterioration in their water quality, putting our freshwater fish and their habitats under considerable stress.

“It is crucial to protect and future-proof our natural resources and this funding helps to do that. It is particularly encouraging to see applicants to the scheme taking on the stewardship over their local natural amenities.”

The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund has provided over €3.75m to different groups and fisheries development experts since 2016.

Barry Fox, head of operations with IFI said: “The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund is made possible through fishing licence income. Conserving and protecting fish species, like Atlantic salmon and sea trout is an integral part of IFI’s progressive and sustainable salmon management operations.”

Grants will be provided to initiatives based in Offaly (€80.5k), Cork (€140k), Donegal (€3.5k), Galway (€78k), Clare (€42.7k), Kerry (€18k), Kildare (€6.3k), Sligo (€34.3k), Mayo (€124k), Meath (€104.2k), Wicklow (€115k), Westmeath (€73k), and national projects (€180k).

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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued a reminder to anglers that the Conservation of Sea Trout (No.7 or Kerry District) Waterville Area Bye-Law No 971 of 2019 remains in effect.

This bye-law prohibits the retention and possession of any sea trout (Salmo trutta L.) taken by any fishing engine or by rod and line in the Waterville area, ie that part of the sea eastward of a line drawn from the most westerly point of Bolus Head to the most westerly point of Lamb’s Head and to all the waters discharging in to it.

The Bye-Law mainly affects sea trout fishing on:

  • the river Inny (Knockmoyle) and its tributaries;
  • the waters of the Waterville system, including the Waterville River, Lough Currane, the Cummeragh River and all their tributary rivers and lakes; and
  • the waters of Ballinskelligs Bay.

For further information please visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.

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State-owned forestry company Coillte and its contractor, Oliver Kelly Timber Harvesting Ltd, have both pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 in a case brought by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Following reports of pollution in November 2021 along the Glenaboy River, a tributary of the Bride River in Co Cork, officers from IFI found heavy deposits of silt, vehicle tracks in the river bed and a lack of adequate silt control in an area where Oliver Kelly Timber Harvesting Ltd had been carrying out thinning operations on behalf of Coillte.

As a result, IFI estimated that significant damage had been done to spawning beds and that a valuable stretch of the river had been lost to spawning wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout that year.

Sitting before Judge Colm Roberts at Mallow District Court on Monday 28 November, Coillte pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 171 (1) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959.

Also before the court on that date was Oliver Kelly Timber Harvesting Ltd, which Judge Roberts believed were the main instigators of the silt discharge to the Glenaboy River.

Judge Roberts afforded Coillte the benefit of the Probation of Offenders Act and ordered a payment of €2,000 to Tallow TidyTowns Committee.

Oliver Kelly Timber Harvesting Ltd were also found guilty of a breach of Section 171 as well as Section 173 of the 1959 Act and Section 3 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) (Amendment) Act 1977. The company was also given the benefit of the Probation Act and ordered to pay €2,000 to the Tallow Anglers Association, €1,500 to the Tallow TidyTowns Committee and post a bond of €1,500 for a period of two years under Section 1-1(2) of the Probation Act.

The court heard evidence that IFI officers, including senior fisheries environmental officer Andrew Gillespie, visited the location between Sunday 20 and Tuesday 22 November following reports of pollution.

There was evidence of silt in the river over a five-kilometre stretch downstream of the thinning operation’s location. Gillespie highlighted that the time of the occurrence, in November, was particularly relevant as it was the critical spawning period and that the effect of the silt discharge would be to smother any eggs deposited in the spawning gravels.

Speaking in court, Judge Roberts remarked that Coillte “didn’t properly supervise” the thinning operations and that their contractor “didn’t supervise properly as he was overstretched,” before observing that “when State agencies fail in their obligations, we are in big trouble”.

Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District at IFI welcomed the decision, noting that neither Coillte nor their contractor had been before the courts before and had cooperated fully with IFI to implement immediate mitigation measures at the site.

Speaking after verdict was delivered, Long said: “Located in the Munster Blackwater Special Area of Conservation, the Glenaboy River is a very important spawning ground for returning wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout, which are very vulnerable species protected by conservation measures and legislation.

“Sadly, the damage that was done to these spawning beds through pollution was significant, meaning that a valuable stretch of this river had been lost for spawning salmon and sea trout last year.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a funding call of up to €1 million to support vital conservation projects around the country through the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund.

Since 2016, more than €6 million in grants have been awarded to over 280 projects throughout the country under various funding schemes operated by IFI.

From now until Friday 16 December, eligible angling clubs, fishery owners and other stakeholders are invited to express their interest in applying for funding to support fisheries conservation through IFI’s Habitats and Conservation Scheme.

Priority will be given to projects that focus on habitat rehabilitation and conservation, such as rehabilitating damaged river habitats, improving water quality and helping fish overcome physical barriers like weirs.

In similar schemes in 2022, a total of €1,123,000 in funding was approved for 35 habitats and conservation projects based in Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow.

A rock ramp fish pass on the Burren River at Ballinacarrig, Co Carlow | Credit: IFIA rock ramp fish pass on the Burren River at Ballinacarrig, Co Carlow | Credit: IFI

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at IFI said that the scheme’s focus is on protecting and conserving fish species and their habitats for future generations.

“Since 2016, projects under the Habitats and Conservation Fund have delivered approximately 29km of in-stream maintenance works and 37 kilometres of habitat restoration works. As well as that, 83km of spawning and nursery habitats have been made more accessible to migratory fish species, through five fish passage projects,” she said.

“Under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme, which is made possible through fishing licence and permit income, groups can now apply for grants to fund projects and measures in 2023 to continue this vital environmental work.”

In addition to the €1 million in funding available through the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund, up to €50,000 is available through the Midlands Fisheries Fund.

An information guide about the funding call is available to download. As part of the two-step process, all applicants must firstly complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ application on Inland Fisheries Ireland’s online grant management portal before 5.30pm on Friday 16 December.

After expressions of interest have been completed, full applications that align to fund objectives can be submitted via the online grant management portal until 5.30pm on Friday 27 January 2023. Decisions on applications and grants will be announced by IFI in May 2023.

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Salmon and sea trout anglers who fished during the 2022 season are being reminded to return their logbooks and any unused gill tags at the end of the season.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is encouraging such anglers to return their angling logbooks — setting out their fishing and catch record — and any unused gill tags from 2022 if they have finished fishing for this year or once the season has closed.

Under the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, anglers can return these in one of three ways:

  • Using the postage pre-paid business return envelope that was supplied at the time of licence purchase (preferred option).
  • Posting the logbook and unused gill tags to the Inland Fisheries Ireland office address that is displayed on their licence or logbook.
  • Scanning and emailing logbook and licence documents to IFI at [email protected]. Important: if you are choosing this option, please scan all sides of documents, including continuation pages, to ensure that the licence names and number can be correctly linked to the logbook.

On average, 70% of anglers in Ireland return their logbooks and these returns provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks into the future.

In accordance with the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, anglers in Ireland are required by law to return their completed logbook and all unused tags to the issuing office of IFI within seven days of licence expiry, and no later than Wednesday 19 October.

As part of the scheme, an angler must attach a valid gill tag to a salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) harvested, immediately on landing. They must enter details of their catch and/or gill tag used into their logbook.

Questions or queries should be directed to [email protected] and IFI says it will respond as quickly as possible.

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The Loughs Agency reminds anglers of the annual close season, which prohibits angling over the winter months to help protect salmon and sea trout from disturbance when spawning.

The Foyle Area and Carlingford Area (Close Seasons for Angling) Regulations prohibit fishing for salmon and sea trout over the winter, with fishing due to resume in early 2022.

The annual close season for salmon and sea trout began last Thursday 21 October in the Foyle catchment, and starts Monday 1 November in the Carlingford catchment.

As closing dates vary slightly across the catchments, Loughs Agency encourages anglers to check season dates for each river on the Loughs Agency website and social media platforms, as well as with fishery owners to ensure they are up to date on local restrictions.

The State of the Salmon report published recently by the international lead on salmon management, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), highlights the worrying and continuous decline in the populations of the Atlantic salmon.

NASCO states: “It now takes about double the number of eggs to produce one adult (compared to 1990s) that will return to that same river to spawn – an indication of the multiple pressures facing the species throughout its complex life cycle.”

Lough Agency chief executive Sharon McMahon said: “The annual close season is an important time of year. Reducing disturbances on fish when they are spawning and at their most vulnerable helps protect stocks for the future.

“We recognise that angling is not the sole cause of stock decline, but by observing the close season, anglers are ‘playing their part’ in boosting the long-term resilience and sustainability of iconic fish species.”

John McCartney, director of conservation and protection at the Loughs Agency, added: “We all must take a forward-thinking approach based on the latest scientific guidance that balances responsible angling and sustainability.”

As the game fishing season ends for 2021, anglers are reminded to update their catch return and fishing effort on the Loughs Agency elicence website.

Anglers who wish to fish during the winter months are permitted to catch coarse fish such as perch, roach and bream, for which a valid coarse fishing licence is required.

During the close season, Loughs Agency fishery officers patrol riverbanks to prevent illegal fishing and protect fisheries. Anglers found fishing out of season will be prosecuted through the courts.

The Loughs Agency encourages members of the public to make direct and prompt illegal fishing reports either through the 24-hour response line at +44 28 7134 2100 or through the WaterWatch reporting tool.

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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a public consultation on the future management of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme.

The State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats is encouraging anyone with an interest in the area to submit their views on how the tagging system, which started in 2001, can be improved and modernised.

It is especially keen to hear from salmon and sea trout anglers, angling clubs, commercial fishermen and those businesses that distribute salmon and sea trout licences, such as fishing tackle shops.

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme was set up 20 years ago to record the issuing of wild salmon and sea trout licences, gill tags and logbooks to both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen and to process details of fish catches on a database for further analysis.

It was part of a series of measures introduced to help with the management and conservation of Ireland’s wild salmon and sea trout populations, which have been in decline.

Figures from the 2020 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report show that 14,138 salmon and sea trout licences were sold to recreational anglers in the state last year, which were a mixture of virtual licences sold online and hard copy licences sold over the counter in shops. In addition, 78 public commercial licences were made available to commercial fishermen in 2020.

IFI is now carrying out a review of the whole tagging system, to see how it can be made more user-friendly in the future and to ensure that it can provide the agency with real-time, accurate data to assist with the protection, management and conservation of wild salmon and sea trout.

Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development, said:“The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme was first introduced two decades ago and since then, we’ve seen a seismic shift towards buying and selling online, with many technological advances along the way that we’d like to harness.

“As we’re undertaking a review of the tagging system, we see this as the perfect opportunity for the public, especially those involved in the angling sector, to have their say on the management of how licences, tags and logbooks are issued and distributed in the future. In other words, how can Inland Fisheries Ireland make the tagging system as user-friendly as possible in the future and a better service for all?”

The public consultation for the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme closes at 5pm on Wednesday 1 December. Submissions can be made via a short online survey.

Alternatively, written submissions can be emailed to [email protected] or posted to Wild Salmon & Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Consultation, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 CK66.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is encouraging salmon and sea trout anglers to return their angling logbooks, setting out their fishing and catch record, and any unused gill tags from 2021 licences.

Under the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, anglers can return these in one of three ways:

  • Using the postage pre-paid business return envelope that was supplied at the time of licence purchase (preferred option).
  • Posting the logbook and unused gill tags to the IFI office address that is displayed on their licence or logbook.
  • Scanning and emailing logbook and licence documents to [email protected] (Please scan all sides of documents, including continuation pages, to ensure that the licence names and number can be correctly linked to the logbook.)

On average, 70% of anglers in Ireland return their logbooks and these returns provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout stocks into the future.

In accordance with the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, anglers in Ireland are required by law to return their completed logbook and all unused tags to the issuing office of Inland IFI within seven days of licence expiry and no later than next Tuesday 19 October.

As part of the scheme, an angler must attach a valid gill tag to a salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) harvested, immediately on landing. hey must enter details of their catch and/or gill-tag used into their logbook.

Questions or queries can be directed to [email protected] and IFI says it will respond as quickly as possible.

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