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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened a new footbridge over the Owenea River near Glenties in Co Donegal.

In a welcome boost for angling access on the Owenea fishery, the new steel footbridge was commissioned by IFI to replace the former ‘Green Bridge’, which was constructed in the 1970s but had fallen into disrepair.

The new steel footbridge is now officially open to anglers and the public.

Funded through the National Strategy for Angling Development, the custom-designed footbridge will provide safe access to both banks of the Owenea fishery between Beats 4 and 5, near Glenties.

The Owenea fishery, which is directly managed by IFI, remains one of the most productive salmon rivers in Co Donegal.

The fishery has a good run of salmon and sea trout as well as a resident stock of small brown trout and is popular with local anglers as well as visiting sport fishers travelling from abroad.

Milton Matthews, director of the North-Western River Basin District with IFI, announced the opening of the bridge, saying: “The Owenea fishery in Donegal is a popular destination for both local and visitor salmon anglers to the area.

“Installation of this new bridge is the culmination of over four years of work in terms of completion of the various safety, engineering and associated environmental reports and planning permission requirements needed.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of various local landowners, contractors, Donegal County Council, local angling clubs and dommunity development groups, who have all contributed to and welcomed the successful delivery of this project.”

IFI has an ongoing programme of maintenance and upgrading of angling access along the Owenea River, including the improvement of angling infrastructure such as stiles, footbridges and walkways.

Constructed in the 1970s, the Green Bridge was used extensively over the years by anglers, recreational walkers and local residents.

However, following safety audits conducted by IFI, consultant engineers were commissioned in 2021 to conduct a full examination of the structural integrity and suitability of the structure as a pedestrian footbridge. The report confirmed that the steelwork of the existing bridge was severely corroded and no longer fit for purpose.

Although IFI didn’t own or manage the Green Bridge, the State agency responsible for the conservation and protection of freshwater fish and habitats — and the development and promotion of angling — undertook responsibility for its removal and installation of a replacement galvanised footbridge to ensure safe access to both banks of the Owenea River for the angling community.

Before the old footbridge could be removed however, IFI had to commission several reports and surveys, including Appropriate Assessment Screening, a freshwater pearl mussel survey and Natura Impact Statement (NIS). Planning permission was then sought through Donegal County Council for removal and replacement of the old bridge.

Following a public procurement process, Source Civil Ltd was appointed as the contractor to remove the original Green Bridge and to prefabricate and install a new custom-designed footbridge from W.D. Buchanan & Co Ltd. This necessitated a temporary road closure and traffic diversion whilst the Green Bridge was removed and the new bridge was lifted into place by Quinn Crane Hire.  

Matthews added: “Completion of this new footbridge is a vital element in the overall management and development of the Owenea salmon fishery and a welcome addition for angling access and the local community.”

Published in Angling

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.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is hosting an online webinar this  Thursday evening 15 September as part of the public consultation process for the Great Western Lakes Management Plan.

Since the public consultation was launched in August, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, IFI has organised six in-person open evenings where members of the public had the opportunity to drop in and meet an IGI representative, discuss the draft plan, seek clarification or ask questions.

In particular, IFI has urged the angling community and anyone who uses the lakes or lives near them to make a submission.

Those with an interest in the draft plan, who weren’t able to attend an open evening, are now being invited to register online to attend the webinar from 7pm to 8.30pm on Thursday 15 September, five days before the public consultation closes at 5pm next Tuesday 20 September.

Those planning to attend this webinar are being advised to familiarise themselves with the contents of the draft plan and the associated FAQ.

Published in Angling

More has been shared about plans to attract Ireland’s community of up to 250,000 recreational sea anglers to take part in a large-scale citizen science project and play an active role in helping to conserve marine fish stocks.
 
Leading geographic information systems company Esri Ireland recently announced that its digital mapping system is being used by Inland Fisheries Ireland (FI) to help safeguard fish populations and protect marine ecosystems, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
 
Esri’s ArcGIS system supports the Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC) which aims to estimate sea anglers’ catches along the 3,000km of Irish coastline.

Whether they are shore anglers, small boat anglers or charter boat anglers, each member can sign up to access Esri’s Survey123 web-based app where they can record their catches and angling successes with a personalised dashboard.
 
IFI is the State agency for protecting, managing and conserving inland fisheries and sea angling resources. To meet its EU data collection requirements around species, locations, and volumes of fish caught annually in European waters, IFI saw a need for a collaborative approach to collate its own data with self-reporting by recreational sea anglers.
 
Turning anglers into citizen scientists, the easy-to-use app enables anglers around Ireland to gather and upload real-time information from any device about the fish they catch and release.

This anonymised information is then automatically transferred to a shared repository, where it can be easily viewed by the anglers and monitored by IFI to identify patterns in the species distribution, volumes and weight of fish caught, and estimated catch rates. In turn, IFI has greater control over and confidence in the accuracy and consistency of the data collected.

The EU is particularly interested in data on cod, pollock, sharks, rays, sea bass and highly migratory species such as tuna, but the solution can be configured to capture data on other species too.
 
Sea anglers of all experience levels can sign up via the IFI website, and can also watch a quick and easy video guide on how to use the app on YouTube.

September is one of the busiest periods for sea angling around the Irish coast, so it’s a great time to start recording your catch, according to William Roche, a senior research officer at IFI.
 
“With more anglers collecting data, we will be able to build up a better picture of the state of fish stocks off Ireland’s coast,” he said. “ArcGIS will enable us to work with anglers as citizen scientists and crowdsource the large volume of data that we require for EU and national reporting.

“The personalised dashboards will help to make the recording of data a habitual activity for anglers, and we hope they will enjoy entering their catch data and take pride in their roles as stewards of the sea.”
 
Schalk Van Lill, customer success manager with Esri Ireland added: “We are delighted to work with Inland Fisheries Ireland on this project and enable the ongoing monitoring and safeguarding of fish populations.

“Citizen science like this provides broad spatial coverage all around the coastline of Ireland, enabling Inland Fisheries Ireland to efficiently comply with requirements. The solution can be easily scaled up to accept data uploads from more and more participants, allowing Inland Fisheries Ireland to expand the scheme over time.”

Published in Angling

Important conservation works designed to improve habitats and water quality along the Kilroe River in Co Galway are ongoing, thanks to a successful partnership between the local angling community, local landowners and State agencies.

Under the Kilroe Environmental River Enhancement Programme, the East Corrib Alliance of angling clubs have been working closely with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the Office of Public Works (OPW), the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and local landowners since 2020.

The East Corrib Alliance comprises four angling clubs: Annaghdown Angling Club, Glencorrib and Cross Anglers, Headford and Corrib Anglers and Kilbeg Anglers.

Conservation works have included stream maintenance, narrowing of the main channel, closing off of drinking slips and replenishment of gravel for spawning.

To date, around 1.8 km of eco-friendly fencing has been supplied or repaired and alternative drinking troughs for livestock have been installed.

These works are set to improve fish habitats and water quality by stopping livestock from entering the river and potentially damaging riverbanks through providing alternative sources of drinking water.

The works in Corrandulla have been mainly funded locally by the East Corrib Alliance, with on-site support from the OPW and IFI. 

Once completed, it is hoped that there will also be more spawning and nursery opportunities in the river for Atlantic salmon and brown trout.

There are also plans to host school visits to increase awareness of the river’s ecosystem and the importance of protecting biodiversity.

Speaking during an inspection of the recent works at the Kilroe River, IFI’s newly appointed head of operations Barry Fox said: “This partnership approach between State agencies and angling stakeholders in delivering habitat improvement and rehabilitation is a template that should be followed for future fisheries enhancement projects.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a major fish kill incident that’s claimed over 2,000 juvenile brown trout and Atlantic salmon in a Co Donegal river.

Environmental and fisheries officers from the North-Western River Basin District were alerted to the incident in the Glenagannon River at Inishowen by a member of the public via IFI’s 24-hour confidential hotline number on Friday (26 August). 

Following patrols conducted along the river on Friday and Saturday (27 August), the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats has confirmed that over 2,250 juvenile brown trout and Atlantic salmon were killed in the incident.

The fish kill covered some four kilometres of the river and comprised several year classes of fish, IFI said, adding that is following a definite line of inquiry to determine the cause which may result in legal proceedings.
 
Milton Matthews, director of the North-Western River Basin District acknowledged the ongoing support of the public in reporting suspected cases of water pollution and fish kills.

“We would like to thank the member of the public who alerted us promptly to this serious incident through our 24-hour confidential hotline last Friday,” he said.

“This enabled our environmental team in Letterkenny to instigate our investigations without delay. This can be critical in identifying and confirming the underlying cause of fish kill incidents such as this one on the Glenagannon River.”

To report fish kills or water pollution, members of the public are encouraged to call IFI’s 24/7 hotline on 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is encouraging sea anglers to become citizen scientists as part of a project to gather key data for the protection of fish species and habitats around Ireland.

As TechCentral reports, IFI is using ESRI Ireland’s ArcGIS digital mapping system for the Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC), which has been previously highlighted on Afloat.ie.

It’s hoped to harness some of Ireland’s 250,000 recreational sea anglers to report real-time data on the fish they catch and release, via the Survey123 smartphone app — much in the same way as skippers’ participation in the Tuna CHART survey.

William Roche, a senior research officer at IFI said: “ArcGIS will enable us to recruit anglers as citizen scientists and crowdsource the large volume of data that we require for EU and national reporting.

“With more anglers collecting data, we will be able to build up a better picture of the state of fish stocks off Ireland’s coast, particularly for anglers.”

TechCentral has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Nearly 60 people turned out for the public information meeting organised in Limerick by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) earlier this week to raise awareness of the Annacotty Fish Passage Project and highlight potential solutions to the problems that the weir is causing Ireland’s fish populations.

Attendees on Tuesday evening (23 August) included members of the public, representatives from community groups, local angling clubs, Annacotty residents, Government departments, State agencies and environmental organisations.

Public representatives also attended the event at the Castletroy Park Hotel, including Kieran O'Donnell TD, Cllr Seán Hartigan and Cllr Elena Secas.

The weir at Annacotty has been classified as a “significant barrier” to fish, negatively impacting on survival rates for species such as wild Atlantic salmon, lamprey (sea, river and brook), wild brown trout and eels.

At Tuesday’s meeting, IFI’s Brian Coghlan, a research officer with the National Barriers Programme, gave a presentation about how the weir acts as an artificial ‘barrier’ to certain fish species and the resulting problems for their life cycle.

Annacotty Weir on the lower Mulkear River outside Limerick | Credit: IFIAnnacotty Weir on the lower Mulkear River outside Limerick | Credit: IFI

Alan Cullagh, a fisheries development inspector with IFI, talked about how the problems could be overcome and what solutions were being used in Ireland and internationally to improve fish passage at barriers.

Finally, a panel discussion took place with questions from the audience, involving Coghlan and Cullagh along with fisheries inspector Catherine Hayes and fisheries environmental officer Jane Gilleran, both also with IFI.

Closing the session on Tuesday evening, Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development said: “The Annacotty Fish Passage Project is a very important project to improve access to fisheries habitat on the River Mulkear and it is heartening to see the public interest in this project.

“As we highlighted at our public information meeting, we are seeking the views of the public to help inform the most appropriate solution for improving fish passage at Annacotty. This along with environmental and technical assessments will enable us to put the preferred option forward for planning permission.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is inviting the public to attend an information meeting about the Annacotty Fish Passage project at the Castleroy Park Hotel in Limerick this coming Tuesday evening 23 August.

Last year, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan announced that IFI would lead the Annacotty Fish Passage Project as the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats such as the Mulkear.

This week’s public information meeting is being organised to make more people aware about the project at the weir and to encourage as much engagement as possible with stakeholders right across the community, including key State agencies, special interest groups, voluntary, public and private sectors.

The Mulkear is considered a vital river for a range of fish species including wild Atlantic salmon, sea, river and brook lamprey, wild brown trout and eels.

Most of the main river and its smaller tributaries in the catchment are designated as a Special Area of Conservation under the EU Habitats Directive.

However, the weir at Annacotty has been identified as a ‘significant barrier’ to the free movement of several fish species. Last December more than 10,000 people signed a petition supporting the weir’s removal, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

In the last year, IFI says it has completed an assessment of the weir structure to quantify its fish passability and has undertaken title research to identify the owners of land and structures potentially impacted by the project.

It also secured €99,481 in funding under the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund in May of this year. This funding will be used to support the assessment and planning phase of the project to find the most appropriate solutions for fish migration and passage along the Mulkear. Environmental, technical and engineering assessments will also be funded.

Annacotty Weir as seen adjacent to The Mill Bar | Credit: IFIAnnacotty Weir as seen adjacent to The Mill Bar | Credit: IFI

At Tuesday’s meeting, the public will have an opportunity to find out more about the potential solutions being assessed to improve the passage of fish through the weir.

Ahead of the public meeting, IFI’s Suzanne Campion said: “The Annacotty Fish Passage Project is under way. We’re in a crucial phase of the project, which is to assess and evaluate the most appropriate solution for improving fish passage at Annacotty. This will enable us to reach another crucial phase: seeking planning permission.”

She added: “It’s great to see that there is growing public interest in this project. We’re organising this public information meeting on August 23rd to engage as many people as possible in the conversation about what happens next at the Annacotty weir to help improve passage for fish.”

Online registration for the free event, from 6pm at the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick, is available via the IFI website HERE.

The works on Annacotty Weir are part of a pilot project to assist with the design and implementation of a national barriers restoration programme currently being progressed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in collaboration with a range of State bodies.

The Interagency Group for the Annacotty Fish Passage Project includes representatives from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications; Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Limerick City and County Council; Office of Public Works (OPW); National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS); Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO); and ESB.

More information about the Annacotty Fish Passage Project and the upcoming Public Information Meeting is available at www.fisheriesireland.ie/annacotty.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a “significant” fish kill incident on the Crover River in Co Cavan, which is a tributary of Lough Sheelin.

Officers from the Shannon River Basin District became aware of the incident late on Friday evening (12 August).

And IFI estimates that there could be in excess of 1,000 juvenile trout killed in the incident, covering a 1.5 km stretch of water.

Other aquatic species were also found dead, such as crayfish, lamprey, stone loach and invertebrates.

IFI says is not in a position to confirm the cause of the fish kill while investigations are ongoing.

Previously the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats warned of a high risk of fish kills due to thermal stress and reduced oxygen levels in lakes and rivers amid the recent heatwave.

Published in Angling
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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