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#Jobs - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is currently seeking to recruit a number of staff as Fishery Officers nationally for periods of up to a maximum of six months duration during 2015, and will shortly commence a process to fill these positions.

The Fishery Officer will be primarily concerned with the implementation and enforcement of the provision of the Fisheries Acts, Water Pollution Acts and other relevant statutory provisions. He or she is required to:

  • Provide, in co-operation with other fisheries staff, comprehensive conservation and protection services, inland and at sea, within any part of a fisheries district and/or any other area assigned within one or more fisheries districts.
  • Provide, in co-operation with other fisheries staff, comprehensive improvement, and development and fisheries management support services within any part of a fisheries district and/or any other area assigned within one or more fisheries districts.

A number of positions will be concerned with assisting either directly or indirectly in fisheries-related research projects. Please note a full driving licence valid in the State is required.

Salary will be at the first point of Fishery Officer Scale (as at 1 November 2013) plus an Unsocial Hours allowance, which will be paid at either 50% or 100% relative to the number of unsocial hours worked.

Applications (a cover letter and up-to-date CV) should be sent by 12 noon on Monday 23 February 2015 to [email protected] or by post to:

HR Department, Ref: ‘HR/FO/2015’

Inland Fisheries Ireland

3044 Lake Drive

Citywest Business Campus

Dublin 24

All enquiries to [email protected] or 01 884 2662. Please note that late applications will not be processed. Canvassing will disqualify. IFI is an equal opportunities employer.

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#Angling - Casting Territory: A Contemporary River Keepers’ Index of Lesser Known Patterns is a new collaborative art project by artist Martina O’Brien and the Dodder Anglers Club.

O'Brien uses the art of fly-tying – where the act of imitation meets intimate knowledge – to explore the angler’s inherent awareness of flora and fauna, physical geography and role as guardians of the River Dodder with a series of alternative flies.

The exhibition is divided across three locations – RUA RED in Tallaght, the RDS Library and Archives in Ballsbridge and the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre at Grand Canal Quay – allowing a complete story to unfold along the length and breath of the river’s axis.

In addition to this, a fly-tying demonstration will be followed by an artist-led discussion with Gareth Kennedy, Martina O’Brien and members of the Dodder Anglers core group at RUA RED from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 7 February.

And on Saturday 21 February a collaborative discussion with Dr Karen E Till of Maynooth University, Katherine Atkinson of Create, Martina O'Brien and the Dodder anglers will take place at 10am at the RDS Library and Archives, involving a walk to the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre (prior booking is essential).

Casting Territory is supported by an Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme Project Realisation Award managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts.

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#Angling - Anglers and farmers have come together to bid for fishing rights at a Galway fishery in a first for Ireland and the British Isles.

As the Mayo News reports, some 24 local landowners in Leenane teamed up with the area angling club to form the Erriff and Dstrict Community Group (EDCG), which has tendered for the licence for the Erriff Fishery.

The tender also covers operation of the accompanying Victorian country house Aashleagh Lodge, where a new Inland Fisheries Ireland research laboratory was opened last autumn.

“There is huge potential for the community if we are successful; it would be a big boost to the area," said EDCG chair Martin Gavin.

A decision is expected on their application by the middle of this month.

The Mayo News has more on the story HERE.

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#Angling - Ireland's first wild salmon of 2015 has been caught in Killarney, as The Irish Times reports.

Local man Jerry Looney landed the 10-pounder a little over half an hour into the opening of the Long Range stretch in the Killarney Lakes.

Even more remarkable is that the 80-year-old's catch is the first salmon to be reeled in since 2009 in the Kerry area.

And it was followed not long after by a 17lb 10oz specimen landed by gillie Brod Sullivan at Lough Currane.

Irish Times angling correspondent Derek Evans has more HERE.

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#Angling - The Irish Times's angling correspondent Derek Evans reports from the recent Match the Hatch course at Courtlough, near Balbriggan in North Co Dublin.

The day-long programme is an introduction for angling enthusiasts to learn how to read the lay of the land, in order to pick the best flies for the right conditions.

Knowing the varied insect life in any fishery is key to understanding what species hatch when, and what fish will go for them - meaning fisherman can tailor their approach accordingly for the best results.

And with the little angling time they had available at the end of the days's sessions, "three cracking rainbows" fell for guide Jason O’Sullivan's damsel fly.

Another Match the Hatch course is scheduled for interested anglers on 1 March at Rathcon Fishery in Co Wicklow.

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#Angling - Ireland took the gold medal at the Chatton Lakes Home International fly fishing competition in Northumberland to close out a successful 2014.

As The Irish Times reports, the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland Stillwater Bank Fly Fishing Team took on squads from England, Scotland and Wales at the prestigious fishery for the inaugural Nations Cup.

And Derek Evans writes that they got the edge on their opponents thanks in no small part to a scouting mission two weeks before the tournament.

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#Angling - In addition to his comments on improvements in Letterkenny fisheries as previously reported on, Minister of State Joe McHugh has also announced that 83 rivers will open for salmon angling nationwide in 2015.

“Fifty-five rivers will be fully open and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis," said the minister, who added that a further 28 will be open for angling on a 'catch & release' basis.

The total number of open fisheries is down on the 87 rivers opened for 2014, which comprised 57 fully open rivers and 30 catch-and-release fisheries.

Minister McHugh also discussed the further retention of the reduced licence fee for anglers to encourage tourism in the growing sector.

“In 2012 the cost of fishing licences was reduced in the prevailing economic climate and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2015," he said. "I believe that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and continue to incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland’s first-class angling product."

Minister McHugh received management advice in relation to 145 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and this advice was also made available publicly as part of a public consultation process. Over 20 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process.

Management advice was based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon (SSCE). This committee comprises scientists from IFI, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute, the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI Northern Ireland), other State bodies and third-level institutions.

In all, the SSCE assessed 145 rivers and has advised that: 55 rivers may open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers; 28 rivers are classified to open for catch-and-release angling; and that 62 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.

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#Angling - The 2015 tender process for Inland Fisheries Ireland's State fisheries is open till this coming Tuesday 30 December, with angling fisheries on rivers and catchments across seven districts open for bidding.

Full details of these fisheries, as well as the application form for submitting a tender or tenders, are available to download HERE.

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#Angling - Four new records dominate the record fish list for 2014 which has just been published by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC).

The most recent is a new record carp of 14.24kg caught by Aaron Cummins at Loughgall in Co Antrim on 26 October.

In August a new thin-lipped mullet record was set by Ian Mulligan, who reeled in a 2.86kg specimen at Clonakilty, Co Cork on the 23rd of the month.

Also in Cork, Stephen O'Neill set the new golden grey mullet record with his 1.2kg catch in Cork Harbour on 16 July.

And Tom Walsh is in the books for his 11.06kg spur dogfish landed at Red Bay, Co Antrim on 3 June. 

The ISFC says 2014 was a very good year for anglers, with large numbers of specimen-sized fish caught besides the four new records established.

High water temperatures during the summer meant very good news for many sea anglers, with some of Ireland’s more exotic species like thin lipped mullet, golden grey mullet and gilthead quite prominent in the overall specimen fish listings. Specimen painted ray and thick-lipped mullet were also plentiful.

A total of 526 specimens were ratified in 2014, and the ISFC expects anglers both at home and abroad will be reading the report carefully to plan their angling trips in 2015, with the new year seeing tope, spurdog, smooth-hound and blue shark allowable as length-based specimens.

In other specimen fish news, the ISFC Awards Day will be held on Saturday 21 February to coincide with the Irish Angling Show weekend.

Invitations will be issued to anglers from Ireland next week. If any angler plans to attend, contact [email protected] as soon as possible.

Overseas anglers are also very welcome to attend. Certificates, etc will be posted to anglers who cannot attend, and it is intended to present anglers in the Netherlands with their awards at the VISMA 2015 angling show in Rotterdam.

The 2014 Irish Specimen Fish report is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Hard copies of the report will be available free of charge from the Inland Fisheries Ireland offices in Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 in early January. For further information contact ISFC secretary William Roche at 01 884 2600.

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#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has just published three research reports on pike in Irish waters.

The Diet of Pike in Irish Watercourses aims to elucidate the variation in the diet of Irish pike between river, lake and canal habitats, and to quantify niche size and dietary specialisation and attempt to identify the timing of the switch to a piscivorous diet.

Ecomorphology of Pike in Irish Freshwaters deals with the morphology and condition of pike in Ireland.

Genetic Structure of Pike and their History in Ireland (which is available to download from the IFI website HERE) investigates the genetic variation of Irish pike populations and their relationship with European groups, in an attempt to identify where they came from, as it is largely assumed to have been introduced by humans over the past few hundred years.

The research was carried out as part of a wider PhD research project conceived by IFI and University College Dublin, with the overall aim of updating and informing managers as to the biology and ecology of pike (Esox lucius L.) in Ireland, a historically understudied species in the Irish context.

The field work and sampling for this project was carried out opportunistically in collaboration with IFI, and through attendance at many pike angling competitions.

The authors of these papers also thank the many pike anglers that contributed to the study and allowed D Pedreschi to sample their catch.

This study has been generously funded by IFI with contributions from the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs.

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