#ANGLING - Inland Fisheries Ireland has teamed up with the committee behind the World Cup Trout Fly Angling Championship to develop a biosecurity initiative for the contest, taking place on Lough Mask from 2-6 August.
The premier event in the angling calendar will be contested by up to 500 keen fly fishermen from Ireland and abroad, each anticipating lifting the coveted World Cup.
The anglers that fish this competition realise the true gem that Lough Mask represents, providing quality angling in clean, unpolluted waters.
Towards that end, the biosecurity initiative aims to prevent non-native invasive species and harmful aquatic pathogens being inadvertently introduced into the lake on angling equipment.
Central to the initiative is that all anglers must disinfect their landing nets and boots each day before registering for the competition.
Anglers will be requested to co-operate with stewards on each morning and to bring their landing nets and boots with them to the registration centre. There, they will dip their gear in supervised disinfection tanks and receive a stamp from the Biosecurity Steward to show that they have used the facility.
Only anglers who can show this stamp to the Registration Officer will be registered to fish the competition on that day.
In recent years, despite considerable effort on behalf of IFI and many other angling and conservation groups, the non-native invasive Zebra mussel was introduced to Lough Mask.
The present biosecurity initiative - which follows the recent launch of a smartphone app to identify and report aquatic invasive species - represents an effort to make anglers aware of the dangers posed, and to alert them to the fact that other harmful and environmentally damaging invasive species are present on the island of Ireland, and that these can be inadvertently introduced to the lake on wet nets or soiled boots.
Information packages relating to the threats posed by invasive species will be available to anglers’ during the competition.