The Minister for Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan T.D., has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon fishery in 2010. These will come into effect from the first day of January 2010.
The maintenance of all existing controls relating to the wild salmon fishery will apply again in 2010. This is following the receipt of management advice based on the scientific analysis on current Irish salmon stock levels,
Minister Lenihan said “a total allowable catch is to be permitted for 50 rivers in 2010. This is two more rivers than last year.” Four rivers which were closed in 2009 are open for harvest in 2010 - the Maine, Croanshagh, Ferta (Kerry district) and Culfin (Ballinakill district). Two rivers which were open in 2009 will be closed in 2010 (Glengariff (Cork district); Blackwater (Kerry district).
11 rivers are open only to angling on a ‘catch and release’ basis because of the status of stocks. There are 80 rivers closed to fishing as salmon stocks are not meeting conservation limits.
In regard to the scientific analysis of salmon stocks the Minister said “the analysis shows that with the exception of a number of rivers, virtually all indices, including counters, continued to fall in 2009. This reflects the persistent downward trend in marine survival which is pervasive throughout all the North Atlantic stock complexes as reported by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Significantly, Irish marine survival indices are at their lowest since records began in the 1980s and appear to be declining further.”
“We must continue in our efforts to protect this splendid species for future generations” the Minister added when commending the management and staff of the fisheries boards for their efforts during the year and extending his best wishes for the New Year.