Jimmy Sweeney was ordered to pay €800 in a fine and costs.
The court was told that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) officers saw Sweeney using a fishing engine for the capture of salmon and possessing a net for taking prohibited fish from the Owennamarve River.
The defendant denied the offence but did not give evidence to the court. His defence solicitor failed in a bid to satisfy the court that there was a fault in the way Sweeney was cautioned by the officers.
IFI officer Seamus Bradley, who patrolled the area of Derrydruel Upper, Dungloe with two other officers on 15 July 2014, told the court that he spotted a net on the river with binoculars and a telescope.
He then saw a man walking downstream towards the net and stopping at it before concealing himself behind a rock close to the net. Some minutes later then man reappeared and began retrieving the net and putting it into a bag.
Bradley testified that he contacted his fellow officers at that stage and asked them to move and contact the man he was observing. When the man noticed the officers’ jeep, he went downstream and placed a bag behind a large rock.
IFI officer Owen Kelly was informed of this and recovered the bag from behind the rock. It contained a 12m-long multi-monofilament salmon net.
IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne commented: “The Owennamarve River, a private fishery owned by the Rosses anglers, has been closed since 2006 for salmon fishing and capture of sea trout over 40cm.
"Salmon angling is extremely valuable to the tourism industry and provides revenue, employment to local communities, as well as recreation to thousands of local anglers around Ireland. Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to work to protect this resource for the good of the community.”
IFI has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents at 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.