#Angling - Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten has officially launched new angling developments at the Golden Mile in Athlone, Co Westmeath and at Lough Acalla in Co Galway.
These works were completed under the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) and greatly enhance the angling infrastructure in both counties, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).
The wheelchair-accessible angling structures at Lough Acalla comprise floating fishing stands and a connecting bridge to provide for all-year-round fishing.
Total investment in Athlone amounted to €73,000 to build up access causeways, remove old wooden structures and design, manufacture and fit the three floating angling stands.
IFI worked with the local angling clubs, the relevant statutory agencies and contractors in the design and construction of these new floating platforms.
The works form part of a wider development at the Burgess Park and Meadows area, involving Athlone Municipal District, Waterways Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service, ESB Fisheries and Athlone Midlands and District Anglers.
At the Lough Acalla development, two large old wooden angling stands were removed and replaced with a fixed concrete catwalk and floating galvanised angling stand.
A new path was also constructed from a set down area in the existing carpark, providing wheelchair accessibility to the entire structure.
IFI worked with anglers and landowners throughout the project to deliver this key piece of infrastructure at this important trout fishery.
Together with other development works at Emlaghroyan, the total development in this River Suck project was €87,000.
Speaking in Athlone after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Minister Naughten said: “These much needed new developments will add considerably to the angling infrastructure in the upper and mid-Shannon regions, ensuring accessibility for all anglers.
“This investment will play a key role in boosting tourism to the Lakelands region and ensure our valuable natural resources are protected.”