#Angling - The Salmon Conservation and Midland Fisheries Funds are now open to projects for habitat restoration and conservation, as announced earlier this week by Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State with responsibility for inland fisheries.
The closing date for applications to these schemes, as part of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s (IFI) National Strategy for Angling Development, is Thursday 12 July.
The National Strategy for Angling Development aims to ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced with a view to ensuring a sustainable habitat and delivering the economic, health and recreational benefits they offer to communities across Ireland.
The Salmon Conservation Fund is generated from the sale of salmon and sea-trout licences and reinvested in projects that will assist in the conservation of salmon.
“As the Conservation Fund is financed via a portion of licence sales for both Salmon and Sea Trout, I asked IFI to develop a revised scheme that will include sea trout conservation projects and update the existing salmon-only scheme,” Minister Kyne said.
“As a first step to realising a full scheme for sea trout, this year’s fund is open to accepting a pilot sea trout project for the Waterville area.”
Applications to the Salmon Conservation and Midland Fisheries Funds must relate to conservation habitat improvement projects.
Applications may be made online and are invited for projects that are ‘ready to go’, ie that have all the necessary paperwork and permissions in place and can move to delivery following successful progression through evaluation and award stages. Such projects would include, for example, a second or subsequent phase of an existing scheme.
Successful applications must meet the requirements of the IFI Environmental Assessment process.
IFI’s current priority is to ensure projects already awarded funding under the recent National Strategy for Angling Development schemes up to and including 2017 are completed and project officers continue to assist applicants to bring these projects to delivery phase.
To this end, project officers are engaging with groups and other Government agencies. Ready-to-go projects should be timed to complete by end of September 2018.
Meanwhile, IFI has issued an appeal to farmers to remain vigilant during the summer months when harvesting silage and spreading slurry to avoid water pollution and the loss of nutrients into rivers, lakes and other watercourses.
The appeal comes on the back of last week’s major fish kill in Claremorris, where over 1,000 wild brown trout and other species died as a result of a suspected agricultural silage leak.
Silage operations will be ongoing all summer and silage effluent has the potential to cause devastating pollution in streams and rivers.
Such effluent is a significant polluting substance, starving fish and invertebrate life of oxygen, resulting in potentially massive fish kills if it enters a watercourse.
With some rivers low during summertime with little dilution capacity, the effect of a small leak can cause huge damage.
IFI is advising farmers to follow its simple six-point plan to ensure good farmyard management and reduce their risk of polluting:
- Use round bales as the most environmentally friendly way to store silage.
- If a silage pit is being used, ensure it is properly sealed to prevent leakage from under the slab.
- Carry out slurry spreading in dry weather and never when heavy rain is forecast.
- Never spread slurry close to a watercourse, be aware of the slope of land to the watercourse.
- Do not clean tanks beside any watercourse, stream or a river.
- Do not allow any effluent or washings to enter any rainwater gully.