As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-law was signed last Thursday 25 October by the new Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton.
It means that Loughs Carra, Conn, Cullin and Mask in Mayo, Lough Corrib in Co Galway, Lough Arrow in Cos Sligo and Roscommon, and Lough Sheelin in Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Longford will now be managed exclusively for the benefit of wild brown trout.
“We are delighted [former Environment] Minister Kyne took on board our grave concerns regarding the future of wild brown trout stocks in western lakes,” said Martin Kinneavy, chair of the Connacht Angling Council.
"There is now a sincere and genuine commitment to develop wild brown trout stocks in western lakes and a copper-fastened strategy to deal with the threat of predator pike.
“Our world famous Irish wild brown trout fisheries are now protected by law from pike and can reach their full trout angling potential.”
A previous bye-law in relation to the protection of pike in these waters will now no longer apply – which has raised the ire of pike anglers in the affected region.
Members of the Irish Pike Society are preparing a mass protest for the constituency offices of Minister Bruton and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as well as Leinster House.
They argue that the bye-law changes “will decimate a section of the Irish angling industry which supports over 11,000 jobs and contributes almost €1bn to the Irish economy,” according to the society’s secretary Paul Byrne.
“The Irish Pike Society have over the past months engaged legal counsel and are fully prepared to challenge Minister Bruton in the High Court,” he added.