Anglers are invited to practise ‘Catch and Release’ when fishing for all salmon this weekend, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th of July 2019, as part of a Catch and Release Weekend to mark International Year of the Salmon (IYS).
Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, encouraged anglers to participate and contribute towards IYS. “Atlantic salmon is distributed in over 140 rivers across Ireland, however, the number of salmon returning to Irish shores has decreased by 70 per cent in recent decades. The Catch and Release weekend is just one of many initiatives taking place during IYS to highlight the challenges facing salmon populations across the Northern Hemisphere” said the Minister.
Catch and release, where the angler safely returns the fish to water, contributes to the maintenance of healthy fish stocks and ensures the sustainability for the resource into the future. Research carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research in 2014 examined the survival of salmon after catch & release fishing in three Irish rivers (the Owenmore in County Mayo, the Mulkear in County Limerick and the Feale in County Kerry)and 92% of the Atlantic salmon recorded after tagging survived post Catch & Release*.
Anglers who participate in catch and release over the weekend can submit their catch details via an online form to earn a #CPRSavesFish merit pin. The new #CPRSavesFish Pins Programme will be available to anglers throughout 2019 while stocks last. Anglers are also invited to share pictures of their catch and release on social media using the hashtags #CPRSavesFish and #YearOfTheSalmon to promote the message of sustainability with the public.
Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Anglers are our conservationists on the ground, they are in tune with the fisheries resource and they want it to fish well into the future. We know that salmon across the Northern Hemisphere are struggling due to a range of challenges which face them at sea.
While we recognise that the issues affecting salmon populations are complex, we are hosting a Catch and Release weekend with the purpose of raising awareness and starting a conversation among anglers and the public around what we can do to support salmon populations.”