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First Draw for 2024 Brown Tags for Cork Salmon Anglers Takes Place This Month

10th January 2024
Atlantic salmon close up, held by hand
Brown tag regulations for Atlantic salmon and sea trout are required on the Lower River Lee to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened the first draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee.

‘Brown tag’ regulations come into force on the river from 1 Thursday 1 February and will remain in place until 30 September 2024 when the salmon fishing season ends.

Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long, South-Western River Basin District director at IFI said: “The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining. The risk of overfishing puts stocks in further jeopardy.

“Brown tag regulations for salmon and sea trout are required on the Lower River Lee to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

“Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over-exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.”

Successful anglers who receive the tags, via a lottery system, place them on the fish, along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

A total of 218 brown tags will be available. They will be distributed to anglers with a 2024 rod licence via four draws through the 2024 angling season.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time. Therefore, 55 brown tags will be selected through the first online lottery on Friday 26 January. Interested anglers can apply for the first draw between now and Wednesday 24 January only.

The measures are part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Anglers not allocated a brown tag are permitted to fish for salmon on a catch-and-release basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody. 

Anglers must use catch-and-release methods only, involving single or double barbless hooks. Use of worms as bait is not permitted.

Published in Angling Team

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