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Irish Angling News. Sport Fishing, Longlining and Trolling Updates

#RNLI - Lough Ree  RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew conducted a search of the River Shannon yesterday morning (Saturday 28 April) after a report of someone entering the water.

The Irish Coast Guard alerted the lifeboat station at 5.14am after a report from a member of the public to the possibility of someone entering the River Shannon in Athlone town.

The volunteer crew of lifeboat The Eric Rowse were quick to respond and were soon conducting a search above and below the weir in the centre of Athlone town. Conditions were very calm as dawn turned into a clear bright morning.

After searching a large area of the river and with regular communication with the Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head, the decision was made to stand down the search at 6.54am and the crew returned to station.

Speaking after the callout, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth said: “If you suspect you have seen someone fall into the river, throw one of the many life rings that are along the river banks to them with the end of the safety rope secured so doesn’t end up in the river too, then pull them back to the shore and call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Angling - RTÉ News reports on concerns among anglers on Lough Derg over Irish Water’s plans to pump water from the River Shannon to supply Dublin and the Midlands.

The utility has proposed a pipeline from Parteen Basin, south of Lough Derg, to the capital in order to deal with water shortages due to leaks in the ageing infrastructure.

But the plan has come under fire from campaign groups, who claim the case for such a project is backed by “false statements and mathematical errors”.

And anglers are also fearing the worst over the scheme that would see 330 million litres pumped each day from the Shannon.

Citing difficulties experienced last summer when levels dropped by as much as two feet after a water release by the ESB at Ardnacrusha, Lough Derg anglers’ representative Joe O’Donoghue says the potential harm to boating and the Shannon ecosystem have not been taken into consideration.

Published in Angling

#Tourism - ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ is the new tourism brand for the Midlands region, with a particular emphasis on its inland waterways.

More than 10,000 consumers gave their put to Fáilte Ireland on the development of the brand, which hopes to “bring to life the Midlands' rich natural assets including its many lakes, walkways and blueways”.

The River Shannon will be a central focus, with a Shannon Master Plan currently being developed by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Waterways Ireland to drive tourism opportunities both on and off the water and in surrounding towns.

A series of food networks and trails will also be developed as part of the new brand.

Launching Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands in Athlone last Friday 13 April, Transport Minister Shane Ross said the brand “will significantly enhance the Midlands as a tourism experience and bring growth and jobs to the whole region. 

“We have always been committed to ensuring that Ireland’s success as a world-class tourist destination is shared among the regions. Some of the country’s finest natural assets are in the Midlands, including spectacular lakes, walkways and blueways. Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will bring these gems to life, offering a unique experience to both domestic and international visitors.”

Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands will cover the ‘heart’ of the country, from Leitrim down to East Clare and extending through Longford, Roscommon, East Galway, as well as parts of Westmeath, Cavan, North Tipperary and Offaly. 

Failte Ireland regions

It will complement Fáilte Ireland’s other key brands in the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Dublin.

“Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has been developed after months of extensive market testing both here and overseas,” said Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland. “The overwhelming feedback is that visitors from key markets want the opportunity to explore Ireland’s natural gems and rural communities. 

“There is also a huge appetite out there for tourists to be active in nature through activities like walking, cycling, angling and boating routes – all of which the Midlands can offer in abundance.”

An initial €2 million has been allocated to start the development stage of the brand, with further funding to follow. This first round of investment will help to develop visitor experiences, support industry development and develop marketing campaigns for the region.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Angling - Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has officially launched two new angling developments by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) at Emlaghroyan in Roscommon and ‘The Mudflats’ at Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.

A new match angling stretch has been provided at Emlaghroyan, on the River Suck in Roscommon, with upgraded car parking and drive-to-peg facilities.

This development involved upgrading existing roadways and the construction of new access roadway.

Ten new match angling pegs have been provided, with a capacity for further extension.

The Suck Valley Angling Hub were recently granted additional funds through the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) to extend the match venue to further promote tourism angling and facilitate match competitions in the Roscommon/East Galway area.

Together with recently unveiled developments on the River Suck at Lough Acalla, the total investment in the River Suck project was €87,000.

In Leitrim, another major 2017 development project has been completed with an investment of €103,000, providing new facilities at ‘The Mudflats’ on the main River Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon.

The new floating angling stand is accompanied by improved roadways and parking, upgraded toilet facilities and a new slipway.

This is another important match angling venue, used widely for international match angling events such as the World Pairs and the Carrick Angling Festival.

Speaking in Carrick-On-Shannon after the ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday (Friday 1 December), Minister Naughten said: “I am delighted to mark the official opening of these developments today. Both were completed under the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) and greatly enhance the angling infrastructure in both counties. They will provide a boost to angling tourism potential in the region, which in turn should increase visitor numbers.

“Furthermore, these projects would not be possible without the cooperation, agreement and vision of the respective landowners and I would like to thank all those involved for their contribution to these developments.”

More applications from the region are currently going through the NSAD assessment process, and aim to enhance the angling infrastructure in the upper Shannon areas as well as promote participation in angling.

Two weeks ago Minister Naughten unveiled new angling infrastructure in Galway and Athlone, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Angling

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland and the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will host the World Canals Conference 2018 in Athlone next September on the shores of Ireland’s longest waterway, the River Shannon.

‘Restoring, regenerating, re-imagining’ is the theme of the three-day conference from 10-12 September at the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone that will feature various tours and sessions designed to inspire and connect delegates from all over the globe.

Register soon for to take advantage of the early bird rates ranging from €345 to €385. Some conference tours also have limited numbers so book early to secure your preferred tour and discount.

Special prices are also available for accommodation on board a luxury hire cruiser before, during and after the conference.

Cruisers can be booked for four to 14 nights, with four nights’ free mooring at the full service marina adjacent to the conference venue for the first 10 bookings.

For prospective conference speakers, the organisers are inviting abstract submissions till 28 February 2018 within the remit of the theme across the engineering, tourism, recreation, health and well-being, communications, technology, and arts and heritage sectors.

For more on the event, visit the World Canals Conference 2018 website or sign up for the newsletter for regular updates.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Shannon - Tributes have been paid to a Longford teen who drowned at a marina on the River Shannon yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 18 July), as RTÉ News reports.

Damola Adetosoye, 17, was among a group of 20 teenagers who were swimming at a marina near Termonbarry when he got into difficulty.

The tragedy comes less than a month after Irish Water Safety (IWS) issued its annual summer advisory to the public for National Water Safety Awareness Week (19-25 June).

IWS noted that the majority of drownings — some 62% — occur inland in Ireland’s lakes and rivers, while 80% happen within the victim’s home county.

“Such statistics reinforce the importance of learning how to stay safe in, on and around water,” said the water safety body.

Published in News Update

#Festivals - Limerick becomes a mecca for watersport enthusiasts this May Bank Holiday weekend for the city’s Riverfest 2017, which kicks off today (Friday 28 April).

Highlights of the city’s premier summer maritime festival include the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run, a spectacular fireworks display.

At the centre of it all is the Maldron Hotel Riverfest on the Shannon, featuring wakeboarding with Irish champion David O Caoimh and pro jetboarders Scotty Knemeyer and Bo Krook, as well as the River Shannon Zipline between Arthur’s Quay and Honan’s Quay for more thrill-seeking visitors.

Exciting and skilful displays by Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, the Defence Forces, Foynes Yacht Club, Limerick’s numerous rowing clubs and yachting and sailability groups will mean all eyes will be firmly focused on the water.

For full details of the festival lineup visit the official website HERE.

And don’t forget the Dublin Port Riverfest that returns for the June Bank Holiday, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Shannon - Minister of State for Flood Relief Seán Canney outlined a range of additional measures being taken to address flood risk on the River Shannon at the recent Environ 2017 conference in Athlone.

Speaking at the event in AIT last Monday (10 April), Minister Canney made reference to the most recent meeting of the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group on 21 March, which set out its actions manage flood risk for the Shannon catchment.

“This extensive work programme demonstrates the ongoing work and co-ordination by all State bodies to jointly and proactively address flood risk on the Shannon,” he said.

The work programme follows from the major decision taken last December to develop a plan for a strategic maintenance programme on the River Shannon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The working group established a sub-committee to develop the plan that will halt the deterioration of the river channel and complement the preferred measures for those areas at assessed risk identified through the Shannon CFRAM Study.

Minister Canney announced that the working group has now agreed to the delivery of targeted maintenance in specific locations that are being identified as feasible by the sub-committee.

“The recent targeted activity by Waterways Ireland and the OPW around Madden’s Island downstream of Athlone is a successful demonstration of this collaborative approach,” he said, “and both the Group and I would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of the NPWS to ensure that the clearing of the trees was carried out appropriately to enhance the conveyance capacity of the channel.”

The minister added that the working group has agreed to some environmental and habitat surveys as a first necessary step to inform a long-term plan of maintenance. The group will also identify any policy or legislative barriers to progressing maintenance works that can benefit flood risk management.

Additionally, the working group has agreed to review and continue the pilot lowering of the levels on Lough Allen during the winter season for another year.

Minister Canney said the protocols agreed between the ESB, Waterways Ireland and the Office of Public Works (OPW) were successfully implemented resulting in a lowering of the target winter water level by 0.7 metres.

However, working group acknowledged that the impact of the trial on flooding has not been fully tested due to the relatively dry winter period up until late February this year.

Regarding the impact of summer flooding on the agricultural community, the minister said the working group has endorsed a specific project to identify viable flood risk reduction measures in the Shannon Callows.

Building on initial assessments undertaken as part of the Shannon CFRAM study, the OPW is leading on the project in conjunction with Waterways Ireland, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). This project will include more detailed assessment of the possible removal of identified constrictions or ‘pinch points’ upstream of Meelick Weir.

“I am delighted that the group, which is chaired by the OPW, is progressing the plans for strategic maintenance works on the River Shannon,” said Minister Canney. “This will complement the group’s work programme and the specific measures that are identified for the areas at significant risk in the Draft Shannon Flood Risk Management Plan.

“I welcome the twin-track approach being adopted which will see targeted maintenance activity being carried out while a proposal for a long-term strategic programme is being developed.”

The minister added: "The activities of the group play a valuable role in supporting the objectives of the Action Plan for Rural Development, ‘Realising our Rural Potential’. In particular, the progression of flood relief actions in the Shannon catchment identified in the action plan along with those identified for the country as a whole, will have a positive impact on rural communities who are living with flood risk.”

Published in Inland Waterways

#Shannon - RTÉ News reports that the bodies of a man and a woman were recovered from the water at a marina in Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday afternoon (Friday 31 March) just hours after they were reported missing.

The couple, an Irish man and an English woman living in Germany, had been boating in the area since the beginning of the week, and were last seen at a restaurant near the Co Leitrim town’s marina on Wednesday night (29 March). The deaths are being treated as accidental.

Published in News Update

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) has responded to Irish Water’s third Public Consultation on the Preferred Option to abstract water from Parteen Basin to service the East and Midlands region.

In its submission IWAI has again expressed grave concerns over the impact that this abstraction will have, not just on Lough Derg, but on the entire Shannon Navigation.

In an effort to mitigate this risk, IWAI puts forward the view that water levels should be monitored and controlled by a single authority, that weirs on the River Shannon should be automated and that flow levels at weirs should be collated and presented by way of a public web portal.

The full IWAI submission, compiled by Association Past Presidents Gregory Whelan and Carmel Meegan, is attached below. 

Published in Inland Waterways
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