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Displaying items by tag: foyle

The Loughs Agency has launched a new campaign appealing for angling enthusiasts to embrace the practice of catch and release to help sustain fish stocks in the Foyle and Carlingford areas.

The agency says it welcomes the growing trend of catch and release angling as a way of continuing to fish while limiting the impact on local stocks.

And it has produced a video guide to help anglers with their catch and release technique in order to increase the survival rate of salmon after release.

John McCartney, the agency’s director of conservation and protection, also explains the carcass tagging scheme which applies to salmon, brown trout and sea trout retained by recreational anglers, and highlighted the importance of returning any unused tags.

The Loughs Agency is aiming for a catch and release rate of over 80% for salmon and sea trout caught during the new season which is now partially underway.

It also wants to further reduce the number of anglers opting to take tags when purchasing a licence. 

‘The agency welcomes this approach to angling and would encourage all anglers to practice this method’

 McCartney says: “Last year, 45% of anglers purchasing a licence opted not to take tags and there is a growing trend of anglers implementing the practice of catch and release.

“The agency welcomes this approach to angling and would encourage all anglers to practice this method as a way of continuing to fish, whilst limiting the impact on local stocks.

“Numbered tags are allocated to anglers who request them when they purchase their licence. The angler then records their retained catch and the corresponding carcass tag number when updating their catch return during the fishing season, returning any unused tags to Loughs Agency when their licence expires.

“The catch return data from anglers is analysed throughout the season and used to make fishery management decisions to ensure the sustainability of species in Foyle and Carlingford.”

For the 2021 season, the Loughs Agency is issuing a maximum of one blue tag for the period from 1 March to 31 May and/or a maximum of two black tags for the period from 1 June to 31 October, depending on the type of licence purchased. Tackle shops have been instructed not to issue more than these maximum quantities for the 2021 season.

The above video guide to good practice for anglers with their catch and release technique includes the following pointers:

  • Landing the fish quickly to avoid exhausting the fish.
  • Use a soft knotless mesh net and keep the fish in the water at all times.
  • If you must handle the fish, use wet hands and cradle it below the belly. Never put your fingers inside the gill covers or lift the fish by the tail.
  • Use a single barbless hook to limit injury during removal. Remove the hook immediately, keeping the fish in the water.
  • If the hook is caught deep in the fish, cut the line and release with hook still inside rather than trying to remove deep-caught hook.
  • When releasing the fish, support it in the water using two hands, with the head pointing upstream to aid breathing.

 The season has already started on some still-water fisheries, with fishing on the rivers beginning to open up from Monday 1 March.

For further information on season dates, licence and permit requirements in the Foyle and Carlingford areas, visit the angling section of the Loughs Agency website.

Published in Angling

Efforts are underway to refloat a newly built 150m oil tanker which ran aground close to the mouth of Lough Foyle earlier this morning. 

The 11,826 tonne Thun Liffey was leaving Lisahally terminal in Derry for Milford Haven when the incident occurred at about 9 am.

The ship grounded on the “Tuns” sandbank, running between the mouth of the Foyle and Magilligan Point.

No pollution and no injuries have been reported.

A screenshot from the Marine Traffic website showing Thun Liffey is agroundA screenshot from the Marine Traffic website showing the status of Thun Liffey as  'aground'

However, several tugs were dispatched to assist the vessel in refloating off the sandbank on the incoming tide.

It is expected the ship will be inspected for any damage before it is authorised to leave Derry.

The Thun Liffey was built this year (2020) and is sailing under the Netherlands flag. 

It had steamed frequently between Derry and Milford Haven this month, and had already discharged its cargo. It was due to arrive in Milford Haven tomorrow (Wed Dec 30) at 10 am.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

The Loughs Agency is reminding anglers in the Foyle and Carlingford areas to log and submit their angling effort, catches and releases for the 2020 season.

Rod licences for salmon and sea trout in Foyle and Carlingford come with a legal obligation to inform the Loughs Agency (via the eLicence web portal) of how many times the licence holder went fishing and got many fish they caught.

To date, the agency says less fewer than 10% of anglers have made their return for the 2020 season.

For the 2020 season, the Loughs Agency will be carrying out an in-depth study of catch returns and angling effort to determine fish runs in rivers, number of fish caught, weight of fish caught and/or released, and how much time anglers put into catching those fish.

As a result, anglers are encouraged to make their return and be as accurate as possible with locations, dates, weights, species, methods and time spent fishing.

The deadline for catch returns is Thursday 21 January 2021.

Published in Angling

Foyle Port Marina in the North West of Ireland is now open to visitors; however, the self-Isolating restrictions introduced on Monday 8th June by the Government will apply to vessels visiting from outside the UK and Ireland.

These can be found here

The Marina lies in the heart of the City of Derry and is 17 miles from the mouth of Lough Foyle. The passage through Lough Foyle has spectacular views of the Donegal hills on the north side and the cultivated flatlands south of Magilligan Point on the other. The marina is accessed via a well-marked navigation channel from the Atlantic leading right into the city. This is also used by large ships accessing and leaving the commercial port at Lisahally.

The marina consists of two pontoons, one a 200m long wooden structure and 140m concrete structure offering in excess of 600mtrs of secure deep water berthing. You can book a berth here

The Marina would have been the hub of next month’s Maritime Festival and Clipper Race stop-over but sadly they have fallen foul of COVID 19 as Afloat.ie reported on 27th March here.

Tagged under

As of yesterday (Tuesday 19 May), permits are available for Loughs Agency permit waters on the River Foyle, River Finn (approx six miles) and Greenbraes Fishery.

DAERA has also opened, with limitations, the Public Angling Estate in Northern Ireland — which in the Foyle and Carlingford areas includes Loughbrickland, Binevenagh, Moor Lough, Lough Ash, Lough Bradan, Lough Lee and a section of the River Roe.

The Loughs Agency adds that angling clubs and private fisheries will decide how and when to open their waters.

It is for each club and fishery owner to decide if they can comply with government advice with regard to social distancing and hand hygiene.

Anglers are reminded that they also have individual responsibility to comply with UK and Irish government advice regarding social distancing, hand hygiene and travel restrictions.

The agency’s fisheries protection staff have returned to full-time duties with immediate effect and will continue to work in partnership with the PSNI and An Garda Síochána with regard to fisheries offences.

Game and coarse anglers are also reminded that to fish in the waters of Foyle and Carlingford they require a licence from Loughs Agency and a permit from whomever holds the fishing rights.

Loughs Agency licences are available online. Anglers should contact the fishery/angling club directly regarding permits that are not provided by Loughs Agency.

Anglers are being encouraged by the Loughs Agency to log and submit their efforts, catches and releases for the 2019 angling season in Foyle and Carlingford.

Whenever anyone buys a rod licence to fish for salmon and sea trout in Foyle and Carlingford, they are legally obliged to let the Loughs Agency know if they have caught fish and how many times they went fishing.

This information can now be easily recorded through the loughs angling elicence website. Simply log in with your Angler Number and update your angling log for the 2019 season.

John McCartney, Lough Agency director of conservation and protection, said: “This is really important information because it enables our scientists to understand how many fish are caught, taken or returned back to the river and how much time anglers put into catching those fish.

“It provides an indication of how well stocks are doing and if we need to take any action should catches take a turn for the worst.”

Freshwater fishery biologist Mark McCauley advised that the data is used “to screen proposed developments such as roads, hydro, etc that may impact the interests of the fishery. We can also use the data anglers provide to assess the strength of fish runs in the system this year and also for long term trend monitoring.”

As reported last week on Afloat.ie, salmon and sea trout anglers in the Republic of Ireland have been reminded to return their 2019 logbooks and unused gill tags as soon as possible, even if there is no catch recorded.

Following on from yesterday's Dun Laoghaire announcement of its Sailability programme the River Foyle in Derry has launched its fun introductory session as 'a fantastic opportunity for people with disabilities' to ‘Try Sailing’ for the first time and learn the basics. Taking place on Saturday 14th May at Foyle Marina this ‘have a go’ event is being offered for free and with no prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try!

Foyle Sailability exists to bring the joy of sailing and boating to people with disabilities from across the North West region of Ireland, says chairperson Cathal MacElhatton. “Operating from the Foyle Marina, which has a hoist, we have a range of accessible dinghies for everyone to enjoy out on Lough Foyle. Our aim is to provide safe and enjoyable sailing opportunities to people with disabilities interested in experiencing the sport of sailing and other ‘on the water’ activities”.

“On arrival you will be kitted out with all the necessary equipment and given a safety briefing and introduction, then it will be time to get into your boats and get sailing! Our qualified instructors will be in the boat along with you to help throughout the session and provide any tips on improving your technique. “

The event runs from 10.30am to 3pm and is divided into short sessions, so early booking from [email protected] is advised, although it’s free, advises Cathal. Foyle Marina is located at Baronet Street.

Foyle Sailability is offering this taster event as part of a national campaign called ‘Flow – Get into Watersports’ which is co-funded by The Erasmus Plus programme of the European Union and is a partnership between SportNI and a range of water based National Governing Bodies with the aim of encouraging more people to participate in watersports. The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of 14th and 15th May. These events will be closely followed by a series of follow up training programmes to encourage people to continue in their chosen activity. So even if you can’t attend the taster events you can still get involved by taking part in one of the follow up training programmes that are taking place.

During the weekend there will be a range of clubs based all over Northern Ireland offering taster events in canoeing, sailing, water skiing and wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving.

SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation Development Officer, Mike McClure, believes it is a great way for people to get into a water sport and to eventually join a club by commenting “Flow is a wonderful way for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.

Visit www.FlowNI.com to see a full list of taster events and follow up training programmes that are being offered as part of the campaign to get you flowing into your next adventure!

Published in News Update
Tagged under

Primary schools across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being invited to take part in an exciting free education outreach programme that will allow them to explore their maritime heritage through an innovative and interactive programme entitled: “DuPont Float Your Boat.”

The education programme is being run by the Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with DuPont ahead of the forthcoming Foyle Maritime Festival that is taking place from 09-17 July when the Clipper Round the World Race yachts will make a welcome return to the city for a fun filled festival of fun and celebration.
The education programme will be delivered by Footsteps Interpretation and is being held alongside a competition encouraging students to design their own model boat and be in with a chance of their design being exhibited during the Maritime Festival in July.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion says the education programme is a fantastic way of getting primary school children from across the city and district involved in the festival and encouraging them to explore and appreciate their local environment and their close proximity to maritime heritage.
“What I really like about this education programme is that it is all about fun and getting the children involved in a way that encourages them to take a real interest in the topics covered. It is very interactive and creative and encourages them to use their imagination and come up with creative ideas and concepts. I am delighted that we have DuPont on board as our main sponsor for the festival and look forward to working with them on the festival,” she said.
Paul Kirkpatrick, Organisation Manager, DuPont, said: “We’re so pleased to be working with the Derry City and Strabane District Council to deliver a fun, engaging and free education programme to primary school children from across Derry~Londonderry. As a company, we regularly reach out to schools, offering prizes for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related tasks as well as creating our own competitions, so we are constantly engaging with young minds and hopefully inspiring them to take more of an interest in engineering.
“At DuPont we make Kevlar® which is extraordinarily strong, lightweight and on an equal-weight basis, five times stronger than steel. It is best known for its use in protective garments but it can also be found in ships’ hulls and we’ll all get a chance to see many of those when the Foyle Maritime Festival kicks off.”
Margaret Edwards, Education Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that the DuPont Float Your Boat scheme covers a number of areas to ensure the children get a good overview.
“Among the themes of the education project is Maritime Heritage, where the children will be encouraged to discover about the region’s maritime past, get the chance to meet with 18th century ship builder characters to hear stories of ship building, the port and navigation. Under the Environment Significance of the Region theme, the children will find out more about the environmental importance of Lough Foyle and its surrounding rivers and discover how some animals use internal navigation to travel great distances to return to their local environment. And as part of the Clipper Round the World Race theme they will hear at first-hand about life on board a Clipper yacht,” she said.
She added that the education programme meets a number of learning areas and skills for both the NI and RoI curriculum and features a learning pack for teachers.
The students are also being encouraged to participate in a competition to build their own model boat using recyclable materials. The top three designs will receive an individual prize and will be on display alongside six highly commended designs during the Foyle Maritime Festival in July.
Full details of the Foyle Maritime Festival are to be launched at the end of April.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Tagged under

Culmore Regatta saw an exceptionally large turnout of GP14 boats and Foyle Class Punts. Winds were good for the Dinghy races but fell away for the Foyle Class punts.
Winners for the Foyle Class punts ;
Billy Doherty Memorial Cup was won by Roy Louden with Ryan Louden and James Lynch as his crew.
Bill McCann won the Isaac Ayton Cup for Foyle Class Punts with his crew of Danny McCann and Mark Banks.
The third Foyle Class Punt race was Won By Daniel Gallagher with his crew of Gareth Gallagher and Owen McCauley.
The Dinghy races – The first Race for the Magnet Trophy was won by Gareth Gallagher and Richard Gallagher , with Ken and Stuart Doherty second and Peter Fallon and James P Hockley third .
The second Dinghy race for the Frank Long Cup was won by Gareth and Richard Gallagher, second Pater Fallon and James P Hockley, third was John and Donal McGuiness.

Published in GP14
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#foylerescue – A group of canoeiests are safe after capsizing on the river Foyle this afternoon and sparking a major resuce operation. At 2.05pm Belfast Coastguard was alerted by Police Service Northern Ireland, (PSNI) to an incident in the River Foyle involving two large capsized canoes with 26 people in the water.

Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team was sent to the area and the Coastguard requested lifeboats from Foyle Search & Rescue, the Irish Coastguard rescue helicopter and Irish Coastguard boat from Greencastle. Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service also joined the search and rescue operation.

Lifeboats recovered 26 adults from the water and 12 people were transferred to hospital by helicopter and also by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to be checked for hypothermia.

The group of 26 adults had got into difficulty after their two large canoes capsized.

The canoeists were taking part in a fundraiser for the YMCA. All 26 are now at Altnagelvin hospital with mild hypothermia, it has been reported.

The Coastguard recommends: 

Safety Advice for Sea canoeing / kayaking: Ensure that someone at home knows your passage plan including points of arrival and departure, timescale, number in group and other relevant information. Check weather forecasts and tidal conditions and ensure that your skill levels are appropriate for where you are kayaking. Wear a buoyancy aid and check that equipment is functioning properly, that your distress flares are in date and are stowed where you can reach them. Carriage of a 406 Personal Locator Beacon is highly recommended for more remote locations.

Carry a VHF marine band radio (fitted with DSC if possible) and learn how to use it. Where there is good network coverage then it is worth carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof bag. Call the Coastguard if you get into difficulty, preferably via channel 16 on your radio or if not by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard.

Published in Canoeing
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