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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

A distressed sturgeon was discovered in shallow water near Sir Thomas’s Bridge in the River Suir, near Clonmel in Co Tipperary on Thursday 1 June.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it was a likely escapee reared sturgeon of unknown origin. It weighed 22kg and was 147.5cm long.

Huge, but unsuccessful, efforts were made to revive the fish when discovered by a concerned and vigilant angler, who had immediately contacted IFI staff.

IFI authorised removal of the fish from the river. The sturgeon specimen is to be forensically examined by IFI research staff.

Wild sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) are a protected species under the EU Habitats Directive. Such fish are extremely rare visitors to Irish waters in modern times.

Anglers are being asked to notify IFI if any unusual fish species are observed.

NGOs have called for the restoration of wild sturgeon in Irish waters, as recently reported on

Published in Marine Wildlife

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and waterways users on the Shannon Navigation that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be conducting fish stock surveys on Lough Derg from Monday 12 to Friday 30 June.

There will be around 100-110 net locations. All nets will be marked with bright orange buoys marked ‘IFI Survey’.

The majority of the nets will be set on the bottom, so depending on the depth only the marker buoys and rope will be potential hazards.

Some floating and mid-water nets in the deeper mid lake sections, and again these will be clearly marked, normally with two buoys.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the survey locations, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is suspending salmon angling at the Moy fishery in Ballina, Co Mayo and the Galway fishery in Galway city, due to prolonged warm and dry weather conditions.

Recent dry and hot weather has caused water temperatures to exceed the 20C threshold in both locations over a number of days.

As previously reported on, freshwater fish species such as salmon and trout can suffer ‘thermal stress’ arising from the impact of adverse warm weather.

Barry Fox, head of operations at IFI said: “Salmon need cold and clean water to survive and thrive. Low water volumes and high water temperatures can lead to fish kills, as there is less oxygen in the water to allow them to breathe.

“We must now implement our cessation of angling protocols at the Moy and Galway fisheries to protect salmon. It will take some time before water conditions at both locations will revert to normal for the month of June. We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis before reopening the facilities.”

Both the Moy and Galway fisheries are owned by the State and operated by IFI.

Other State-owned fisheries are being monitored currently. These will be closed if and when they meet an appropriate threshold where cessation of angling must be enforced.

IFI is mandated, as a national conservation agency, to protect the welfare of fish.

Anyone who encounters distressed fish, fish kills, illegal fishing or pollution can contact our confidential 24/7 number on 0818 34 74 24 or email us at [email protected].

Anglers with bookings on the Moy Fishery in the coming days can contact 096 21332 or [email protected] for more information. Those with bookings on the Galway Fishery can contact 091 562388, or email [email protected].

Details of the reopening of both fisheries will be published via IFI’s website and on its social media channels.

Published in Angling

A Co Laois farmer has been found guilty of two breaches of fisheries legislation for deliberate destruction caused at a local river.

The defendant was prosecuted for damaging spawning beds and disturbing spawn or fry during destructive gravel removal works carried out on an 80-metre stretch of the Delour River, a tributary of the River Nore, near Mountrath in Co Laois.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the offences at Portlaoise District Court on 21 April 2023 and was fined €4,000 as well as ordered to pay a further €1,500 for the costs of the prosecution.

Evidence was given by fisheries environmental officer Oliver McGrath regarding the incident which took place on 30 September 2022.

The prosecution was secured under Section 173 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959, as amended, for injury or disturbance of the spawn or fry of salmon, trout or eels and for the injury or disturbance of their spawning bed, bank or shallow where their spawn or fry may be.

Commenting on the conviction, Lynda Connor, South-Eastern River Basin District director at Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said: “This is a serious crime against the environment. The destruction of the river habitat, and the spawning beds for the likes of trout and salmon, threatens the species survival in this area, and beyond into the greater Nore catchment.

“Landowners need to seek all necessary and relevant information from their advisors, and from IFI, before carrying out any works near or on a watercourse adjacent to their land.”

IFI encourages members of the public, anglers and farmers to report incidents such as this, and those of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing to its confidential 24/7 phone number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is asking the public to report any sightings of fish in distress, or that have died, over the June Bank Holiday weekend — and during the current hot spell.

The State body for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources is concerned about potential mortalities due to reduced oxygen levels in lakes, rivers and streams at this time.

Barry Fox, head of operations at IFI said: “During this sunny and dry weather, air and water temperatures are approaching dangerous and potentially lethal levels for salmonids in parts of the country. The risk to fish mortality may be unavoidable due to low oxygen levels and thermal stress.

“Once the water temperature exceeds the 20 degrees Celsius threshold during daylight, freshwater fish species such as salmon and trout, will suffer thermal stress. Our fisheries staff are continuously monitoring rivers, lakes and streams for any signs of fish experiencing thermal stress.

“Fish need cold, clean water and high water levels to survive and thrive. IFI is mandated, as a State conservation agency, to protect the welfare of fish. Anyone who encounters distressed fish, and fish kills, illegal fishing or pollution can contact our confidential 24/7 number on 0818 34 74 24.”

Aerial view of the River Shannon in Leitrim village | Credit: Daniel Cierpial/IFIAerial view of the River Shannon in Leitrim village | Credit: Daniel Cierpial/IFI

Separately, IFI is asking boat owners to help stop invasive species spread in rivers, lakes and canals by carefully checking, cleaning and drying their boats and equipment when travelling from one waterway to another over the bank holiday weekend.

In particular, IFI is asking users of the River Shannon and its tributaries to adopt preventative measures to halt the proliferation of non-native species that can foul, and cling to, craft when in waterways where invasive species are present.

Anglers, boat owners, cruisers, sailing and recreational waterways users on kayaks, canoes or jet skis are being asked to implement preventative biosecurity measures in line with Check, Clean, Dry protocols.

Fox added: “We are appealing to users to be proactive in reducing the advance of invasive species in our inland Irish waters. This will greatly contribute to slowing the spread of very harmful organisms such as the bloody red shrimp, Zebra mussel and the Quagga mussel, which was first detected on the Shannon’s lakes in 2021.

“We are asking boat owners and anglers not to move any watercraft between waterbodies due to the risks involved in carrying invasive species with them. However, if they must do so, then we urge them to make time to disinfect their boats and fishing equipment afterwards as per Check, Clean, Dry guidelines.”

These recommended methods of sanitisation include:

  • Checking craft, equipment, and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material, removing anything found and leaving it at the site;
  • Cleaning equipment, clothing and footwear, using hot water, as soon as possible, paying attention to ropes, bilges, trailers, the inside of boats, and areas that are damp and hard to access; and
  • Drying all parts of the boat/craft and trailer before leaving the site, and allowing to air dry for at least 48 hours.
Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has announced the 24 projects awarded a total of €999,272 from the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund.

The competitive fund, administered by IFI, supports sustainable development initiatives to ensure native salmon and sea trout can survive and thrive, and overcome challenges they face in the wild.

The transformative new fish conservation projects in 12 different counties include:

  • Riverside fencing and solar pasture drinking pumps in Co Offaly to minimise pollution by livestock encroachment in water.
  • A major fish barrier removal scheme in Co Wicklow to help improve river connectivity for migratory fish and eel.
  • A project to curb the spread of the invasive plant species, rhododendron, on river catchments in Co Mayo to benefit in-stream habitat quality.
  • Spawning enhancement and habitat restoration works in the River Boyne catchment in Co Meath.
  • Surveillance measures, using environmental DNA, to monitor the presence of invasive pink salmon species in Irish rivers nationwide.

Announcing the projects on Friday (26 May), Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said: “I welcome the nearly €1m in funding which IFI is investing in projects across Ireland to improve and protect our incredibly important freshwater fish and their habitats.

“Our rivers are like the nature and biodiversity arteries of the country. Since the 1980s we have seen a significant deterioration in their water quality, putting our freshwater fish and their habitats under considerable stress.

“It is crucial to protect and future-proof our natural resources and this funding helps to do that. It is particularly encouraging to see applicants to the scheme taking on the stewardship over their local natural amenities.”

The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund has provided over €3.75m to different groups and fisheries development experts since 2016.

Barry Fox, head of operations with IFI said: “The Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund is made possible through fishing licence income. Conserving and protecting fish species, like Atlantic salmon and sea trout is an integral part of IFI’s progressive and sustainable salmon management operations.”

Grants will be provided to initiatives based in Offaly (€80.5k), Cork (€140k), Donegal (€3.5k), Galway (€78k), Clare (€42.7k), Kerry (€18k), Kildare (€6.3k), Sligo (€34.3k), Mayo (€124k), Meath (€104.2k), Wicklow (€115k), Westmeath (€73k), and national projects (€180k).

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is urging anglers and the general public to report sightings of Pacific pink salmon in Irish rivers over the coming months.

In 2017, 2019 and 2021, this non-native fish species unexpectedly appeared in unprecedented numbers in multiple river systems in the southwest, west and northwest of Ireland.

As Pacific pink salmon predominantly have a two-year lifecycle, there is potential for the species to reappear in Irish rivers again this year and every second — so called ‘odd’ — year thereafter.

Commenting on the issue Dr Michael Millane, senior research officer at IFI said: “The presence of large numbers of this non-native species potentially pose a competitive threat to the survival of our native species such as Atlantic salmon and sea trout, as well as estuarine and coastal marine fish species — and their associated ecosystems.

“There is potential for the reappearance of pink salmon in Irish rivers again in 2023, and we are asking anglers and other water users to quickly contact us regarding any sightings. As these fish die after spawning, some dead specimens could also be encountered along Irish rivers.”

Anglers and the public alike can report encounters with pink salmon to IFI’s 24/7 phone number, 0818 34 74 24, or via [email protected]. They are also asked to carry out the following actions:

  • Photograph the fish
  • Retain the salmon and don’t put it back into the water (even in rivers only open for catch-and-release angling)
  • Record the date and location of capture, and the length/weight of the fish
  • Tag the fish and present it to IFI staff, and a new tag will be issued to replace the tag used

The nearest local IFI staff will arrange collection of the fish for further examination.

Published in Angling

Two Limerick men have been found guilty of being in breach of fisheries legislation for using a net to illegally capture salmon.

John Quinlivan of Moyross, Limerick and Kieran Molloy of Ballynanty, Limerick were prosecuted for illegal salmon netting on the River Shannon at Monabraher, Limerick on 26 June 2021.

Both were convicted at Limerick District Court on 27 April this year and received fines of €400 and costs of €553 each.

Separately, Quinlivan was also convicted of fishing in the tailrace of Ardnacrusha Generating Station on 10 June 2021, in contravention of the rules of the ESB Lower Shannon Salmon Angling Permit. He was fined €300 and ordered to pay costs of €958 for this offence.

Fishing with a net in this area is illegal, and it is also illegal to catch and keep salmon by any method on the River Shannon as salmon numbers are significantly below levels required to sustain a healthy natural population.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) reminds members of the public that Atlantic salmon populations are under significant pressure from a range of factors, and any illegal fishing puts further pressure on a very important and iconic wild fish.

Members of the public are encouraged to report suspicions of illegal fishing activity, pollution or fish kills to IFI’s 24/7 confidential line at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has confirmed recent successful prosecutions against two industries operating at Lough Egish Food Park in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

At Monaghan District Court, Judge Raymond Finnegan convicted Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland Limited and Stillorgan Trading Post Limited (trading as Swift Fine Foods) of water pollution offences.

Both companies pleaded guilty to the charges and were fined €500 each.

Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland Limited was ordered to pay an additional €3,249.78. Stillorgan Trading Post Limited (trading as Swift Fine Foods) was ordered to pay €2,329.78.

Commenting on the recent convictions, Dr Milton Matthews, North West River Basin District Director at IFI said: “Point-source pollution events such as these are entirely avoidable through good site management and regular visual checks of discharge outlet pipes.

“Unauthorised effluent discharge events can significantly impact the fish stocks and other aquatic life of receiving waters.”

Published in Angling

A Cork fisherman has been found guilty of three breaches of fisheries legislation for illegal netting.

Paul O’Connell of Youghal, Co Cork had fixed a 336m net close to the mouth of the Munster Blackwater which was detected by a fisheries officer in the early hours of 4 July 2022.

O’Connell was convicted at Youghal District Court on Wednesday 12 April this year.

An operation involving local fisheries officers and a Delta RIB craft crewed by fisheries officers from the South Eastern River Basin District recovered the net.

The court heard that O’Connell contacted Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) to enquire if officers had seized the net and to request its return. He then met Fisheries Inspector Michael Fanning the following day to identify the net as his property while under caution.

O’Connell pleaded guilty to three breaches of the 1959 Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 and Bye Law No. 857 of 2009 and three other charges were withdrawn.

The court imposed fines totalling €4,000 and the net was forfeited.

O’Connell, who had a previous conviction for illegal netting in the same area in 2013, also received a two-month custodial sentence and was ordered to pay costs of €500 for the offence of placing a fixed engine at the mouth of any river. He was granted leave to appeal the penalty.

Welcoming the conviction, Sean Long, director of the South-Western River Basin District at IFI said: “I would like to acknowledge the vigilance and swift efforts of our fisheries Officers in recovering the net and preventing it from doing further damage to salmon, sea trout, and sea bass stocks.

“It is one less barrier to migration on the Munster Blackwater and is significant for conservation-minded anglers and the communities the length of the Blackwater relying on angling generated income.

“Members of the public can report instances of such illegal fishing, water pollution, or fish kills by calling Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 0818 34 74 24.”

Published in Angling
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