Sea-lice concerns grow over plans for salmon farm in Galway Bay

John O'Neill with his 4.8kg (10.5lb) salmon from The Meadow on the Drowes River last Wednesday. Below hisDrowes Sunset Tube fly

John O'Neill with his 4.8kg (10.5lb) salmon from The Meadow on the Drowes River last Wednesday. Below hisDrowes Sunset Tube fly

Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 00:00

ANGLING NOTESConcerns over sea lice emanating from salmon farms and the resulting potential for detrimental effects on wild salmon and sea trout continue to gain momentum, particularly in light of BIMs proposal for a super-sized salmon farm for Galway Bay.

Renowned sea-trout angling guide Judd Ruane from the Moy Estuary, in Ballina, Co Mayo, says it never fails to disappoint how varied our marine scientists have been over the years on the question of fish farms.

“With the introduction of salmon fish farms we have seen the decimation of the greatest sea trout fishery in the country, namely Connemara. Those who speak on behalf of the government are still in denial every step of the way.

“Now BIM is proposing a super-size fish farm and are at it again, contradicting not some, but all, concerns been raised.

“For most of my life I have fished sea trout on the Moy estuary, which is in the middle of a finfish farm exclusion zone along the North Mayo/Sligo coastline.

“We enjoy excellent runs of sea trout year after year and our returns to the NWFB are a matter of record. I have supplied scale/adipose samples over the years and never had a problem with sea lice. I wonder why?

“In July 2012 marine biologists from around the world signed a pledge to save the Coral Reef. Who, I wonder, will save our salmon and sea trout?” he asks.

More on sea lice

Henry Cowper, of Sneem note, River in south-west Kerry highlights yet another twist to the sea-lice saga.

He says: “What has not been highlighted yet are the “protocols” about sea lice control/inspections of existing fish farms.

“For instance, I don’t think inspectors are allowed to do spot checks. One farm in the Kenmare River was told of a forthcoming inspection and asked to have 25 fish ready for inspection (excess lice were removed).

“Controls are not in place at the moment, so what hope is there if Bantry and Galway go ahead?” he asks.

Old Sea Pool

The River Drowes was quite busy last week with more rods fishing, especially at the weekend. On Wednesday, regular rod John Parkinson caught a salmon of 3.4kg at the Old Sea Pool on a Flying C and the following day, John O’Neill landed a 4.8kg (10.5lb) fish on Sunset Tube fly from The Meadow.

Photography competition

To coincide with the Draft Strategic Integrated Framework Plan for the Shannon Estuary, the extended closing date for the amateur photography competition is this Friday.

Comprising of two categories, adult and under-18, photographs submitted can feature an aspect of the estuary, including places, biodiversity, work, people and recreation activities. Further details available at

Home fundraiser

As captain of the Irish Trout Fly Fishing Spring Team that will compete in the Home International Championship at Bewel Water in England, Gerry Heaslip is organising a fund-raising competition to offset costs at Southern County Fishing Resort next Sunday, starting at 11am until 5pm.

Southern County prides itself on rainbow trout and is stocked on a regular basis with high quality fish reared in their onsite hatchery. Fish sizes range from .5kg to 4.5kg. Entry fee is €25 and includes refreshments and an array of excellent prizes.

To book a place, call Gerry at 086-225 3126.

Oughterard agm

Oughterard Anglers and Boatmans’ Association will hold its agm. this Friday at 7pm in the Boat Inn, Oughterard, Co Galway, followed by club social to include a two-course meal (€15 pp) at 8.30pm.

Ultimate carp

Carpin’ On – The Ultimate Carping event takes place at Five Lakes Resort, Essex, on 2nd and 3rd March, with presentations, forums and slide shows from leading anglers, including Terry Hearn, Julian Cundiff and Ali Hamidi. See further details.