Anglers pay tribute


ANGLING NOTES:‘BUILD IT and they will come,” is part of the inscription on a mounted plaque beside the cascade on the River Rye at Carton Estate in Co Kildare. It is a fitting tribute indeed to the late Patrick (Pat) O’Molloy, secretary of Dublin Salmon Anglers’ Association, who pioneered for the rehabilitation and restoration of wild salmon back into his beloved River Liffey.

At a recent unveiling ceremony beside the weir, a large gathering of family and friends paid tribute to the unsung salmon hero who devoted the last 35 years to rearing and preparing tens of thousands of smolts for their outward journey.

“Carton Estate,” he said at the time, “enjoys a substantial stretch of Rye water (a Liffey tributary) and agreed to build a fish pass and I agreed to do a three-year restocking programme.”

The idea was to kick-start the establishment of wild salmon above the cascade in waters that were previously inaccessible because salmon could not cross the waterfall. Within the allotted timeframe Patrick released over 100,000 parr and micro-tagged fin-clipped smolts into a tributary of the Rye, upriver of the cascade.

“Although they were never actually mine, I became very fond of them. Realistically, I should be looking at a 10 per cent return rate, but because of the many problems related to sea survival, I will be lucky to get 1 per cent return,” he said.

Former fisheries chief executive Alan McGurdy, said: “It is a pleasure to be here today. As you all know, Pat was an angler, a board member, environmentalist, fish farmer and most of all, a friend. Today is some recognition to the great man for the tremendous work he did to look after our fish.” Footnote: According to Inland Fisheries’ Ireland-Blackrock inspector Martin Kelly, the expected salmon return to the Liffey was reached this year. Sadly, Patrick O’Molloy passed away in November, 2010.

In a dramatic development, the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland (Tafi) has withdrawn its membership from the Angling Council of Ireland (Aci). In a statement, it said: “Due to irreconcilable differences relating to trust and philosophies with some members within Aci, Tafi feels the environment inside Aci is not suitable to progress the interests of its members at the present time.” Aci president, Hugh O’Rorke, said: “We in the council are gravely concerned at this development and every effort will be made to get Tafi back into Aci.”

Sixty of the world’s best fly-tyers and angling celebrities will gather at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill this Saturday and Sunday to participate in the second Irish Fly Fair and Angling Show.

Visitors will have an opportunity to see fly dressers practice their art, while champion fly casters will demonstrate and advise on fly casting techniques.

Event organiser Grace McDermott, said: “We welcome angling celebrities Hywel Morgan, Glenda Powell, Stevie Munn, Paddy McDonnell and Peter O’Reilly.” French firm Scatri will be back with the ever-popular fishing simulators which proved to be a major highlight at last year’s event. Experts from Inland Fisheries Ireland, The Wild Trout Trust, Prof Ken Whelan and more, will host talks on various angling related topics.

A huge range of tackle and trade stands is promised and a youth fly tying competition is bound to invoke great interest from the younger generation.

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Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill visited the Loughs Agency Headquarters in Derry last week to view the work in the Foyle and Carlingford areas.

Addressing the issue of staff under attack while undertaking their work, the Minister said: “I condemn these attacks and will meet the Justice Minister and Chief Constable to explore ways of ensuring staff can carry out their duties without fear.”