Darndale lake choked


ANGLING NOTES:‘DARNDALE fishing pond is crying out for help.” That is the message needed to alert anglers and the general public to the serious situation that has befallen this north Dublin angling amenity.

At a gathering last Wednesday it was clear to all that the pond is dying, and dying fast. The deadly invasive curly weed ( Lagarosiphon major) has covered and destroyed the entire expanse of water.

Amazingly, some roach and carp continue to survive but it is impossible to cast a line. As Brian Conneely, of Sphere 17 Youth Service, explains: “We have a catchment of some 3,000 youngsters and adults who are deprived of fishing in their locality. It’s a sad state of affairs.”

Help may be at hand. Dr Joe Caffrey, senior biologist with Inland Fisheries Ireland, has discovered that a covering of jute (or sacking) will smother and kill the curly weed yet allow growth of Nitella flexilis(native species) through its pores. “It appears to be working in Lough Corrib,” he said.

The cost is the problem. While local anglers and residents will provide labour free of charge, the jute will cost about €5,000.

Maryann Harris, senior parks superintendent of bio-diversity, is exploring numerous grants. However, if successful, it will be from next year’s budget.

Any financial help to purchase the jute would be appreciated.

The annualyouth fishing competition organised by Dublin Angling Initiative (DAI) was again a fantastic success as over 50 teenagers converged on the Fish For All facility in Aughrim, Co Wicklow.

Expectations were high for plenty of action especially as 250 rainbow trout were stocked the previous day. The three-acre lake was in great condition as the groups, equipped with fishing gear and bait, took to their designated vantage points.

True to form the fish came fast and furious and created great excitement especially for the first-timers. Catch, record and release was the order of the day – the “priest” was required for just one fish!

Mulhuddart Community Youth worker, Bernie Maloney, said: “This is our third year at Aughrim, we love it here.”

The centre is proud to have achieved top-10 status in this year’s National Citizens Award by revamping a Fiat 500 car. Proceeds from its sale will go to charity.

The two-hour competition slipped by quickly, and almost all competitors managed to catch fish. One or two rods were accidentally broken and a few bubble floats found their way to the island.

Following refreshments in the on-site community centre, DAI co-ordinator Des Chew thanked Fás for use of the facility free of charge; and the youth workers and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) personnel. “You’re all a great bunch of people,” he said.

A special thank-you was paid to Milliard Bros who co-sponsored – with IFI – rods, reels and fishing tackle for all competitors.

Results: first is Dublin 15 (Team 2); three teams tied at second place: Dublin 15 (Team 1); Whitechurch (Team 2) and Mulhuddart; 5, Jobstown (Team 1). Blanchardstown and Sphere 17 centres also won prizes.