Death of the chairman of the Specimen Fish Committee


IN A week when the Irish Specimen Fish Committee (ISFC) report for 2012 was published, came the sad news that its chairman, Trevor Champ, had died following a relatively short illness.

Trevor took over chairmanship of ISFC in 2002 and successfully steered the committee through many changes in the specimen and record categories for the report to become one of the most sought-after booklets in Irish angling.

As senior research scientist prior to retiring in 2008 with the Central Fisheries Board (now Inland Fisheries Ireland), he devoted much of his time and expertise to water quality in our lakes and rivers. Lough Sheelin probably stands out in this regard.

But it was from a different angle I really knew him. Since the early 1970s we attended our local church in Swords, served on PTA committees, church vestries and fundraising committees. Trevor was part and parcel of St Columba’s Church and will be sorely missed for his tremendous work in the parish.

There is so much more to Trevor than these few words but I want to express my deepest sympathy to his wife Sheila and children Erica, Gordon, Andrew, Neville and Norman. “At rest.”

At his funeral service last week, the church was packed for the evening removal and morning service followed by burial in adjoining churchyard. A true testament to this very popular man.

Potential for pollution

Hot on the heels of the proposal by Bord Iascaigh Mhara to install a supersized salmon farming unit in Galway Bay with the potential to deplete salmon and sea trout fisheries in local rivers, comes the news of an application by Dublin City Council (DCC) to dispose of 824,000 tonnes of spoil just three kilometres off Howth Head in Dublin Bay.

The spoil will be generated by tunnelling of the Ringsend Wastewater Treatments Outfall Tunnel and consist of 99.8 per cent crushed rock and 0.2 per cent marine sediments. The disposal application, if passed, would commence in 2014 and continue for up to three years.

According to some, crushed rock of this magnitude could have a devastating effect on all forms of marine life which, in turn, could see the departure of bottom-feeding fish such as ray, codling, gurnard, plaice, whiting, etc. Dispersal could encompass miles of the bay and form a cake-like base on the sea bed.

As a member of Howth Sea Angling Club for over 30 years, I have concerns should this application get the green light. The area is already fragile because of the dumping over the past 30 years.

Objections to the project can be sent, in writing, to Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use, PO Box 3000, Johnstown Castle Est., Co Wexford, by Thurs, January 31st. Copies of the application can be viewed at DCC Planning Counter, Block 4, Grnd Flr, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, D.8.

Lots on offer

The Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST) Fishing and Country Sports Auction is now open for business. Fancy a trip to one of Ireland’s best fishing destinations? Among the lots on offer is fishing on the rivers Blackwater, Boyne, Newport, Drowes and Mourne (Baronscourt). Two other lots will attract a huge amount of interest with fishing in Canada at destinations that have acquired legendary status – Blissfield Lodge on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick and Camp Bonaventure, Quebec.

“The auction is always hugely popular,” said AST chief executive Tony Andrews. “Now that we’ve made bidding electronic, we’re finding that bidders enjoy the ‘thrill of the chase’. We are immensely grateful for the generosity which our donors display, and we hope they are rewarded by forming ongoing relationships with new clients.”

The brochure is available at auction and closing date for bids is February 14th.