Donegal catch is first salmon of 2004


The first salmon of the year has been caught in Co Donegal, weighing in at 7½ lbs. Mr Billy Cathcart from Ballymena, Co Antrim, netted the first salmon of the new year on the Drowes river.

The salmon was caught at 9.05 a.m. yesterday in the Upper Blackwater pool on a black Flying 'C' and verified as authentic by fisheries staff at the Lareen Fishery Office, Kinlough, Co Leitrim.

A short time later, at 11.20 a.m., Bernard McCullough, also from Ballymena, stepped up with the second fish of the season, a fresh-run salmon of 7¾ lbs from the Sandhole Pool, again on a black Flying 'C'.

At close of play on opening day, the Drowes had yielded four salmon. In all but four instances over the past 20 years, this prolific fishery, linking Lough Melvin and flowing into Donegal Bay, has produced the first salmon of the year.

There were no salmon reported from the river Liffey on opening day. It was February before Clive Mew caught the first salmon last year. Fishing the Glenside Anglers Club waters at Palmerston, Mr Mew caught the 9-lb salmon after only 10 minutes fishing.