For one day only, Liffey produces first salmon


IN RATHER unusual circumstances, the first wild Atlantic spring salmon of 2012 was caught yesterday on the river Liffey at Islandbridge in Dublin city.

The river is technically closed for salmon fishing because the fish count is below sustainable levels.

However, for survey reasons under section 59 of the Fisheries Act, Inland Fisheries Ireland opened the fishery for one day only to Dublin and District Salmon Anglers club members on a catch-and-release and barbless hook basis.

Fishing from the point of the island at the weir, at 9.45am on his second cast, Declan Briggs, Liffey Park, Lucan, Co Dublin, connected with his bar of silver on a yellow and red wooden Devon lure.

There to verify the salmon as authentic was IFI fisheries officer Joseph Delany, who estimated the fish to weigh about 3.6kg (8lb). Following photographs, it was then released unharmed to continue its journey upriver.

“I’m a member of the club for 47 years, going back to when my father brought me as a boy,” Mr Briggs said. “This is my first time to catch the first fish. I’m absolutely delighted.”

For the second year in succession, Ian Martin, Tullyroan, Co Tyrone, caught the first salmon in the northern region on the river Drowes near Bundoran, Co Donegal, on a Collie Dog tube fly from the Blackwater Pool at 12.10pm. The fish weighed 3.6kg.

“Water levels are very high at present,” fisheries owner Shane Gallagher said, “and we weren’t sure if a salmon would be caught today.”