New salmon measures

ANGLING NOTES: IN RESPONSE TO a worrying fall in adult salmon returning to rivers, voluntary conservation measures to enhance…

ANGLING NOTES:IN RESPONSE TO a worrying fall in adult salmon returning to rivers, voluntary conservation measures to enhance output of juvenile salmon have been put in place for the current season, according to the Foyle Association of Salmon and Trout Anglers (Fasta).

As these rivers provide an important resource for angling residents and visitors, the new voluntary measures are designed to reduce the overall catch of salmon to ensure as many fish as possible go on to spawn to help rebuild numbers.

Initiatives include catch and release, reduction in number of fish taken, early closure of club waters, creation of sanctuary areas and reduction in angling pressure in early autumn.

The public are being asked to help by not purchasing wild salmon whether tagged or not. It is an offence to purchase wild salmon from the Foyle system, and also an offence to offer these fish for sale.

“It is hoped these actions by responsible anglers will help ensure this iconic fish continues to return to our rivers for future generations,” Fasta says. Contact Mervyn Kinloch, 07730-435449 or

* On the River Moy, angling catches were down on last week, with a reported return of 158 salmon, bringing the total so far this season to 738. The settled dry weather and the constant south-easterly breeze resulted in less than ideal angling conditions.

* Fishing on Carrowmore Lake was also hampered by the weather. However, anglers who fished into darkness were rewarded with nice catches. Local angler Mervin Corway had two salmon at 4.5kg (10lb) and 2.7kg (6lb), and Granville Nesbitt and John Cosgrove had one each of 2.7kg. Most successful flies included Claret Bumble, Clan Chief, Black Dabbler and Green Peter patterns.

* Sea trout fishing in the Moy estuary picked up due to improved water clarity, with more than 70 trout reported. Some good trout were taken on bait while fly anglers also had excellent results. Judd Ruane and Harry Feeney had six in two hours, and Michael Haughton and family had 12 on fly and sand eel over two days.

* Tom Sweeney (pictured above) from Macroom, Co Cork, is an angler to be reckoned with this season. Fresh from his win in the charity competition on Lough Lein in Killarney last month, with nine trout, he has now achieved even greater heights with a win at the Irish Trout Fly Fishing Association National Angling Championship on Lough Conn last weekend.

Strong easterly winds and bright sunshine did little to deter Tom from clinching the title with three good trout which included the heaviest fish of 0.995kg. Indeed, the 120-strong field presented a total of 56 trout for weigh-in, with many undersized returned.

Competitors to represent Ireland at next year’s home international are: T Sweeney, J Dixon, J Deacy, J Willis, G Heaslip, T Walshe, D O’Keeffe, C Malone, S Ellis and K O’Keeffe. Conn anglers recommended mayfly patterns fished wet and dry, along with dry daddies.

* Lifesavers Ireland (The Royal Life Saving Society) is concerned that drowning tragedies will increase unless people heed warnings to swim only at properly supervised swimming pools and beaches. Government figures show that on average 13 people drown each month in Ireland.

David Browne, of Lifesavers, says: “It is vital that people understand that water in this country remains extremely cold. By taking a few safety measures and wearing lifejackets, they can ensure a safe day on the water.” Lifesavers have produced a four-point water safety code – spot the dangers; take safety advice; don’t go in alone and learn how to help.

* Howth Sea Angling Club is seeking new members. Situated on the West Pier, this progressive club with its own flotilla of boats holds many boat and shore outings throughout the year. Contact 087-2409135.