New salmon season will see 20 closed rivers reopen in January


THE 2011 salmon fishing season will see 20 rivers which were closed for fishing this year reopen because of an improvement in salmon stock.

Announcing the move yesterday, Minister of State for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan said he was cautiously optimistic about the native salmon stocks given the performance of stocks over recent years.

He said five rivers previously closed for fishing – the Castletown, Suir, Glenamoy, Kerry Blackwater and Eske – will open with an identified surplus number of fish for harvest. Some 18 additional rivers would be open to angling on a “catch and release” basis.

However, he said three rivers which had previously been open for “catch and release” would be closed next year on conservation grounds – the Sheen, Screebe and Srahmore.

The Minister, who also announced a €12 reduction in the cost of a one-day angling licence to encourage tourist anglers, said 52 rivers would be open next year, two more than in 2010.

He said 29 rivers had been classified as open for “catch and release”, 18 more than in 2010.

He said in all 60 rivers would remain closed for salmon fishing as there was no surplus of fish available for harvest in them. This is 20 less than in 2010.

The 19 rivers closed in 2010 which will now be open on a “catch and release” basis include the Glyde (Dundalk fishery district); Slaney (Wexford fishery district, from May 12th, 2011); Bride (Lismore fishery district); and Glengariff, Adrigole (Cork fishery district). Also reopening are Kealincha, Lough Fada, Behy, Owenascaul, Milltown, Feohanagh (Kerry fishery district); Grange (Sligo fishery district); Oily, Owenwee (Yellow River) (Ballyshannon fishery district); and Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray and Glenagannon (Letterkenny fishery district).

The regulations specify rivers which were subject to “catch and release” in 2010 but next year will be open for harvest are Castletown (Dundalk fishery district); Suir (Waterford fishery district); Kerry Blackwater (Kerry fishery district); Glenamoy (Bangor fishery district); and Eske (Ballyshannon fishery district).

The Minister said he had signed the regulations following scientific advice on the current status of salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The river Liffey remains closed but will have a token opening with fishing on New Year’s Day only.