In a welcome boost for angling access on the Owenea Fishery, near Glenties in Co Donegal, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has opened a new steel footbridge to replace the former ‘Green Bridge’, which was constructed in the 1970s but had fallen into disrepair.
Funded through the National Strategy for Angling Development, the new custom-designed footbridge will provide safe access to both banks of the Owenea fishery between Beats 4 and 5, near Glenties.
The fishery remains one of the most productive salmon rivers in Co Donegal and has a good run of salmon and sea trout as well as resident small brown trout.
The Green Bridge was used extensively by anglers, recreational walkers and local residents. However, following safety audits, consultant engineers were commissioned in 2021 to conduct an examination of the structural integrity and suitability of the structure as a pedestrian footbridge.
The report confirmed that the steelwork was severely corroded and was no longer fit for purpose.
Although IFI did not own or manage the bridge, the State agency undertook responsibility for its removal and installation of a replacement galvanised footbridge to ensure safe access for the angling community.
Before removal, several reports and surveys were commissioned including appropriate assessment screening, a freshwater pearl mussel survey and natural impact statement. Planning permission was then sought through Donegal County Council.
IFI director, Milton Matthews, said: “Installation of this new bridge is the culmination of over four years of work in terms of completion of the various safety, engineering and associated environmental reports and planning permission requirements”.
Driver takes honours at tope festival in Greystones
Greystones in Co Wicklow appears to be home to one of the hardest fighting fish along the entire Irish coastline with over 100 tope caught, recorded and released during the two-day tope festival hosted by the Greystones Ridge Angling Club.
Postponed on two occasions due to inclement weather, the event eventually got going recently and despite challenging conditions of wind against tide, some great fish were recorded among the 14 boats taking part, including seven Irish specimens.
Wicklow angler Cian Driver took top honours over the two days with a terrific tope of 164.5cm which earned him a top-of-the-range Poseidon 500R reel, a Diawa Kenzaki boat rod and €200 voucher.
Aside from tope, 14 different species were recorded and again, Driver topped the prize list with four species. A further category for the first two fastest tope went to Joe Muddiman with Denis Breetveld, a close second.
A huge thank you was expressed to Southside Angling and La Touché Wines for their sponsorship of a range of fantastic prizes.
Results: Longest tope: Cian Driver, 164.5cm; 2, Clyde McElwaine, 160cm; 3, Sean Byrne, 160cm; 4, Conor McElwaine; 5, Clyde McElwaine, 159cm. Most species: Cian Driver, 4 species. Longest ray: Denis Breetveld, 42cm.
Log books and unused gill tags to be returned
Salmon and sea trout anglers are reminded to return their logbooks and any unused gill tags from 2022. Under the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, logbooks can be returned in two ways.
Availing of the pre-paid return envelope supplied at time of licence purchase is the preferred option. Post the logbook and unused gill tags to the Inland Fisheries Ireland office address displayed on licence or by scanning and emailing logbook and licence documents to email@example.com.
If you choose the latter option, please scan all sides, including continuation pages, to ensure licence names and number can be correctly linked to the logbook.
On average, 70% of anglers in Ireland return their logbooks which provide vital information regarding the status and management of our wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout stocks into the future.
In accordance with the tagging scheme, anglers are required by law to return their completed logbook and all unused tags to IFI within seven days of licence expiry, and no later than October 19th.
Sincere condolences to my angling friend Tom and his family on the passing of their dear mother Josie. The family looked after her exceptionally well and she will be greatly missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h’anam dílis.
If you have an angling story to share, please send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.