Angling Notes: the etiquette of silage spreading

Inland Fisheries Ireland releases its six-point silage and slurry plan

AN appeal to farmers to help protect Ireland’s rivers and lakes from agricultural pollution during the silage season, was launched last week by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Farmers are being asked to follow a six-point plan for optimum silage and slurry spreading etiquette:

S - Spread slurry during dry weather only; I - Investigate if silage pits are sealed; L - Lead slurry away from a watercourse when working the land; A - Avoid cleaning slurry equipment close to a stream, river or lake; G - Generate good yard cleaning hygiene; E - Engage with statutory requirements to ensure storage capacity meet regulations.

Livestock manure and organic fertilisers, silage effluent and soiled water are highly damaging substances. On entering a watercourse these pollutants can kill fish and severely impact habitats.


Before carrying out work near any watercourses, farmers are asked to contact their local fisheries office. In 2022, staff carried out 1,986 inspections to help identify environmental risks.

Barry Fox. IFI’s head of operations, said: “When rivers are at a low level, even a small leak can cause huge damage. Maintenance of silage pits and slurry storage facilities is essential.”

European Cup

The European Cup Trout Angling Championships on Lough Mask last weekend was a great success with proceeds going to stream enhancement and rehabilitation, according to Liam Conroy, chairman of host club Tourmeakeady Trout Anglers’ Association.

Fish conservation was to the forefront with a minimum 15″ size limit and just one fish accepted at weigh-in. Also, a restriction on buzzer fishing, trolling flies, baits, lures, spinning or dapping, meant wet and dry fly fishing was the only form of angling permitted.

Máire Lukes Bar and Restaurant in Tourmakeady was, again, the centre of activity with a fine traditional Irish stew to whet the appetite of all and round off an enjoyable day.

The one-day event attracted 102 anglers in ideal fishing conditions with mild temperatures in a northerly breeze. Although Mayfly were scarce, 22 fish were presented at weigh-in.

Not for the first time, Co Galway angler, Joe Creane outplayed the field with a fish over two pounds to reclaim the European Cup and a 19′ Foley Melvin Boat. It was back in 2019 when the Roundstone angler achieved the same accolade with a fish of 4lb 6oz.

Results: 1, J Creane, 2.04.0; 2, S Heraty, 2.02.0; 3, J Trench, 2.01.8; 4, M Ferry, 2.01.6; 5, G Dixon, 1.15.8.

Fishing out from Kilbeg on Lough Corrib, Co Meath angler, Philip Kavanagh enjoyed a good day with some quality trout while buzzer fishing.

Genuine specimen

When the Good Lord found John Murphy in his landing net in March of this year he may well have turned to Saint Peter and said: “We have a specimen here”. John lived life to the full and his many accomplishments were nothing short of remarkable.

He fished for Leinster and Ireland and his immense talent for fly fishing earned him many accolades and fly fishing awards around Ireland and beyond. His skill and passion for the sport were truly unmatched and his presence on the water will be deeply missed.

But he was more than just a fisherman, he was a man who loved to cultivate life and beauty as evidenced by his passion for gardening and, as a superb fly tier, created along with the author, the Watsons Bumble fly.

Although born in Dublin and introduced to fly fishing by his father Peter on the River Dodder, John lived most of his life in Cavan on the shore of his beloved Lough Sheelin.

Above all he was a man who loved to have fun and always up for a laugh and a pint, and with his infectious and contagious energy, he could light up any room.

A remarkable man whose death is a great loss to all of us, but as we mourn his passing we take comfort in the knowledge that his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched and the happy memories he left behind.

While he will be deeply missed he will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace John. - N.J.R.

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