Angling Notes: Advice on eating and storing ice-counter fish in UCD study

Consumers should cook ice-counter fish on day of purchase or the day after, otherwise they should be frozen until required.

Fresh fish is of paramount importance to consumers and lapses in the cold chain are unacceptable, according to a study conducted in UCD on the freshness of fish on sale at retail level.

The objective of the survey was fourfold: To conduct a survey on temperatures in ice counters in eight Dublin retail stores; To assess effect of temperature abuse; To assess freshness on a range of fish species; To distribute outcomes to end-users.

In general, the TVBN (total volatile base nitrogen) tests carried out were well maintained with ample ice, thereby ensuring fish at 0 degrees.


Fish appearance was also satisfactory except in two stores where fish appeared tired and dehydrated. Skin packs were the most used form of packing followed by air packs. Temperatures in chill cabinets were ideal; however, shelf lives on some fish prepacks were too long.

A severe temperature abuse trial was conducted to see how TVBN responded to different levels of fish abuse. Two trials were conducted on eight species purchased from retailer ice counters on a Monday and stored at 4-5ºC for 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96h with TVBN testing each day.

This equated to mild temperature abuse and mimicked consumers who bought fish from the ice counter on Monday and held it in the household fridge until cooking and consuming on Friday.

TVBN results showed that fish should be cooked/eaten on day of purchase or the day after. If not, the fish should be frozen until required.

In-store shelf life of prepacks was too long in some cases. All samples were tested on or before their use-by date.

Concluding, the survey issued a raft of recommendations which retail outlets should take note of, such as use-by dates on prepacked fish as in-store shelf life of up to seven days is too long for some species; over 44 per cent of 36 samples tested had TVBN values indicating stale fish, and reintroducing fish to the ice counter for a second or third day, was not recommended.

The study was minimal in that it embraced only eight stores in Co Dublin.

Company fined over discharge into Laragh River, Co Cavan
At a recent sitting of the District Court at Cavan Courthouse, Judge McLoughlin convicted Glan Agua of Railway House, Loughrea, Co Galway, of discharge of deleterious matter to the Laragh River, Co Cavan.

In excess of 3,000 fish including brown trout, minnow, stone loach, eel and stickleback had been killed over a distance of six kilometres from a surface water outfall at the Clifferna Bridge to below Drumgur Bridge.

The court was told it would take years for the river to regenerate itself to the condition it was in previous to the incident. Judge McLoughlin stated he could not stress the seriousness of the situation enough.

In addition to the fine of €4,000, the company was directed to pay legal costs and expenses to Inland Fisheries Ireland amounting to €63,352.94, including €59,262.94 towards mitigation measures.

Strong catch in Galway
Fishing is still going strong in Galway, with the grilse run well into its eighth week and 108 fish recorded for the week. Water levels are still at one gate open, and a lot of fish are showing in the river, according to fisheries officer, Kevin Crowley.

“Water levels are perfect for wading and this is providing great sport, with all anglers getting ‘takes’ but holding on is another matter,” he said. A few harvest fish have been seen in the river which makes it very exciting as they run into double digits.

Three anglers who have "clocked" up a combined age of 279 years, caught five fish on the weir, with Bert Lynch from Galway landing the heaviest at 4kg and finishing with two, longtime German visitor Wolfram Hoppe also had two, and 97-years-old Ned Cusack was not to be outdone with a grilse of 1.3kg.

Great variety of species caught off Donegal
Rathmullan Charters in Co Donegal is enjoying excellent catches this season with a great variety of species including specimen spurdog and tope. In the coming months, the charter group will be targeting porbeagle, tope and blue shark.

There are a few weekend dates still available for groups of up to 10. Boat charge is €400 including rod and reel hire. For details, call 087-2480 132 or

Activity picks up on Corrib
On Corrib, angling activity is beginning to pick up with hatches of sedge and mayfly, and good hopper fishing to be had in many areas of the lake.

David Egan (Ennis) and David Connor (Armagh) enjoyed an excellent day's fishing out of Ballindiff with the Clare man landing three (best 2.5kg), while Connor landed two (best 1.36kg) all on sedges and released.

Kevin Molloy of Baurisheen Bay Boat Hire (087-9604170) boated a German group who managed four trout on wets, and rose a lot of fish coming short. Kevin and his brother Eamon also enjoyed a day on wet fly with three trout landed, best 1.6kg.

Last Sunday, Ennis Anglers hosted a competition with a 14-inch limit. Results: 1, John Flanagan; 2, Seamus O'Loughlin; 3, Paul Dignam.

Corrib View Lodge had a reasonably good week with fish caught on sedge and some caenis action. UK angler Bill Latham had nine over three days which included six on early morning caenis. Cedric Nolin and Benjamin Demenech from France had eight over two days with many in the 1kg mark from the Greenfields area.

World cup fly fishing championship on Lough Mask
There may still be time to enter for the world cup fly fishing championship on Lough Mask. The competition starts on July 28th with the first of four heats to determine the qualifiers for the final on Monday, August 1st.

Contact today Esther Sweeney, 30 Lakelawns, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo (087-2222867) or visit

Cast a Line for Autism fundraiser
The third Cast a Line for Autism fundraiser takes place next Saturday (July 23rd) in aid of The Sensory Garden, Cong National School. Choose your partner and lake – Corrib or Mask – and practice dapping or wetfly fishing. Check-in from 9am and prizegiving in Lydons Lodge Hotel, Cong. Entry fee: €50. Further details from Dorrie Gibbons at 087-9383185.