Angling Notes: Anglers in Ireland to be allowed keep one bass a day

New ICES rules indicate survival rate from catch-and-release could be as high as 95 per cent

Tom ‘Swanky’ Sweeney, winner of Galway Challenge Trophy on Lough Mask, presented by outgoing winner, Derek Evans in Burkes of Clonbur, Co Galway.

Tom ‘Swanky’ Sweeney, winner of Galway Challenge Trophy on Lough Mask, presented by outgoing winner, Derek Evans in Burkes of Clonbur, Co Galway.

 

Following revised advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) from October 1st to December 31st 2018, anglers fishing in Ireland will be allowed to keep one bass a day.

The council submitted revised advice for bass in the divisions covering the central and southern North Sea, Irish Sea, English Channel, Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea for 2018. This includes all Irish coasts including those parts of Donegal omitted from the previous regulation.

According to the advice, recreational angling does not impact on bass stocks to the degree previously assumed. In addition, ICES estimated a higher survival rate from catch-and-release (a 95 per cent survival rate compared to the previously estimated 85 per cent).

In their view it is appropriate that one fish per fisherman per day may be retained in recreational fisheries that take place in October– December 2018. A minimum size limit of 42cm applies.

The strict bass management regime currently operating for Irish waters is based on a heavily controlled and restricted recreational fishery. Bass anglers have an extremely positive approach to bass conservation using ‘catch and release’ alongside good handling in order to maintain the species and their recreational activity.

The amendment to the relevant regulation is as follows: “In Article 9 of Regulation (EU) 2018/120, paragraph 4 is replaced by the following: In recreational fisheries, including from shore:

(a) From 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2018, in ICES divisions 4b, 4c, 7a to 7k, only catch-and-release fishing for European seabass shall be allowed. During that period, it shall be prohibited to retain on board, relocate, tranship or land European seabass caught in that area;

(b) From 1 October to 31 December 2018, in ICES divisions 4b, 4c, 6a, 7a to 7k, not more than one specimen of European seabass may be retained per fisherman per day.”

Mark McDonald (Northern Ireland), with 4lb sea trout on the dap on Lough Inagh
Mark McDonald (Northern Ireland), with 4lb sea trout on the dap on Lough Inagh

Great year for brown trout on Lough Inagh

Colin Folan’s angling reports from Lough Inagh always make for good reading. In his end-of-season round-up he said the weather played the lead role in the outgoing season. The water arrived far too late, in fact, it was the start of August before the first floods arrived.

Salmon numbers were well down as they struggled to enter rivers, however, it was good news on the sea trout front. Although angling effort was down, numbers were up with numerous fish from 2-4lb recorded in catches of 15 or more.

Baet Suez (Switzerland), with a magnificent 8lb brown trout from Lough Inagh on a Blue Butcher fly.
Baet Suez (Switzerland), with a magnificent 8lb brown trout from Lough Inagh on a Blue Butcher fly.

It was also a brilliant year for brown trout with numbers up on last year including a few big browns of 9lb.

Catch totals for 2018 were 31 salmon, 662 sea trout and 545 brown trout.

The annual end-of-season competition attracted 17 anglers recording 1 salmon, 18 sea trout and 30 brown trout. First place went to Sean McCloskey followed by Denis Murphy and Michael Heery in third place.

Dermot Leonard (Co Meath) releasing a good sized trout on Corrib, guided by Tom ‘Doc’ Sullivan.
Dermot Leonard (Co Meath) releasing a good sized trout on Corrib, guided by Tom ‘Doc’ Sullivan.

Cornamona host ‘Last Cast’ pairs

On Corrib, the Cornamona anglers hosted their ‘Last Cast’ pairs competition at which 18 rods participated with 13 fish caught and released.

Results: 1, M Kinneavy and M Coyne, 6 fish; 2, B Molloy and G Dixon, 4f; 3, E Gavin and P Walsh, 1f.

Tom ‘Doc’ Sullivan guided Tommy Keoghan and Dermot Leonard from Co Meath for two days and boated 12 trout including two of 3.5lb. As a bonus they picked up a 4lb grilse all on wet flies in the Inishdooras and Inchagoill areas and sportingly released all fish.

Costly day’s outing for Galway poacher

A Galway man was convicted at Tuam District Court for refusing to give his name and address contrary to Section 301 (7) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 and failing to produce a licence on demand contrary to Section 303 (2) of the same Act.

The man did not appear in court and was convicted in his absence. The court heard that he was approached by a fisheries officer on 24th July, 2017 as he was leaving the Clare River at Cahernahoon, Co Galway.

The officer outlined to the court that the man failed to produce a valid salmon licence when requested, and subsequently refused to provide his name and address. He then left the area in his vehicle, and was subsequently stopped by Gardaí near Galway City.

Judge Faughnan commented on how serious a matter it was to refuse to give name and address to fisheries officers when it was lawfully demanded.

The judge convicted the man on both counts, and imposed a fine of €1,000 for refusing to give his name and address, along with a fine of €750 for failing to produce a salmon licence on demand.

He further noted that the man had used a vehicle in the commission of an offence and subsequently disqualified him from driving for a period of one year under Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1961. Costs of €600 were also awarded.

Members of the public can report instances of illegal fishing, water pollution or invasive species by calling IFI’s confidential number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

Green Butt Cascade, tied by Jimmy Tyrrell (irishflycraft@gmail.com).
Green Butt Cascade, tied by Jimmy Tyrrell (irishflycraft@gmail.com).

angling@irishtimes.com.

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