Angling Notes: First salmon of the year landed and returned

Inland fisheries updates and a monthly newsletter with a wealth of topics for anglers

The first salmon of the year was landed last Thursday, January 13th, at 1.45pm from the Eel Weir Pool on the river Drowes by Dublin angler Garrett Byrne. The fish, estimated at 12lbs, took a cone head shrimp pattern before being returned to the water.

"I caught a few kelts earlier on, but I knew immediately this fish was different as it fought much harder and the sight of silver flashes," he said. Mr Byrne is from Dalkey, Co Dublin and it was his second day fishing on the Drowes.

Inland fisheries news

The Minister with responsibility for inland fisheries, Eamon Ryan, has approved legislation that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2022. These came into effect from Saturday, January 1st..

In a similar trend as last year, 45 of the rivers will be fully open for salmon and sea trout fishing with a further 36 available for catch and release. Some 66 rivers will remain closed as they have no surplus of fish available.

Mr Ryan said: “Improvements in stocks can only be achieved collaboratively over time and are entirely dependent on everybody redoubling our conservation efforts in the face of environmental, climate and human impacts.”

Following advice from Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Minister enacted legislation in relation to more than 140 genetically wild salmon stocks in Ireland, which was supported by individual scientific assessments.

Assessments were carried out by the Technical Expert Group on Salmon (Tegos), an all-island independent scientific group comprising of experts from a range of bodies. This advice was also part of a statutory public consultation process of which 100 written submissions were received from stakeholders.

Management advice, based on the Tegos assessment of rivers, estuaries an harbours, is that 45 rivers to be open (a decrease of four on last year), 36 rivers to be classified as open for catch and release (an increase of two) and 66 rivers to be closed (an increase of two).

The Minister added: “Ireland is internationally recognised for prioritising the conservation imperative as fundamental to our salmon management efforts. However, it is well over a decade since we adopted our current conservation policy. I believe the time to review and improve this policy has come.

Therefore, I intend shortly to publish two policy papers on salmon for consultation. The first of these will explore new options for salmon management with conservation, and how to do it better as the key focus.

“Environmental, climate and human impacts continue to place salmon and other species at risk. I am determined that we raise awareness of all of these challenges. We will develop policy to ensure that we are doing all we can in Ireland, and as far as we can via international co-operation, to improve the resilience of our salmon.”

A small selection of rivers most definitely open include the Moy, with a maximum number of issued tags totalling 12,555 salmon or sea trout; Laune 4,260; Corrib 4,139; Blackwater (Munster) 3,758; Drowes 2,435 and Ballisodare 2,013.

Fish-Live-Learn newsletter

Glenda Powell’s monthly newsletter, Fish-Live-Learn, continues at a pace this month with a wealth of angling topics to whet the appetite of game angling enthusiasts.

Topics for this January edition include a visit to the hatchery at Delphi Lodge Fishery; fishing at Laois Angling Centre for hard-fighting rainbow trout and a demo by renowned fly-tyer Jimmy Tyrell of the gold-bodied Willie Gunn tube fly.

The Lough Conn Kelly kettle reaches boiling point and Glenda offers advice on tackle for spring fishing. Additional topics include the winter solstice; haggis, neeps and tatties and a profile on Glenda, widely regarded as one of the world's leading fly-casting instructors.

If you wish to receive an online copy of Fish-Live-Learn contact glenda@glendapowellfishing.com or tel. +353 87 235 1260.

If you have an angling story to share, please send to me at angling@irishtimes.com.