Angling Notes: IFI developing management plan for great western lakes

State bodies, angling clubs, conservation groups and local communities all expected to share input

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is developing a medium- to long-term management plan for the great western lakes, which includes Lough Corrib.

The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications formally asked IFI to proceed with its proposal to develop a high-level evidence-based plan for the lakes and to submit to the department, which it did at the end of September 2021.

Localised catchment plans have not yet been developed as the geographical area is immense.

The projects office and research division is being tasked with the development which is likely to include catchment surveys to identify fish populations, salmonid habitat deficits as well as water quality pressure points.

Where feasible, habitat restoration and development projects will be carried out including vegetation control on land and water adjacent to the lakes.

Management of invasive species, such as various coarse fish and curly waterweed, will also be an important feature of the plan.

An emphasis on stakeholder engagement between state bodies, public representatives, angling clubs, conservation groups and local communities is also expected to be a key component.

The seven lakes within the ‘western lakes’ groupings, are: Corrib, Mask, Carra, Cullin, Conn, Sheelin and Arrow.

To avoid influencing or prejudicing the public consultation process in advance of that process getting underway, IFI will not be publicising individual aspects or elements of the draft management plan until the public consultation process opens in 2022.

When the process opens, all details of the plan, including how to make submissions, will be available on the IFI website.

New spawning grounds opened on River Terrig in Wales
A project to open the upper reaches of the River Terrig in north-east Wales to migratory fish, has been completed by Natural Resources Wales.

Removal of the old weir at Plas Nant y Glyn, which previously was the upper limit for migrating fish on the Terrig, has opened up 4km of habitat and spawning ground in a river known for its brown trout population.

Richard Pierce, fisheries technical officer, said: “The Terrig is an important nursery tributary which supplies the River Alyn with brown trout. Within hours of completing the work, brown trout were seen leaping the lowered weir and heading upstream to new habitats and spawning grounds.”

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