Angling Notes: Lucky Lackagh delivers first salmon of the season

Derry man Michael McCann catches and releases 5lb fish on Donegal river on Jan 1st

Michael McCann, from Derry, lands the first salmon of the 2019 season on the river Lackagh in Co Donegal

Michael McCann, from Derry, lands the first salmon of the 2019 season on the river Lackagh in Co Donegal

 

Congratulations to Michael McCann of Templeard, Derry, for catching and releasing the first salmon of the 2019 season in the Garden Pool on the Lackagh River in Co Donegal on opening day (January 1st).

The fresh fish weighed about 5lb (2.26kg) and was taken on a single barbless hook at 9.25am before being released. The Lackagh is a short river of less than a mile and one of 42 open for catch and release. It is also virtually unknown to produce the first salmon in Ireland which makes McCann’s achievement all the more impressive.

At time of writing, the Drowes still awaits its first salmon. Proprietor Shane Gallagher, said: “There is a drop-off of anglers since opening day with one just one fish lost so far. The river is on the low side, we could do with some fresh water.”

Dr Byrne, CEO of IFI, said: “I would like to congratulate Michael McCann on his catch which is highly coveted by anglers across the country. We are particularly delighted that the first salmon was caught and released in a sustainable manner. Salmon populations have plummeted in recent years with the number returning to Irish shores decreasing by over 70 per cent.”

International Year of the Salmon

The Minister for Inland Fisheries, Seán Canney, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2019, and which came into effect from Tuesday, January 1st, 2019.

In all, 84 rivers will open for angling, 42 of which will be fully open with a further 42 on a catch and release basis.

The Minister received management advice in relation to 146 rivers, advice also made available as part of a statutory public consultation process during which more than 120 submissions were received from stakeholders.

The guidance is based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon.

Minister Canney said: “2019 is the International Year of the Salmon and it is vital that we protect our valuable fisheries resource as environmental change and human impacts are placing salmon at risk. This is a global initiative which will bring people together to share knowledge, raise awareness and take action on how we can ensure the resilience of salmon in Ireland and in the entire Northern Hemisphere”.

Concern over water quality in rivers and lakes

I recently received an email from a Limerick reader who expressed his despair regarding water quality in our rivers and lakes. “We have a huge problem in Ireland with water quality from what I can see and it is getting worse. I fish the Suir, Deal, Maigue and Lough Derg. The deterioration is constant and progressive”, he said.

He goes on: “If it is not anglers that protest, the fact is nobody else cares or are even aware of the tragedy that is unfolding in our inland waterways. The Irish water debacle should have been the first step towards a programme to gradually restore the immense natural resources we have here in Ireland.

“Instead there is no one dealing with the reality of how bad our water quality has become; the extinction of hundreds of invertebrate species and the role of agriculture, county councils and government in creating or ignoring the problem.

European Union guidelines are treated by county councils as paperwork leading to inconvenient fines and no government has enforced the law properly to establish a deterrent that is meaningful.”

Killeen keeps Marine Institute chair
The Minister for the Marine, Michael Creed, has re-appointed Dr John Killeen as chairperson of the Marine Institute for a five-year term with effect from January 8th, 2019. Dr Killeen was originally appointed for a five-year term in 2014.

angling@irishtimes.com

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