Angling Notes: New stock management plan for Owenriff system

Plan to remove pike will facilitate recovery of the salmonid populations

William (Wil) Warren from Swords, Co Dublin with his magnificent bass of 835mm, caught recently on a north Dublin beach.

William (Wil) Warren from Swords, Co Dublin with his magnificent bass of 835mm, caught recently on a north Dublin beach.

 

THE Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, Sean Kyne, has welcomed the development of a stock management plan for Galway’s Owenriff system – aimed at removing pike from the system – as a significant step forward. The project will be implemented during 2018.

“I met recently with the board and senior management of IFI to discuss this, and other issues, and it has now been agreed that, in line with current policy, a stock management plan explicitly for the Owenriff will be implemented in a more intensive focus on the system to facilitate the recovery of the salmonid populations,” the minister said.

A fish stock survey report, which will be available next month, will include fish species richness, fish abundance, length frequency, age and growth and fish ecological status. IFI will also deliver a detailed plan to focus on rehabilitation of endangered species in this important catchment.

As part of its research into fish population in the Owenriff system, 17 river sites and two lakes were surveyed and fisheries staff are currently analysing the data and comparing it to previous surveys and neighbouring catchments to determine the status of fish stocks.

IFI’s Dr Cathal Gallagher, said: “We have listened to local stakeholders and staff in relation to threats posed to salmon and trout populations in the Owenriff. We have also reviewed mitigation actions that could be taken to restore damage incurred by specific stocks. A proposed rehabilitation plan for the system will be delivered in parallel to the fish stock survey report.”

Meanwhile, the Connacht Angling Council (CAC) has given a cautious welcome to the announcement that efforts are to be made to rehabilitate trout and salmon populations in the Owenriff River, a major tributary of Lough Corrib.

A spokesperson for CAC said the minister must now put further pressure on IFI to deal with the threat posed by pike to wild brown trout in the great western loughs of Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullin, Arrow (Sligo/Roscommon) and Sheelin (Westmeath, Meath, Cavan and Longford).

New spawning ground in Wales

Salmon and trout in Carmarthenshire, South-West Wales, have been given a boost as improvements to a fish pass have opened 6km of prime new spawning ground.

A series of weirs have been constructed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on a tributary of the Rivers Cothi and Tywi through the Brechfa Forest. This raises the water level in Nant y Ffin by 400mm allowing fish to swim up a pipe to reach important spawning grounds upstream.

Baseline surveys were carried out before the work took place to allow NRW monitor the benefits to fish populations in future years.

Meanwhile, fisheries officers in North Wales last week apprehended two men suspected of illegally fishing for salmon. The duo were caught after officers spotted a car parked near a tributary of the River Dee, which is a popular spawning stream for salmon.

After searching the car the officers discovered a dead male salmon and a gaff. The police were called and the two men were cautioned and the items confiscated. Investigations into the incident are ongoing.

NRW team leader, said: “We take all illegal activity on our rivers extremely seriously. Given the challenges facing salmon stock numbers currently every salmon taken out of season represents another blow to our efforts to protect these iconic fish.”

Attractive fishing package in Hebrides

For 2018, Farlows is offering a fabulous week’s salmon fishing from July 14th to 21st at Soval on the Isle of Lewis at the north-west corner of the Hebrides, Scotland.

The fishing, with three ghillies and full board and lodging in the Soval Lodge, includes the whole of the Laxay River on the east coast of Lewis, along with Loch Langavat at the head of the famous Grimersta system.

Guests will have exclusive use of the whole Soval Estate, including a speedboat for sea fishing. The package is available for a minimum of six, at £975 (€1,089) per person. The lodge sleeps up to 14 and additional guests may join the party at £500 (€558) per head.

To book, email: roderic.hall@farlows.co.uk or tel: 020 7484 1006.

angling@irishtimes.com

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