Angling Notes: Pollution in the North rose this year by 50%, says the Loughs Agency
Padraig Fahy with a 2.5kg sea trout on Lough Inagh
Visiting UK angler Dave Bennett, who caught this fine skate that won him the 2016 Westport Skate Festival. Photograph: John O’Connor
Nicky O’Hagan and Matthew McDonald of Whitechurch Youth Group, fishing on River Dodder with Dublin Angling Initiative.
Noel Shiels, Leinster secretary, right, presenting the Leinster trophy to Keith Flemming following his win on Lough Owel
The Loughs Agency, with responsibility for the Carlingford and Lough Foyle area, has witnessed a big rise in pollution this year with 150 incidents reported, compared to 100 in 2015. In the worst incident last August, more than 1,000 fish, including spawning salmon, were killed in the River Faughan in Co Derry. Poaching in these areas has also seen a significant increase.
These alarming details were presented to the Northern Ireland Assembly by the Agriculture and Environment Minister, Michelle McIlveen, who added that the agency made 197 seizures of boats, nets, rods and fish, compared to 125 last year. In addition, 47 cases were taken court, compared to 30 in 2015.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation but staff are doing what they can,” the minister said.
IFI releases Corporate Plan
The plan outlines how modern technology will protect the resource with staff now routinely using equipment such as spotting scopes, night sights, thermal imaging equipment and mobile phone apps. Kayaks, all-terrain vehicles, quads and bikes are also included.
A greater focus on fish habitats to ensure fish populations thrive is included in the plan as part of implementation of the National Strategy for Angling Development. This strategy will deliver significant economic benefits in rural communities where much of angling takes place.
It also offers the opportunity to improve the current economic impact of angling by €60 million per year and to support an extra 1,400 Irish jobs.
IFI’s chief executive Ciaran Byrne said: “We know that angling is at a turning point in this country and it is vital that we reinvigorate the sector. This plan outlines how, with the right budgetary and staff resources, we can maximise the potential of the resource.”
To view the plan, visit fisheriesireland.ie/corporateplan.
Jointly organised by the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST) and Tweed Foundation (TF), the conference will address the important issue of improving salmon and sea trout smolt survival during the critical early stages of their migration in rivers and estuaries.
Those making presentations will be encouraged to submit papers for publication in a suitable peer-reviewed journal. There are no plans to publish proceedings.
Instead, the AST and TF intend to produce a report of the conference, highlighting key issues that arise and their implications for future management and research.
Anyone considering a presentation or poster is urged to discuss their ideas with AST’s research director, Ken Whelan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westport skate festivalVinny KeoghWestport Quay
The event is held on a catch-and-release basis, with points per fish, but the main prize and the one all competitors seek is that for the largest skate caught. When a skate is caught, the boat skipper measures it with a piece of string, which is cut and placed in an envelope.
At the finale of the festival the envelope is opened and each string measured, so the winner is not known until the very end. This year, the lucky angler was Dave Bennett from the UK who beat Dublin angler Phil Skinner into second place. In third place was David McDermott from Mullingar.
Kelly wins on Lough InaghInaghColin Folan
This year’s winner was Robert Kelly with a combined catch of a 1.8kg salmon, two sea trout to 0.9kg and a brown trout of 0.45kg. Second place went to Richard Maguire, and Hugh Maguire took third spot.
The lodge and fishery thanked all its customers and friends for their support and to remind anglers to return completed salmon licences.
Lough Owel competitionLeinster
Thanks were extended to the Lough Owel club for their help and allowing the event to be held on the lake.
Corrib end of seasonCornamonaLeonard GeoghanJohn SommervilleKathy MannionPeter Muddler
Lessons in fly fishingYouthRathfarnhamMilltown
Oisín Cahill, DAI’s co-ordinator, said: “Fishing is a hobby which can be enjoyed at any age. We would encourage anyone to try it out and discover a pastime which will have a positive impact on your health as well as good fun.” For further information, contact: email@example.com.