Angling Notes: Study finds little-known information about ferox trout

A huge brown trout caught in New Zealand may be a record-breaker

Ferox trout being released. Estimates of their population size thought to be small.

Ferox trout being released. Estimates of their population size thought to be small.

 

A new scientific paper entitled: “The spawning location of vulnerable ferox trout (Salmo trutta L.) in Lough Corrib and Lough Mask catchments, Western Ireland” has been published in the Journal of Fish Biology by scientists from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.

Ferox trout are large, long-lived, fish eating trout normally found in deep lakes and believed to be genetically distinct from normal brown trout, having evolved after the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago.

Ferox are highly prized by trophy anglers and Corrib and Mask have recorded the majority of Irish specimens. Little was known about their spawning locations compared to normal brown trout, and a radio tracking study was initiated in both catchments in 2005.

Local anglers and fisheries staff helped catch large ferox on both lakes in order to insert radio tags. The fish were then tracked with help from the Irish Air Corps helicopter unit and by walking spawning streams with a radio tracking antenna to determine in which streams they spawned in.

Results showed that the majority (92 per cent) tagged in Corrib spawned in a single spawning stream, the Cong river, while the majority (76 per cent) tagged in Mask, spawned in the Cong canal and Cong river.

Dr Paddy Gargan, Senior Research Officer at IFI and lead author on the publication, said: “The occurrence of ferox trout predominantly in single spawning rivers in both catchments highlights the vulnerability of the ferox populations with estimates of their population size thought to be small.”

Further information can be accessed here.

In March, 2012, Ceri Jones from Wales caught the heaviest ferox trout ever recorded in Ireland weighing 23lb 2oz, close to Inchagoill Island on Lough Corrib on a deadbait rudd.

Record-breaker

A huge brown trout caught in the Mackenzie hydro canals near Twizel, New Zealand, may be a record-breaker, according to the Star News newspaper in Canterbury.

The successful angler from Turangi who recently caught the monster fish weighing 44.3lb (20.1kg), is hopeful his catch will be officially announced as a world record. Currently, the record stands at 42.1lb (19.1kg) and, it too, was caught in the same canal in 2013.

For the fish to officially break the record, it needs to go through a number of processes including the scales to be verified, the Central South Island Fish and Game field officer, Rhys Adams, said.

Angling projects

Funding for 35 angling projects that engage in novice angling will benefit to the tune of €140,000 through the “Angling for All” account, supported by the Dormant Account Fund. Applications were invited from groups that promoted governance, education and safety in angling.

Along with 31 regional projects, four national projects to receive funding include the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland; Salmon and Sea Trout Recreational Anglers of Ireland; Angling Council of Ireland and Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs.

For a full list of successful projects, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie/afa.

Illegal fishing

A man with an address at Castletownbere, Co Cork was fined €4,000 plus costs before Judge James McNulty at Bantry District Court after being found guilty on two counts of illegal fishing and obstruction of fishery protection officers off Quarry Point, Co Cork.

The man was observed drift net fishing with a monofilament net and attempted to prevent officers from boarding his vessel on its return to Blackball Harbour by casting off and pulling away from the pier.

Officers did manage to board the vessel and seized a 300-metre long salmon drift net. Judge McNulty imposed fines of €2,000 for illegal fishing,€2,000 for obstructing fisheries officers and a further €500 in costs.

Sean Long, Director of the South Western River Basin District, said: “I would like to commend the fisheries protection officers’ vigilance, perseverance and continuous commitment to protecting migrating salmon on their journey back to their spawning grounds.”

angling@irishtimes.com

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