Angling Notes: Worrying presence of pike in Aughrusbeg Lough confirmed

IFI renew appeal to anglers not to move fish between watercourses for any reason

Beach fishing – new EU legislation requires data on recreational sea angling catches.

Beach fishing – new EU legislation requires data on recreational sea angling catches.

 

INLAND Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has confirmed the presence of pike in Aughrusbeg Lough, Co Galway. The confirmation was made during a fish stock survey by research staff earlier last week and is the first official record of pike being present in the lake.

Investigations are ongoing to establish if the pike were ‘introduced’ through human activity, by the illegal movement of fish between watercourses.

The introduction of pike to small low-complexity lakes, such as Aughrusbeg, could be devastating to resident fish populations. New introductions are also potentially a carrier of fish disease and parasites.

To help assess the scale of the problem, researchers are currently analysing samples to establish the age and distribution of the pike population.

In the meantime, IFI is appealing to anglers to protect Ireland’s fisheries by not moving fish between watercourses, for any reason.

Francis O’Donnell, IFI’s chief executive officer, said ‘introductions’ of new species seriously threaten Ireland’s ecosystems, potentially in unforeseen ways, and are a major cause for concern.

“A similar introduction of pike into the upper sections of the Owenriff catchment in Co Galway over 10 years ago caused the virtual collapse of what had been a very important salmonid fishery.”

Marine Recreational Angling Survey

Following recent legislation from the European Commission which requires member states to collect data on recreational catches, an Irish Marine Recreational Angling Survey (IMREC) programme has been established to provide a clear picture of how fishing activities relate to stock levels.

The survey is geared to inform knowledge around trends in stock levels and the sustainability of key species. With help from sea anglers, a diary is one tool which can be used to monitor fish stocks around the Irish coast.

Consequently, a new diary app has been established to provide an easy-to-use tool to keep a record of angling trips, bait, rigs, etc.

Healthy seas mean healthy sea angling. By sharing information on fishing trips, the information gleaned from the survey will contribute to development of sound policy decisions.

The diary homepage contains further information at https://imrec-ifigis.hub.arcgis.com/To take part in this important programme, forward details to seaangling@fisheriesireland.ie with “IMREC diary sign up” in subject line.

Note: To obtain a clear picture of sea angling effort and catches, it is important to input every fishing session into the diary.

Welsh Water fined for pollution incident

Welsh Water has been fined £180,000 (€212,000) after pleading guilty to causing a pollution incident in 2018 along the river Clywedog near Wrexham. Over 3,000 fish were killed, affecting species including brown trout, bullhead, lamprey, stoneloach, salmon, parr, chub, eel, stickleback, perch and minnow.

The court found that DCWW illegally discharged crude settled sewage from the Five Fords wastewater treatment plant, resulting in the largest fish kill recorded in North Wales.

Operations manager, David Powell, said: “I hope this fine will send out a clear message that environmental legislation is to be taken seriously and that damaging the environment, whether deliberately, or out of negligence, comes with consequences.”

Saltwater fly fishing course at Copper Coast

Jason O’Riordan and Ken Whelan will hold a one-day saltwater fly fishing course at the Copper Coast in Dungarvan, Co Waterford on Sunday, 22nd August. The fee is €80 and places are limited.

The course will explain and demonstrate fish biology; selection of tackle and set-up; techniques required for bass, mullet and sea trout, and fish locations. The day will end with a session of ‘practice what you learn’!

To book, contact ken@kenwhelan.info, +353 86 783 5900 or gamefishingireland@gmail.com, +353 87 296 5712.

If you have an angling story to share, please send to me at angling@irishtimes.com.

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