Former fisheries’ officer Jerry Looney (80) takes first wild Atlantic salmon of the year at Killarney Lakes

 

JERRY LOONEY from Killarney has taken Ireland’s first wild Atlantic salmon of 2015. Now aged 80, former fisheries’ officer Jerry caught his 10lb fish at the Long Range stretch, a channel leading from the Lower to Upper Killarney Lakes.

Spinning a Blue Toby, the Woodlawn man hooked up to his prize on a second cast at 8.35am, just 35 minutes into opening day in Kerry. The fish was tagged and verified by a fisheries officer.

Jerry also has the distinction of catching the first salmon in the Kerry region in 2009.

However, over on Lough Currane an absolute cracker of 17lb 10oz fell to local gillie Brod Sullivan while trolling on the north side of the lake last Tuesday. Even bigger news is the fact that the fish was born in the Currane hatchery on the Cummeragh River. Later, at the Waterville Inn, landlord Damian Duff presented Brod with the Paddy Carey Memorial Cup for his achievement.

The Drowes also got off the starting blocks last Tuesday with a 7lb 7oz fish taken on a Yellow Mepps Flying ‘C’ from the Cascades by Enniskillen angler Brian McClintock. The fish had long-tailed sea lice and was verified by Kevin McCloskey and several fisheries staff.

Scots’ salmon plight

At the same time, netting effort increased to the extent that seven out of every 10 fish killed before July were taken in nets. This cannot continue, according to Hughie Campbell Adamson, chair of Salmon and Trout Association, Scotland.

“Clearly, there is something wrong at sea, but until we can identify and rectify it, we must do all we can to protect those fish which do return,” he says.

“Last month, we launched a petition with the Scottish government to protect those fish. We want no killing by nets or anglers before 1st July and ask the government to stand by its international obligations to Nasco and ban all mixed-stock fishing. We are asking for these measures to be five years only, to allow fragile stocks to recover,” he says.

Angling Expo

Swords

Each afternoon a line-up of entertainment will include angling celebrity teams challenging for the “Battle of the Anglers”, and Inland Fisheries Ireland will host a new family zone with experts on hand to encourage kids to learn how to fish.

Also welcome for the first time is Scott MacKenzie and Mads Perdersen to join regulars Hywel Morgan, Glenda Powell and Stevie Munn, plus the casting demo teams. The show promises to be a great weekend. Email grace@maramedia.ie or 086-7748216 for more info.

New North fishery

“We started out with 40 members, now have more than 90 and over 20 on the waiting list, so we needed to lease more waters,” says Alex.

Nicas has agreed a long-term lease at Glenview Reservoir in Newtownards to add to its established waters at Dromore and Greyabbey. Membership is available for £150 a year with concessions available.

Glenview is stocked with carp, tench, perch, rudd, brown and rainbow trout. “And there is potential for another five stock ponds to be opened up which we can use for fish- breeding,” says Alex. Nicas will take control of the reservoir later this month.

Rory’s story

angling@irishtimes.com

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