Inland Fisheries Ireland unveils coastal species survey

Worries over development of a waste-water treatment plant by Dawn Meats discharging into the Boyne river

Shore angling off the coast of Wexford.

Shore angling off the coast of Wexford.

 

An online survey launched by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) aims to collect possible long-term changes in coastal fish populations targeted by anglers. Ireland has an iconic sea angling resource and by partaking in the study anglers have the opportunity to contribute towards understanding changes in fish species over time.

The review relies on the knowledge, experience and observations of “citizen scientist anglers” and is carefully formulated to capture this knowledge to be expressed as indicators of the current state of fish populations.

William Roche, senior research officer at IFI, said: “We know anglers have expert localised knowledge from observing the fish they catch. We want to reach out to those who care about the future of our fisheries resource to help us to understand how it has changed.”

To take part in the survey, click here

Results will be available in time on the IFI website. Each unique respondent will be entered into a draw to win a €200 voucher for their local tackle shop and a further two €100 vouchers are also in the draw.

Boyne river

Colm Gallagher reports from the river Boyne and catchment area on the first salmon of the season from Navan Anglers’ waters. Local angler Paul Clarke took the honours this year with a fine fish on the fly from the river Blackwater.

Local angler Paul Clarke with the first salmon of the season from Navan Anglers’ waters on the river Blackwater, a tributary of the river Boyne.
Local angler Paul Clarke with the first salmon of the season from Navan Anglers’ waters on the river Blackwater, a tributary of the river Boyne.

The catch was extra special as it was Paul’s first ever salmon. He will be presented with the Perpetual Callaghan Cup for his achievement at a later date when coronavirus restrictions allow.

Club members share the serious concerns of the wider community regarding the proposed development of a waste-water treatment plant by Dawn Meats which will have its outflow discharge directly into the Boyne just downstream of Navan.

A Facebook group, Save the Boyne, set up to raise awareness of the development has amassed 7,500 members as of Friday 9th April. Meath County Council has received more than 250 submissions on the proposed development.

The river Boyne is “catch and release” for 2021. Angling byelaw 982 of 2020 prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single or double barbless hooks, and also prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish.

Eye-catching catches

Snippets of catches are beginning to emerge as we look forward to easing of lockdown restrictions. These include a basket of herring and mackerel off Greystones in Co Wicklow last week and a father and son duo on Lough Mask encountered trout each day over several days, with the best fish at 3.5lb.

With bright sunshine and water levels dropping fast, one salmon was caught and released from the Old Sea Pool on the Drowes river last Tuesday. Earlier, two nice fish, estimated about 10lb, were also caught and released from Tinkers Hole and Money Hole.

angling@irishtimes.com

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