Pet theories and thoughts of caviar as rare Siberian sturgeons are caught in UK

At the Irish Fly Fair in Galway, were from left: chairman of Great Fishing Houses of Ireland Dominic O’Morain; author and Apgai-I and FFF fly-casting instructor, Peter O’Reilly and Arthur Greenwood, sec. Apgai-I and fly-tying instructor

At the Irish Fly Fair in Galway, were from left: chairman of Great Fishing Houses of Ireland Dominic O’Morain; author and Apgai-I and FFF fly-casting instructor, Peter O’Reilly and Arthur Greenwood, sec. Apgai-I and fly-tying instructor

 

Anglers and commercial fishermen in the UK have been alerted for the second time in three months to watch out for rare sturgeon in their catches. A 10-pound fish landed from the Thames at Greenhithe, near Dartford, Kent, on November 2nd was a Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii), the type that provide caviar for posh dinner tables.

After being weighed and photographed, it was released by local angler Peter Johnson who caught it on ragworm bait. The catch was reported to French and German experts by the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM).

It was the second landed recently, the first was hooked near Pembroke Dock, south Wales. IFM chairman Steve Colclough says it could be one lost from cages in the Gironde River in France during a caviar farming experiment. “We think it is more likely to be an escapee from the UK pet trade. These exotic species are imported and this may show that some are now escaping into the wild. They are alien species and it is an offence to introduce them into the wild.”

Commercial fishermen and anglers are reminded to tell Inland Fisheries Ireland on the confidential 24-hour hotline at 1890-347424 if they catch a sturgeon after first taking a photo and measurements and checking for any tag, and returning the fish alive. See also srcifm@gmail.com.


Irish Fly Fair
This year’s Irish Fly Fair was a great success with thousands of game anglers flocking to the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill to mingle with some of the world’s finest fly dressers and avail of the huge array of tackle equipment on offer and meet angling friends in the wonderful atmosphere there.

The conservatory area was transformed into a hive of activity as fly-tyers went about their business transfixed by a multitude of observers eager to learn the craft from the experts. There too, the Irish youths fly-tying team were anxious to show the fly-pro dressers a thing or two. Downstairs, the many stalls had all the equipment necessary for the game angler. Here, I met Jeremiah O’Dea, inventor of the clever Fly Keep, the newest gadget for dappers and fly anglers. The Fly Keep is perfect for holding live mayfly and daddy longlegs, and ideal for kayak anglers and wading shorelines. “It’s a practical and innovative solution to the old timber box,” he said. See thejodea.com

All this plus regular casting demonstrations, fly-tying tuition and talks on angling-related topics added up to two enjoyable days in the company of fellow anglers and friends.


Reindeer Runs
The popular RNLI Reindeer Runs will be held this Sunday at Fota House, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork and on December 1st at Marlay Park, Dublin, with a 5km and 10km walk or run and a 1km Santa Saunter for kids.

Fundraising manager Pauline McGann says: “This is the fourth year of the Reindeer Runs and they have become hugely popular. We wanted to hold an event that would cater for everyone but would also have a large element of fun.”

Registration is €10 for the saunter, €21 for 5km and €23 for 10km run or walk. There are also family and group rates available. Participants will receive a limited edition RNLI Reindeer Run T-shirt and pair of antlers. Register for Dublin at marlayreindeer@rnli.org.uk or fotareindeer@rnli.org.uk for Cork.


Waterways open
Waterways Ireland Sponsorship Programme has opened for business and applications are invited to those wishing to host recreational waterway events in 2014.

Now in its eighth year, the programme is designed to support activities along the Lower Bann Navigation, Erne System, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Shannon Navigation, Barrow Navigation, Grand and Royal Canals.

To date, angling, canoeing, rowing, sailing and power-sports; competitions, learning experiences, historical and educational activities have all received support from the programme.

Applications can be downloaded from “Do It Online” at waterwaysireland.org or tel. 071- 9650787. Closing date is 4th December 2013 at 3pm.


nangling@irishtimes.com