Something Fishy schools project award won by Ayr Hill School in Ramelton, Co Donegal


STUDENTS and staff from Ayr Hill National School in Ramelton visited Donegal Education Centre recently to receive the national Something Fishy award for their class project: The River Leannan – Under Threat from Invasive Species.

Aimed at fifth and sixth classes in primary schools, the Something Fishy programme explores different aspects of fish life including the life-cycle of salmon, fish species, angling methods and conservation of our rivers and lakes.

At the awards ceremony, Ayr Hill principal Hilary McNutt accepted the perpetual trophy from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), chief executive, Dr Ciaran Byrne, and a class trophy from IFI chairman Brendan O’Mahony. Donegal GAA player Mark McHugh was also on hand to present each student with a goodie bag.

Addressing the students, Sally Bonner, director of Donegal Education Centre, and Pat Seaver, director of Blackrock Education Centre, praised the high standard of the Ayr Hill project, comparing it to the work of Leaving Certificate students.

Dr Byrne, added: “The level of enthusiasm in participating in this programme has ensured the success of Something Fishy. It has proved a highly successful way of encouraging young people to take an interest in Irish fish species, their local environment and habitat.” Information on the programme is available at

Gold for Ireland
Congratulations to Ireland’s shore-angling team in achieving gold in the European Federation of Sea Anglers’ (Efsa) championships held in the Heinkenszand, in Holland. This is a first for the Efsa team.

The competition started on Wednesday on beaches around Westkapelle and Domburg with an onshore wind making casting difficult. Local angler Arjan Rijnberg recorded the best result with 36 fish. Team Ireland had good results too with Joe Byrne second; Micheál Quinn third, and both Clive Ivory and Warren Doyle in fourth place in their respective zones. The result put Ireland in first place, two points ahead of Italy.

Day two was held on the opposite side of the dyke with an offshore wind. Team Ireland had a super night with Micheál Quinn leading the way with a zone win; Warren Doyle and Joe Byrne with second zone wins and Clive Ivory with an eight fish zone third. This rocketed the team 13 points ahead of Italy with Netherlands seven points further back.

Day three returned to the same beach as the first night. This was a head to head with Italy for the title. Team Italy fought a very hard battle to bridge the gap and won the night by 54 points to Ireland’s 50. Species caught included dab, whiting, bass, flounder, plaice, dragonet, Dover sole and lesser spotted dogfish.

Overall results: 1, Ireland 165 pts; 2, Italy 156 pts; 3, Netherlands 138 pts. Team Ireland: J Byrne (Wexford), M Quinn (Wicklow), C Ivory (Wexford), W Doyle (Wicklow), S O’Neill (Dublin).

Pikemania in Foxford
Once again the pike waters around Foxford produced the goods. This time for Christin Breuker from Germany while fly-fishing for pike in the Foxford/Pontoon area including Conn & Cullin and Levally.

It was Christin’s first time fly-fishing for pike here. She broke her personal best twice with two cracking fish just under the one metre mark (95cm and 97cm). She landed 13 pike on fly, many between 70cm and 85cm, on an intermediate line with roach imitations. Christin was guided by Kenny Sloan whose speciality is fly-fishing for pike. To book Kenny visit

Annamoe trout league
The second heat of the Southside Angling Winter League at Annamoe Trout Fisheries in Co Wicklow took place last weekend in overcast and calm conditions. The 20 anglers fished for 40-minute durations over the four-hour competition and were allowed to record four trout from each peg.

Bloodworm, buzzers, lures and boobies accounted for 41 trout, all measured and safely returned. Results: 1, P McDonnell, 5 fish; 2, G Wilkes, 5f; 3, T McCrave, 4f (all Dublin winners). Entries for remaining heats to Brian Nally, tel: 086-259 8563.