Trout Anglers’ Federation of Ireland against new byelaw

A morning on Lough Lein with angler Cyril Boggins; and the Killarney Water Bus Tour

Cyril Boggins heading out to the fishing grounds on Lough Lein in Killarney, Co Kerry.

Cyril Boggins heading out to the fishing grounds on Lough Lein in Killarney, Co Kerry.

 

Submissions for consultation on a draft designated salmonid waters byelaw, proposed by the Department of the Environment closed on August 20th, 2021.

A submission from the Trout Anglers’ Federation of Ireland (Tafi) opposes the new proposal.

Tafi says the byelaw “cannot propose to be a designation of the lakes nominated in the schedule of the Designated Salmonid Waters byelaw because it does nothing to improve the salmonid species in these waters”.

The federation adds: “In certain circumstances it is not inconceivable that it would lessen the standing of the salmonids in these lakes. The well-established legal principle of the integrity of an Sac [Special Area of Conservation] as defined within the Habitats Directive cannot be undermined by this byelaw.”

“Once again Tafi find themselves in complete disagreement with the Government that is charged with the protection of these waters, a Government that is willingly committed in the programme for government to the designation of these lakes as salmonid waters solely.

“Tafi is left with no option but to oppose this byelaw by every legal means as this is nothing more than a blatant attempt at introducing a mixed stock fishery model on these waters and a downgrading of Ireland’s Special Areas of Conservation.”

Lough Lein session

I took advantage of a family get together in Killarney last weekend for a morning session on Lough Lein (Leane) with my angling colleague Cyril Boggins. We met in the car park alongside Ross Castle at 9am where, surprisingly, the area was a hive of activity with anglers.

“There are three local club competitions taking place here today. It’s important to get started early before the tourists converge on this historic landmark,” said Boggins.

To stop and look over the bridge of the canal leading to the grounds of the castle is a sight to behold. Upwards of 100 lake boats lie safely moored along both sides of the canal with easy access to the main lake. Moorings here are extremely hard to come by. In most cases, they are handed down through family over many decades.

Lough Lein is basically divided into three sections: upper, middle and lower lakes. Depending on which lake is preferred determines which end of the canal access can be attained. In our case we opted for the upper lake.

“The trout here prefer cloud cover and a light breeze, and conditions today look very promising,” said Boggins. Our tackle set-up consisted of intermediate line with size 12s Sooty Olive, Kate McClaren and Octopus.

Before I had my cast ready, Boggins was playing his first fish. For the next three hours we met fish after fish culminating with eight counters and at least 10 undersized plus umpteen “follow ons” . It was a real red-letter day and one that I will remember for a long time.

My thanks to Boggins for a wonderful few hours on this magnificent lake. As a keen angler, he moved from Dublin to Killarney in 1970 and never looked back. Fully qualified as a chef in many of the local hotels and restaurants, today he plays guitar and sings nightly in the town’s Dunloe Lodge.

Johnny Byrnes, skipper of the Pride of the Lakes water bus Killarney lake tours on Lough Lein.
Johnny Byrnes, skipper of the Pride of the Lakes water bus Killarney lake tours on Lough Lein.

From the family perspective, we enjoyed the Killarney Water Bus Tour on the lake. The cruise brought us alongside Innisfallen Island in the hope of seeing some of the recently released white-tailed eagles.

“They were feeding here yesterday for all to see [but], unfortunately, there is no sign of them today,” said skipper John Byrnes.

The three lakes are studded with islands, one we were told is named Mouse Island or sometimes referred to as Honeymoon Island because there is only room for two people! said Byrnes.

For bookings, contact info@killarneylaketours.ieor +353-646-6 31060.

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

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