The salmon angling season got underway yesterday, New Years Day. The first Atlantic Salmon to be caught in 2013 has been reported from the Drowes River. The lucky angler was Mr. Timothy Dalton from Omagh, Co. Tyrone. The 4.5kg fish was taken on the Black Water section of the Drowes River in Co. Leitrim.
Timothy Dalton with first salmon in 2013, with Colin Gardiner (left)
MulkearLIFE’s coordinating beneficiary, Inland Fisheries Ireland, has announced that 94 rivers in the Republic of Ireland are open for salmon angling in 2013. Of the 94 rivers, 62 will be fully open while a further 32 will be open for angling on a "Catch & Release" basis.
Mr. Fergus O’Dowd T.D., the Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws which will govern the wild salmon fishery in 2013. These came into effect yesterday, 1 January 2013. Minister O’ Dowd received management and scientific advice on the current status of Irish salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCE) assessed 152 rivers and advised that 62 rivers are open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers, 32 rivers have been classified as open for angling on a "catch and release" basis only and 58 rivers are closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest in them.
Shannon open on a "catch and release" basis again in 2013 (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)
The River Shannon will be open again in 2013 on a "catch and release" basis. Wild Atlantic Salmon must be returned but hatchery fish may be retained in line with national bag limits. There is a further measure being put in place with the use of orange tags for the hatchery fish. Each angler will get an orange tag which must be attached to the hatchery fish together with the normal blue tag. Subsequent orange tags will be made available when the head of the hatchery fish is surrendered to IFI. Details of this will be listed in the ESB Lower Shannon Fishing Permit.
Salmon jumping Annacotty weir on the Mulkear River (Image: Lette Moloney)
MulkearLIFE is delighted to note that the Mulkear River will again be open with the same regime as 2012 for Atlantic Salmon, with a quota of fish similar to 2012.