Fishermen resume pre-pandemic activities with real enthusiasm

Big game fishing season kicked off last Tuesday on the Great Western Lakes, but due to the onset of storms Dudley and Eunice, all valid opening day celebrations have been cancelled. However, with Covid on the back foot, it is heartening to hear that anglers and clubs across the country are beginning to resume pre-pandemic activities with a real sense of eagerness and optimism.

* It may have taken 28 days from opening day on Lough Currane, but I’m sure the wait was worth it for Éanna De Buis to record the first wild salmon for 2022 in Waterville, Co Kerry.

The local angler caught a 10-pound fish trolling last Sunday, and shortly after Cork angler Vincent Donnelly landed a nine-pounder, also trolling. With the brown tag system in operation, both fish were safely released.

“Last Sunday was really the first day suitable for any kind of boat fishing due to the weather conditions, with a number of boats on the lake. Until then, there was very little fishing,” according to ghillie Neil O’Shea.

*Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is inviting submissions from interested parties on a proposed new regulation which would set a minimum length of 36cm (14 inches) for trout kept on Lough Lene, Collinstown, Co Westmeath, and set a catch limit no more than two trout per day.

Currently, there is no minimum length for retained trout or bag limit. This new regulation aims to promote sustainable fishing management by limiting the number of trout, of all sizes, taken from the lake.

Submissions must be received in writing and please note that all submissions will be published on In addition, the IFI is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 and must therefore consider any request made to it under that Act.

Every effort will be made to comply with the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 and the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC.

Submissions should be marked ‘ERBD Byelaw Consultation’ and sent by post to the Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland Dublin, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest, Dublin 24 or [email protected]

The public comment period will last 14 days and will end at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

* At a recent session of Kilrush District Court in Ennis, Co Clare, John Linnane of Kilrush, was found guilty under Section 5 of the Non-fatal Offenses Against the Person Act for threatening to cause serious harm to a Fishery Officer. The incident occurred during an investigation into illegal wild salmon fishing on June 1, 2020.

Judge Larkin imposed a two-month suspended sentence and 100 hours of community service on Mr Linnane, pending the outcome of a probation report.

At an earlier court sitting in November 2021, Mr Linnane pleaded guilty to illegal fishing for wild salmon on the same date in the Shannon Estuary in County Clare and is awaiting sentencing for that conviction.

David McInerney, IFI Director for the Shannon Region, said: “Threatening serious harm to a public official is a very serious matter. We must remember that the River Shannon is closed to salmon fishing as stocks are well below levels that maintain a healthy and sustainable population.

To report suspected illegal fishing, the public is invited to call the confidential IFI number on 0818 34 74 24, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

* If you have an angling story to share, please email me at [email protected]

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