IFI to lead Limerick Weir Fish Passage Improvement Project
Inland Fisheries Minister Eamon Ryan announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will lead the Annacotty Dam fish passage improvement project in collaboration with state agencies and local stakeholders.
The spillway, on the lower Mulkear River in Co Limerick, is identified as an obstacle to the free movement of several species of fish, including Atlantic salmon, and the work is intended as a pilot project for the design of a national barrier restoration program.
Currently, the national program is implemented by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in partnership with a range of government agencies and is expected to be announced in the draft watershed management plan, which will be published shortly.
The pilot project will provide the opportunity to test an ecologically focused design approach for future mitigation projects and will also test community opportunities that go beyond the standard consultation practices involved in the planning process.
The Mulkear is considered a vital river for a range of species, including wild Atlantic salmon, sea, river and stream lamprey, wild brown trout, and eels. The majority of the main river and its tributaries are designated as a special area of conservation under the EU Habitats Directive.
Mr Ryan, said: “The free passage of fish is essential to the sustainability of our precious fish stocks and to the protection of biodiversity along our rivers. This project will help protect the Mulkear as one of our most valuable river habitats.
Francis O’Donnell, Managing Director of IFI, added: “Our research and operations divisions have extensive knowledge, expertise and project management skills in the delivery of these important projects.”
Launch of the salmon monitoring project
* Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has launched a project to monitor salmon smolts along the River Usk in South Wales. The action plan, with support from the Wye and Usk Foundation, is to mark around 100 smolts each year with acoustic transmitters.
These devices will be picked up by more than 30 receivers deployed throughout the river to provide scientists with data on survival rates and migratory behavior. The project aims to help inform future work on salmon management and conservation.
Oliver Brown, head of aquaculture at NRW, said: “Salmon numbers are at record levels in Welsh rivers and other parts of the world. When we see the numbers of species dropping in this way, we need to understand what is causing the problem and what can be done to protect their survival. “
* As part of ‘Fishing Week’, a winner and five finalists were chosen from entries received from across Ireland in the national ‘Why I Love Fishing’ video competition.
Michael Galvin and his son Cathal of Longford took the honors followed by Angela Byrne, Anthony Murnane, Christopher Eleker, Maud Finn and her twins and Michael Heron.
The winning Galvin duo will receive € 100 in tackle. It was gratifying to hear that some of the finalists opted for a buoyancy aid as part of their prize.
* An online survey launched in August last year to collect information from Irish fishermen on catching behaviors, attitudes and preferences, is nearing completion and ready to roll out with a catch log and report of full investigation, according to Diarmuid Ryan, inland fisheries researcher. .
In the meantime, a second useful survey for offshore fishermen can be found at Fisheriesireland.ie.
Man fined for assaulting fishery officers
* Craig Brew of Clonmel was convicted last month by Judge Marian O’Leary of the Cork District Court on five counts, including assaulting fishery officers while fishing in a known no-go area under the name “flush” on the face of the ESB Inniscarra dam in May 2020.
The defendant was fined € 500 for illegal entry into private fishing; € 400 for obstructing officers; € 500 for the assault and € 300 for not having an ordinary salmon rod license.
The judge also fined the defendant € 300 for using a vehicle to assist in the commission of an offense and also considered incidental disqualification for the use of the vehicle.
Costs of € 400 were awarded to Inland Fisheries Ireland and a confiscation order for the fishing rods used was granted.
Beautiful rainbow trout hanging
* Michael Sheehan of Co Waterford caught a gorgeous rainbow trout weighing about 5 lbs last Sunday on Knockaderry Lake in Kilmeaden on a small olive-headed golden-headed nymph. “Lakes Carrigavantry and Knockaderry are fishing very well now. Buzzers and olive boats hit double digits for a full day, ”he said.