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Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) will be attending the Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, near Boston in the USA from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 January.

The State agency for Ireland’s inland and inshore fisheries has also put out an invitation for trade partners to exhibit alongside their stand to promote their angling tourism product. For more details see the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

Anglers who wish to catch and keep wild salmon from the Waterville catchment in 2022 are being advised that ‘brown tag’ regulations to boost conservation efforts are coming into force from Monday 17 January.

The measures are included in the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Under brown tag regulations, an angler who wishes to ‘harvest’ a wild salmon and keep it must attach a brown tag as well as a standard blue tag to the fish.

To help conserve stocks of wild salmon within the Waterville catchment, a total of 64 brown tags will be available for the season to anglers with a 2022 rod licence through a lottery system.

Three draws are set to take place in 2022 and these will be held on Monday 10 January (to allocate 24 brown tags), Monday 28 February (to allocate 20 brown tags; applications will be open 14-25 February) and finally on Monday 28 March (to allocate the remaining 20 brown tags; applications will be open 14-25 March).

Anglers may only fish one brown tag over the full season, and multiple applications will disqualify.

Meanwhile, anglers with a 2022 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon on a ‘catch and release’ basis in the Waterville catchment, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

The brown tag regulations come into force on the Waterville catchment from Monday 17 January and will remain in place until midnight on Thursday 12 May.

Any anglers that are interested in entering the January draw are being asked to email their request to [email protected] up to midnight on Friday 7 January, providing their name, contact address and phone number and quoting their 2022 Salmon Licence number.

Further details are available by phoning Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Macroom office on (026) 41221.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland has today (Wednesday 22 December) announced details of its 2022 Sponsorship Programme.

Angling clubs, groups and associations all over Ireland are being invited to apply for sponsorship funding before the 21 January deadline

In 2022, the €30,000 fund will have a particular focus on initiatives aimed at beginners and young anglers, as well as events that promote sustainable angling tourism.

Over 327,000 adults in Ireland consider themselves an angler, as noted in an Ipsos/MRBI poll, while 18% of adults in Ireland that had never been fishing before said that they are “likely” to try angling in the future, according to a survey by Amárach Research.

The sponsorship programme is one of the main funding mechanisms used by the State agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats and the promotion of recreational angling.

Following a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) awarded funding to 41 angling events and initiatives across the country in 2021. Among these, IFI supported 10 national or international competitions and festivals that showcased Ireland’s angling resources and contribution to local economies.

Meanwhile, a total of 28 coaching and juvenile outreach events were supported in 2021, to help increase participation in the sport, along with three public awareness events and angling-related initiatives.

Launching the call, Suzanne Campion of IFI said: “In 2022, our top priority is supporting projects and events that encourage more young people and beginners to try angling sustainably, as well as initiatives that help grow sustainable angling tourism here in Ireland.

“As more people enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors, mainly driven by COVID-19 guidelines, we are seeing greater levels of interest in angling. For example, nearly one in five Irish adults are ‘likely’ to try angling in the future, according to Amárach Research.

“In addition to supporting those who would like to go fishing for the first time, we also have a unique opportunity through the Sponsorship Programme to highlight the importance of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable angling.”

Applications for funding from the Sponsorship Programme are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative in 2022. The programme will remain open for funding applications until Friday 21 January 2022.

Meanwhile, applications for equipment, staff support and biosecurity assistance can be made to IFI throughout the year.

More information about the Sponsorship Programme is available on the IFI website.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is “greatly encouraged” by the growing public support for addressing problems around the movement of fish at Annacotty Weir.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to remove the weir on the River Mulkear outside Limerick that is blocking migratory fish, as The Times reported at the weekend.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, IFI has identified Annacotty Weir as a “significant barrier” to the free movement of several fish species including wild Atlantic salmon; sea, river and brook lamprey; wild brown trout; and eels.

The weir has been designated as “high priority” for fish passage improvement and IFI says it has begun works on “a very significant project to address the movement of fish at the weir”.

The State agency for Ireland’s inland and inshore fisheries adds: “We have applied for funding to the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund to support the next major phase of the project.

“If this application is successful, we will go to tender for services to help deliver the technical, engineering and planning elements of the Annacotty Weir project. Public engagement arrangements will also form part of tender requirements.

“We have completed an assessment of the weir structure to quantify its fish pass-ability and has also undertaken initial title research to identify the owners of land and structures potentially impacted by the project.”

IFI says it has engaged with key State agencies and semi-State bodies “to ensure all relevant government agencies are actively involved in the project from the outset”.

In the New Year, the next phase of the project “will involve extensive stakeholder and public engagement, to ensure that all stakeholder views are captured to form part of the planning process.

“The vision that Inland Fisheries Ireland shares with all stakeholders and the public is to make the River Mulkear easily accessible to fish species, just as nature had intended,” it says.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has confirmed that a fishing permit will be required for angling on the River Suck and its tributaries for the 2022 season.

IFI manages the fisheries along the River Suck on the border of counties Galway and Roscommon on behalf of the ESB, which owns the fishery.

The State body for Ireland’s inland and inshore fisheries also moved to quash reports that the Midland Fishery Group permit has been abolished for the River Suck and its tributaries.

Details about the 2022 permit scheme for the River Suck and its tributaries can be found on the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

The State agency responsible for the conservation and protection of sea angling resources has developed an important new tool that captures anglers’ knowledge and hands-on experience to help track changes in stocks of marine fish.

According to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), the new method — called ‘FLEKSI’ — crucially taps into the local ecological knowledge of Irish sea anglers as a way of complementing scientific knowledge.

Over 650 recreational anglers who fish along the Irish Sea, Celtic Sea and West Coast of Ireland have contributed to the development of the tool, which was highlighted in the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) Journal of Marine Science earlier this month.

FLEKSI, which stands for ‘Fishers’ Local Ecological Knowledge Surveillance Indicators’, can track how fisheries change over time. IFI says it could also have a much broader application in helping to conserve or manage fisheries internationally, as all EU member states are obliged to develop data collection programmes for marine recreational fisheries.

William Roche, senior research officer with IFI, said: “Ireland is known throughout the world for its iconic sea angling resources, attracting up to 185,000 anglers annually. A long and proud tradition of sea angling in this country means that many individuals and groups have accumulated hands-on knowledge of sea angling over the years, from catching tope sharks in the Irish Sea to fishing for bass on the beaches of the Dingle Peninsula.

“We wanted to create a standardised framework that could capture these anglers’ observations and perceptions, to help us better understand long-term changes in recreational fisheries and to act as an early warning signal for long-term changes in the future.”

Roche added: “Tools such as FLEKSI can help us meet the challenge of monitoring fisheries. It can also provide important new information that supports science, policy and management in Ireland and potentially throughout the European Union.”

Dr William Roche, senior research officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland | Credit: IFIDr William Roche, senior research officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland | Credit: IFI

A total of 657 sea anglers, some of whom had more than 40 years’ experience, took part in IFI’s study in April this year. They were asked how sea angling ‘now’ compared with how they remember sea angling ‘then’, when they first started.

Based on their perceptions and observations, the results suggest that stocks of cod, whiting and bass have declined around Ireland over the last 40 years. Importantly, this perception matches with stock assessments from ICES, the organisation tasked with determining stock status for all sea fish species in European waters.

“The study results clearly demonstrate that anglers’ knowledge can provide an accurate picture of changing marine fish stocks,” said Samuel Shephard, a senior research officer with IFI.

“Anglers have a leading role to play in conservation. They spend many hours outside, observing nature and the fish they catch. They may recall how different species have come and gone, and how average catches and sizes may have changed. Over an angling career, this experience can become a unique insight into the status of the fisheries.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland’s policy of collaborating, where possible, with angling citizen scientists and of harnessing their experiences can help us better understand long-term changes and how to protect these wonderful resources for the future.”

The FLEKSI tool paper is available to download from the ICES Journal of Marine Science website. The report is authored by Samuel Shephard (lead author), Diarmuid Ryan, Paul O’Reilly and Willie Roche of IFI.

Published in Angling

The tender process for State fisheries overseen by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is now open for 2022.

The list of fisheries available in the 2022 tender can be found on the IFI website, as can the 2022 application form. Applications can also be made online.

Postal tenders should be submitted in an envelope marked TENDER APPLICATION to Paul O’Reilly, Business Development, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest, Dublin 24.

If your angling club is interested in a longer term licence, fill out the relevant section on your form, including the ‘per year’ licence fee, and IFI will be in touch.

Tenders will be accepted up until Friday 17 December; proof of postage on or before this date will be accepted.

If you have any queries relating to State fisheries or the 2022 tender process, contact Paul O’Reilly at [email protected] or 01 884 2600.

Meanwhile, all clubs who held a licence on any of the State fisheries during the 2021 season need to fill out an End of Year Report Form (PDF and .doc) and return it to IFI at the above address by 17 December. Alternatively you can complete the End of Year form online HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is now inviting applications from oyster fishers seeking a licence to operate an oyster dredge for the 2022 season.

Applications will only be accepted from applicants with boats on the sea fishing boat register of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Completed applications for next year’s season — addressed to the relevant IFI offie and stating which fishery for which the application is being sought — must be received before noon on Monday 6 December.

For more information, the procedure and application form, see the IFI website HERE.

Published in Fishing

The State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats has launching a funding call of up to €1 million to support vital conservation projects around the country.

Since 2016, more than €5 million in grants have been awarded to over 250 projects throughout Ireland under funds administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Now eligible angling clubs, fishery owners and other stakeholders are invited to apply for funding to support fisheries conservation projects in their local areas through the 2022 Habitats and Conservation Fund scheme, which was launched this past Tuesday 9 November.

Priority will be given to projects that focus on habitat rehabilitation and conservation, such as improving water quality, rehabilitating damaged habitats and helping fish overcome physical barriers like impassable weirs.

Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has welcomed the funding call and is encouraging eligible groups and stakeholders to apply.

“The Habitats and Conservation Scheme is a great example of how we can encourage and support the stewardship role of managing our natural resources across the country,” he said. “This important environmental scheme supports angling clubs, fishery owners, and stakeholders — in helping them to improve damaged habitats, water quality and fish passage.

“The works and studies supported by the scheme in the future will also result in wider benefits for the environment. As the funding call is now open, I would encourage any eligible group or stakeholder to contact Inland Fisheries Ireland and express their interest in applying for this grant before the deadline.”

In 2021, a total of €785,604 in funding was approved for 18 projects, based in Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Wexford, Westmeath and Wicklow.

Examples included the construction of rock ramp passages, to make it easier for fish to migrate upstream and downstream of impassable weirs and the installation of fencing to improve water quality. This was done by stopping livestock from entering the river and providing them with alternative sources of drinking water.

Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development, said that protecting and conserving fish species like Atlantic salmon and sea trout was critical to the overall health of the country’s eco-system.

“Damaged riverine habitats can lead to poorer water quality, climate change can lead to rising water temperatures and invasive species can mean even more threats to biodiversity,” she said. :These are having a damaging impact on our rivers and lakes and on all species that depend on them for survival.

“Under the Habitats and Conservation Scheme, made possible through fishing licence income, groups can now apply for grants to fund projects and measures that benefit the conservation of freshwater fish and habitats.”

As part of a new two-step process, all applicants must firstly complete an ‘Expression of Interest’ application on IFI’s online grant management portal before 5,30pm on Friday 17 December.

After the expression of interest has been completed, full applications must then be submitted to IFI via the online grant management portal by 5.30pm on Friday 28 January 2022.

An information guide about the Habitats and Conservation Funding Call 2022 is available to download from the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling

A new report published by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) shows that more wild salmon are now being ‘caught and released’ than ‘caught and kept’ by anglers in Ireland, to help conserve declining fish populations.

For the first time since records began in 2001, the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report 2020 shows that the number of salmon caught and released by anglers (51% of salmon caught) now outstrips the number of salmon that are kept (49% of salmon caught).

In all, 14,138 wild salmon and sea trout licences were issued to recreational anglers in 2020, while 78 public licences were made available to commercial fishermen.

IFI’s newly published report is based on the logbook returns of these licence holders, which shows that recreational anglers caught an estimated 78% of all salmon and sea trout last year, compared with commercial fishermen’s catch of 22%.

‘Catch-and-release angling by itself won’t solve the problem of declining fish populations, such as wild salmon or sea trout’

IFI chair Fintan Gorman praised the conservation efforts of anglers, clubs and federations around the country, saying: “Looking at statistics from the 2020 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Report, it is encouraging to see anglers practicing ‘catch and release’ to a greater extent than ever before. Anglers released 51% of their wild salmon catches in 2020, compared with 47% in 2019 and that’s a very positive development.

“However, catch-and-release angling by itself won’t solve the problem of declining fish populations, such as wild salmon or sea trout. That’s why Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue implementing other important measures too, such as fish barrier mitigation, water quality monitoring, ‘invasive species’ control and enforcement patrols of fisheries.

“We will also keep promoting the sustainable stewardship of our precious salmon fishery through our schools and marketing programmes. These are all crucial factors in protecting and conserving our fish populations and their habitats for the benefit of this generation and future generations to come.”

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme provides the state agency with data to assist with the protection, management and conservation of wild salmon and sea trout.

IFI chief executive Francis O’ Donnell has also welcomed the positive conservation efforts being made by citizens across the country to protect Ireland’s salmon and sea trout resource.

“Atlantic salmon and sea trout are facing a very uncertain future due to habitat degradation, water quality issues, unacceptable levels of poaching, marine migration issues and the effects of climate change,” he said.

“As always, our staff are deeply committed to executing our statutory role to enforce, protect and conserve our native fish stocks and in particular salmon and migratory sea trout. This is very much aligned with our new corporate plan and vision as the statutory agency charged with protecting the inland fisheries Resource.”

According to IFI’s 2020 report, five rivers accounted for over half of all salmon caught by anglers and commercial fishermen last year: the River Moy in Co Mayo, the River Blackwater in Lismore, Co Waterford, the River Laune in Co Kerry, the Corrib in Co Galway and the Lower Lee in Cork.

A total of 27,829 wild salmon were caught collectively by commercial fishermen and recreational anglers in 2020, including salmon which were later released. For sea trout, the total catch recorded last year was 1,394 when figures for commercial fishermen and anglers are combined.

‘Atlantic salmon and sea trout are facing a very uncertain future’

Meanwhile, between now and 1 December, IFI is running a public consultation on the future management of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The State agency is encouraging anyone with an interest in the area to submit their views on how the tagging system can be improved and modernised. It is especially keen to hear from salmon and sea trout anglers, angling clubs, commercial fishermen and those businesses that distribute salmon and sea trout licences, such as fishing tackle shops.

Published in Angling
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