Embargoed to 29 December 2016.
Mr. Sean Kyne T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2016. These will come into effect from Sunday 1 January 2017.
Minister Kyne said "In all, 73 rivers will open for angling activity in 2017 and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis. 46 of these rivers will be fully open with a further 27 for angling on a "catch & release" basis. "
The Minister has also directed that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) carry out a full review of the Catch and Release element of fisheries management policy ahead of the 2018 season.
He said, "Ireland has been managing fisheries in accordance with the scientific advice since 2006 and that will continue. However, I am keen that after 10 years, the catch and release element of the policy is examined to explore whether changes might actually benefit the management of our fisheries."
Minister Kyne received management advice in relation to over 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland IFI, in advance of setting out the legislation for 2017. This advice was also made available as part of a public consultation process. This was based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks carried out by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon. This committee comprises scientists from IFI, an Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Marine Institute, the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI- Northern Ireland) other State bodies and third level institutions.
Over 90 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process. Based on this the Minister has introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2017.
Management advise based on the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCS) assessment of rivers/estuaries/harbours is that:-
- 46 rivers should be open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;
- 27 rivers should be classified as open for "catch and release" angling; and
- 73 rivers should be closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest.
Note for editors
Summary of main changes to the management of the wild salmon fishery in 2017
4 Rivers which were open in 2016 will be "catch & release" in 2017
Screebe (Connemara Fishery District), Owenwee (Ballinakill Fishery District), Glenamoy (Bangor Fishery District) and Glen (Ballyshannon Fishery District).
1 River which were open in 2016 will close in 2017 Owenacurra (Cork Fishery District) .
6 Rivers which were open for catch and release in 2016 will close in 2017 Slaney (Wexford Fishery District), Collligan (Waterford Fishery District), Shrahmore (Bangor Fishery District) Cloonamore (Ballina Fishery District) Owenwee Ballyshannon Fishery District) Eske (Ballyshannon Fishery District) and Tullaghobegley (Letterkenny Fishery District).
1 River which was C&R in 2016 will be open in 2017 Croanshagh (Glanmore River and Lake) (Kerry Fishery District).
S.I. No. 636 of 2016 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2016
This Statutory Instrument provides for the quotas of fish that can be harvested by commercial fishing engines and rod and line from those rivers identified in Schedule 2 of the regulation and also provides for the use of brown tags in specified rivers identified in Schedule 4 of the regulation.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (Closed Rivers) Bye-law No. C.S. 321, 2016
This Bye-law prohibits the taking or attempting to take by rod and line salmon and sea trout (over 40 cm) in the rivers specified in the Bye-law. The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Closed Rivers) Bye-law No. C.S. 320, 2015 is revoked.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (Bag Limits) Bye-law No. 944, 2016
This Bye-law provides for an annual bag limit of 10 fish being either salmon or sea trout (over 40 cm) per angler and provides for a season bag limit of 3 fish in the period 1 January to 11 May, a daily bag limit of 3 fish from 12 May to 31 August and a daily bag limit of 1 fish from 1 September to the end of the season. The Bye-law also provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait once the specified numbers of fish have been caught in the specified periods. The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Bag Limits) Bye-law No. 934, 2015 is revoked.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (Catch and Release) Bye-law No. 945, 2016
This bye-law provides for catch and release in respect of salmon and sea trout (over 40 cm) in rivers that are meeting at least 65% of their Conservation Limit as stated in the Bye-law. The Bye-law also provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for salmon and sea trout over 40 cm. The Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (Catch and Release) Bye-law No. 935, 2015 is revoked.
Angling Byelaw 943, 2016
This Bye-law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, prohibits the use of worms as bait in angling for all species of fish in the waters specified in the Bye-law, and revokes Angling Bye-law No. 936, 2015.
Conservation of Sea Trout Bye-Law No. 946, 2016
This Bye-law provides for a daily bag limit of 3 sea trout (less than 40cm in length) and provides for the use of single barbless hooks and prohibits the use of worms as bait once the specified number of sea trout have been caught. The Conservation of Sea Trout Bye-Law No. 937, 2015 is revoked.