Dublin, 31 December 2014
Mr. Joe McHugh T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has approved a suite of regulations and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2015. These will come into effect from Thursday 1 January 2015.
Minister McHugh said "Fifty five rivers will be fully open and this will provide opportunities for all to share this important natural resource on a sustainable basis. A further 28 will be open for angling on a "catch & release" basis. " In all, 83 rivers will open for angling activity in 2015.
"In 2012 the cost of fishing licences was reduced in the prevailing economic climate and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2015. I believe that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and continue to incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland's first-class angling product", he added.
Minister McHugh had received management advice in relation to 145 genetically individual wild salmon stocks in Ireland from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI and this advice was also made available publicly as part of a public consultation process. Over 20 submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process.
The management advice 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.
In all, the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCE) assessed 145 rivers and has advised that:-
· 55 rivers are open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;
· 28 rivers are classified as open for "catch and release" angling; and
· 62 rivers are 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 2015
1 River which was closed in 2014 will open for "catch & release" in 2015
Leannan (Letterkenny Fishery District)
4 Rivers which were open in 2014 will be "catch & release" in 2015
Nore (Waterford Fishery District), Mulrear (Limerick Fishery District), Eske and Eany (Ballyshannon Fishery District).
1 River which was open for "catch & release" in 2014 will open for harvest in 2015 Ferta (Kerry Fishery District)
6 Rivers which were open for catch and release in 2014 will close in 2015
Kealincha and Lough Fada (Kerry Fishery District), Owenagarney (Limerick Fishery District), L.Na Furnace (Connemara Fishery District), Owenwee (Yellow R) (Ballyshannon Fishery District) and Bracky (Letterkenny Fishery District).
Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations, 2014 for the 2015 season provide for the total allowable catch of fish that can be harvested by commercial fishing engines and rod and line from identified rivers.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (bag limits) Bye-law No. 928, 2014 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 number of fish have been caught in the specified periods.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (catch and release) Bye-law No. 929, 2014 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 mentioned 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.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea trout (closed rivers) Bye-law No. C.S. 318, 2014 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.
Angling Byelaw 930, 2014
This Bye-law prohibits the use of any fish hooks, other than single barbless hooks, and also 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. 907, 2013.
Conservation of Sea Trout Bye-law 931, 2014
This Bye-Law provides for a daily bag limit of 3 sea trout (less than 40 cm 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.
Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Suir) Bye-law No. 932, 2014.
This Bye-Law provides for catch and release in angling for salmon (any size) and sea trout (over 40cm) in the River Suir (including the waters of the Rivers Clodiagh, Lingaun and Blackwater) and also prohibits the use of worms, prawn, shrimp or any other crustacean or artificial forms thereof as bait and any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks during the period 17 March to 30 Sept, 2015