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The River Blackwater opens for salmon angling in 2015,

The River Blackwater is among 83 rivers in Ireland open for salmon angling in 2015, it was announced by Minister Joe McHugh this week.

The Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon assessed 145 rivers throughout the country and advised that 55, including the Blackwater, are open as a surplus of fish has been identified. 28 rivers are classified as open for catch & release angling, while 62 rivers are closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest,

Ian Powell, owner at Blackwater Lodge and Salmon Fishery, told The Avondhu Press that this year fishing on the river is open for 12 days less (from February 1 to September 30). “The last three years it was open until October 12 but that was a bye-law that ran only for those three years and they decided not to continue with it.”

“It didn’t really produce a whole lot I must say. We didn’t really have the river conditions to make the most of it because we had very low water plus the fact that last year there was an awful lot of concern generally throughout the Atlantic Basin about stocks of fish and survival at sea and things like that. So overall there were quite a lot of concerns and they didn’t think it was a terribly good idea.

“We don’t have any major restrictions in terms of catch & release. You have other rivers where it’s catch and release, and then there are other rivers that are closed altogether,” Mr Powell said.

Joe McHugh, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has approved a suite of regulation and bye-laws that will govern the wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2015. These laws came into effect on January 1.

“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.”

He also confirmed that the reduced Licence Fee price will be retained for 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.”

Avondhu Press