THE LAST CAST

Wonderful day for opening of trout season

Jarlath Gallagher

Reporter:

Jarlath Gallagher

Wonderful day for opening of trout season

Gerry McGovern, Patsy McGovern & Damian McGovern pictured at opening day on Lough Rowan

Sunday April 2, saw the opening of Lough Rowan trout season for 2017. You may recall, it was the first day this year the Sun decided to let us all know that it hadn’t entirely forgotten us. It wasn’t long after dawn when the first car towing a boat cut through the morning mist on the road to the lake.

It was the first of over 20 boats that took to the water on the opening day to try their hand at landing one or two of Rowan’s hard fighting rainbow trout. The shoreline was equally busy with wading anglers dotted every couple of hundred yards from the pump house down to the turn off for McGaherns.

Conditions could not have been better with the added benefit of an intermittent south westerly wind which produced a decent wave between the flat calms, resulting in many anglers getting the opportunity to chance both wet and dry flies over the course of the day. Productive flies (Wet) on the day were Green Humongous, Orange Blob, Red Arsed Green Peter and (Dry) Gold Head Daddy, F-Fly, Grey Duster and Bradshaws Orange Grouse.

Day Tickets and membership available, please contact Paul Beck on 087 6254740 or visit the club website at www.rinnshannon.com for a list of local retail outlets where you can purchase your permit.

Scientific Eel Fisheries: At an information day hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland in Athlone on March 23, local eel fishermen were celebrated for their engagement in the Scientific Eel Fisheries programme, currently untaken by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The fishermen, who are involved in the Scientific Eel Fisheries in different parts of the country, attended the event, which aimed to provide an update on the progress made through the Scientific Eel Fisheries and to recognise the contribution of the fishermen to date.

The project (a network of scientific fisheries for eel around Ireland) covers the different life stages (elver, yellow and silver eel) and is distributed in key catchments around Ireland.

The purpose of the fisheries is to increase the knowledge around eels in Ireland ahead of the next EU review of this endangered species and to inform the management of eel populations which are currently in decline.

In total, there are 11 fishermen involved in the initiative with many experienced in fishing for eels over several years. Since last year, they have provided support to Inland Fisheries Ireland by helping to fish for eel in a conservation focused manner with a view to gathering necessary data which will help protect the species into the future.

Their local expertise and historical knowledge around eels in their local area has given invaluable support to Inland Fisheries Ireland during the set up and delivery of the Scientific Eel Fishery.

Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “The commercial fishermen involved in this project have historical and local knowledge around eel habits in the area. In many cases, this has been passed down through the generations. This important partnership between eel fishermen and research has one shared objective, to improve our knowledge of the state of the eel populations and to ensure their conservation for future generations.

“IFI appreciates the benefit of Citizen Science programmes such as this one, which will preserve the heritage of eel fishing and at the same time deliver on the research requirements needed to report to the EU.”

The involvement of fishermen in the Scientific Eel Fisheries plays an important role in respecting the tradition and heritage of eel fishing in Ireland. Many of the fishermen come from families where eel fishing has been practiced across several generations with expertise and knowledge passed down through the years.

Until next time … stay safe on the water.