THE LAST CAST

Bill lands first salmon of 2018

Iarlaith Gallagher

Reporter:

Iarlaith Gallagher

Bill lands first salmon of 2018

Bill Likely displays the first salmon of 2018, a 7.5lb salmon caught on the River Drowes. Photo Shane Gallagher, Drowse Fishery

The first spring salmon of 2018 has been caught. The fish was landed on the River Drowes, Co. Leitrim, on Tuesday January 30, by well-known local angler Bill Likely.

The salmon, which weighed 7.5lbs, was a sea-liced fish taken on a Black and Gold Rapala from the Point of the Meadow Pool shortly before 1pm. Water levels on the river were high at the time, as they have been at the fishery for the first month of the season.

Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, congratulated Mr Likely and said: “To catch the first salmon of the year is an accolade prized among anglers and marks the return of the fishing season every January. Using the event to support a worthy cause such as hospice services puts the iconic salmon at the heart of the angling as well as the broader community.”

“Protecting and sustaining our salmon resource as a vector for development and tourism in peripheral rural areas is among my top priorities,” he added.

The first fish, as is traditional, was prepared for a tasting event held in the Foxes Lair Bar & Restaurant, Bundoran last Friday, to benefit local charities and, on this occasion, the North West Hospice, which ‘provides specialist care with compassion for those living with life-limiting illness in our community’.

Minister welcomes IFI announcement

Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries Sector, welcomed Inland Fisheries Ireland‘s announcement that, at a positive and constructive meeting of its Fish Farming Working Group, it was confirmed by IFI that they will continue to produce fish and make them available to angling clubs throughout 2018, and thereafter.

The Fish Farming Working Group is comprised of members of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Board and Executive as well as the two main trout angling organisations, the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland (TAFI) and National Anglers Representative Association (NARA).

IFI also outlined its actions taken to date in relation to tendering for the design of a new fish farming facility and, at its subsequent January Board meeting held on the 31st of January, the Board agreed to proceed with a tender for this project.

The Board had previously confirmed its commitment to developing a comprehensive strategy to meet current and future trout production needs, subject to securing the investment required.

Minister Kyne said: “The future success and development of the sector depends on the close co-operation and constructive approach of both IFI and the stakeholders, pulling together for the greater good.

“The fact that the Fish Farming Working Group has begun 2018 with such a positive meeting is very much to be welcomed and I look forward to hearing more, and being part of, similar productive dialogue over the coming months and years.”

The Minister also welcomed the Group’s discussions, in the context of the future advancement of the sector, on the wider development of youth angling generally and the potential for developing urban angling locations.

The next meeting of the Working Group is currently scheduled for late February.