Regulations and by-laws to govern wild salmon and sea trout fisheries in 2017 came into effect on January 1. Inland Fisheries Ireland will also carry out a full review of the ‘catch and release’ element of fisheries management policy ahead of the 2018 season.

Drowse Fishery

Fly fishing for spring salmon, grilse, gillaroo trout on the River Drowse and Lough Melvin

“In all, 73 rivers will be open for angling activity in 2017, and this will provide opportunities for all to share  this important natural resource on a sustainable basis,” remarked Sean Kyne, Ministeer of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

46 of these rivers will be ‘fully open’ and a further 27 for angling on a ‘catch and release’ basis. Management advice also recommends a further 73 rivers should be closed for lack of fish surplus.

Since 2006, fisheries management has been based on scientific advice; however Minister Kyne is to explore whether “changes” might a be of benefit. In advance of the 2017, legislation, Inland Fisheries Ireland gave advice on more than 140 genetically individual wild salmon stocks, based on the scientific assessment of the current status of all stocks, conducted by the independent Standing Scientific Committee on Salmon.

This committee comprises scientists from IFI; BIM; MI, Loughs Agency; the National Parks and Wildlife Service; Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, other State bodies and third-level institutions.

Over 90 public submissions were considered as part of the public consultation process ahead of the 2017 conservations measures