Mr Fergus O’Dowd 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 fishery in 2014. These will come into effect from Tuesday 1 January 2014.
Minister O’Dowd said“I am pleased to note that 87 rivers will open for angling activity in 2014. Fifty seven rivers will be fully open while a further 30 will be open for angling on a “catch & release” basis. This will provide opportunities for commercial fishermen and anglers to share this important resource on a sustainable basis.”
“In 2012 I lowered the cost of fishing licences and I have decided to maintain that price cut for 2014. I am anxious that lower costs will encourage sales of annual licences and incentivise angling tourists to avail of the Ireland’s first-class angling product”, he added.
Minister O Dowd received management and scientific advice on the current status of Irish salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland and considered submissions received through the public consultation exercise. Based on this he has introduced conservation measures for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery in 2014.
In all, the Independent Standing Scientific Committee for Salmon (SSCE) assessed 143 rivers and have advised that:-
• 57 rivers are open as a surplus of fish has been identified in these rivers;
• 30 rivers have been classified as open for angling on a “catch and release” basis only; and
• 56 rivers are closed as they have no surplus of fish available for harvest in them.
The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations for 2014 are in essence unchanged from the Regulations which were introduced for 2013. A number of minor amendments to the Regulations, recommended by Inland Fisheries Ireland, will provide for more effective administration of the tagging scheme regulations in 2014.