5th July 2018
Due to ongoing heatwave conditions across the country Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is appealing to anglers and fishery managers to voluntarily cease salmon angling on catch and release rivers with immediate effect due to high water temperatures and the current drought conditions. The agency also advises for conservation purposes on open rivers that anglers should cease angling once their daily bag limit is reached, in the interest of conservation.
With regard to keepnets or retention sacks/slings on coarse fisheries, the agency advises that this practise should be suspended at this time. Should the current weather conditions continue, IFI may consider the introduction of emergency conservation legislation.
We at Off the Scale also concur with these sentiments from IFI. Fish welfare must come first during the current heatwave, among the hottest and driest conditions experienced in Ireland since 1976. Species such as trout, salmon and pike are particularly susceptible to low flow rates and lower-than-normal oxygen levels, meaning they take far longer to recover following capture and are at considerable risk of death. Angling for these should be limited if not cease altogether. For other species, remember to keep fish as wet and cool as possible wet when out of the water, minimise their time spent on the bank/boat and ensure that the fish is fully revived/recovered before release, even if this takes several minutes.