Following complete closure of Lough Gill for salmon angling in 2007, The North Western Regional Fisheries Board has announced that salmon fishing will again be allowed on the lake, on a limited basis, from New Year’s Day.
Under strict new regulations, however, any salmon caught from 1 January to 11 May, must be handled carefully and returned alive without being removed from the water. During this period, anglers will be permitted to use only single, barbless hooks and worms will not be permitted as bait. From 12 May to 31 August, anglers may kill up to three salmon per day and all legitimate methods will be allowed. During the month of September, anglers will be permitted to kill just one fish per day.
The Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Roche, welcomed the new regulations. His Board had been hoping that the fishery would be open on a limited basis in 2008 and he was delighted that the Standing Scientific Committee and the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, T.D. had now agreed to reopen the fishery on New Year’s Day, a traditional day for anglers to fish Lough Gill. Mr Roche said that it was imperative that stocks of spring salmon were conserved and, for that reason, the fishery was being open on a strictly Catch & Release basis for Spring fish.
The Fisheries CEO confirmed that the new regulations would also apply to the inflowing River Bonet and to the Garravogue River when the season opens there. He said he had been assured by representatives that anglers would comply with the new restrictions but he warned that any flouting of the law would result in the return of a complete ban on salmon fishing in the early part of the year. Mr Roche said he hoped that, in due course, Spring salmon stocks would recover sufficiently to allow a limited number to be taken annually.