On 25 October 2018 Minister Richard Bruton signed into effect the Designated Salmonid Waters Bye-Law No. 964, 2018. As the body that consists of the thirteen trout angling clubs around Lough Corrib, in Co. Galway and South Mayo, the Lough Corrib Angling Federation wholeheartedly welcomes this step. Last Easter we met with the then minister Sean Kyne and with local staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland. Minister Kyne indicated then his intent to bring this bye-law forward and we are happy to see that his ground work has borne results.
Of the hundreds of lakes in Ireland the bye-law names seven waters, including Lough Corrib and all its tributaries, as wild salmonid waters requiring special treatment. The bye-law sets out three important measures.
There is an explicit prohibition on the transfer of fish of any species into these waters without the prior written consent of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
The bye-law relaxes the extreme restrictions on the taking of pike by rod and line from the named waters. These restrictions had been introduced nationally in response to a problem of over-exploitation of pike in some midland lakes. The restrictions never made sense in lough Corrib and we welcome their lifting.
Thirdly, the key to the future is contained in just fourteen words:
The designated waters shall be managed primarily for the benefit of wild salmonid species.
Wild salmonid species refers to trout and salmon. Galway salmon weir is world famous and Lough Corrib is renowned as the best wild brown trout fishery in Europe. Our Federation lobbies on behalf of Lough Corrib. Our Cairde Loch Coiribe group raises money which is spent on the protection and development of spawning streams. Our associated Carra Mask Corrib Water Protection Group works to promote the highest possible water quality in the entire catchment. We look forward to continuing the work of our group to give effect to the aspiration that the waters shall be managed primarily for the benefit of wild salmonid species. We look forward to a co-operative relationship with Inland Fisheries Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and with any agency that can help to protect and develop this wonderful lake.