Sunday, 9 October 2016

Shocking photographs of the OPW "Brutal bank clearance on the Bandon River, Dunmanway

Friends of the Irish Environment is today (07-09-2016) publishing a Report obtained under Access to Information on the Environment showing shocking photographs of the Office of Public Works’ brutal bank clearance on the Bandon River beside Dunmanway’s Long Bridge in September 2015. 

The site is host to a dense colony of the protected fresh water pearl mussel, and the Report details ‘removal of riparian trees and vegetation and disturbance of the ground resulting in the presence of large amounts of loose soil.’ Subsequent reports by the National Parks and Wildlife Service include photographs showing the river entirely overwhelming the silt fences put in place to prevent erosion. 

Friends of the Irish Environment has written to the Minister, highlighting the dangers to the environment of the OPW’s highly interventionist approach to urban flooding which emphasises hard landscape measures over catchment management and soft measures. The disastrous approach demonstrated in this Report is being replicated in the flood management schemes across the country. 

FIE Photographic Report   /    OPW Report   /   Letter to the Minister

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fisherman threatens to sue OPW over ‘destroyed’ fishing pool

Article Published on Mayo News 20 September 2016

A CORK fisherman is threatening to sue the Office of Public Works, claiming it destroyed a fishing pool adjacent to his property on the River Moy. Tim O’Mahony claims that work the OPW carried out on the river last year resulted in 300 tonnes of silt running back into the river and destroying the pool, known as Howley’s Pool located on the River Moy between Swinford and Foxford.

The Cork resident owns a fishing lodge beside the pool, which he hires out to anglers. Claiming it is now unsafe to fish along the river bank, he says his business has suffered as a result.
“It is dangerous to walk along the bank because of what the OPW has done,” he told The Mayo News. “I was told they [OPW] are entitled to do whatever they wanted and there is nothing I can do about it. What they have done is horrific. The pool is no longer a pool … it is gone.”
Mr O’Mahony explained that the OPW extracted silt from the river last September and built up the riverbanks. However, he said once heavy rain arrived in November the silt and soil from the bank flowed back into the river, and he claimed this has destroyed the fishing pool.

“I went up around October and they [the OPW] had nearly finished. It looked a fabulous job, but I knew straight away when I saw cracks in the bank that it was going to go. A couple of weeks later it was all back into the river—and this was before the major floods. The bank and the pool has been totally destroyed. It makes me sick to even talk about it. It is sick to think that a government body created this mess,” he said.

Mr O’Mahony said he has been fishing on the Moy for over 30 years and bought the house beside Howley’s Pool ten years ago. He says fishermen would fly in from all over Europe and stay at his house to fish on the Moy. He has met with the OPW and Minister of State, Se├ín Canny, to try to get the river restored, but he says he has been left frustrated by their lack of urgency.
He has now engaged a firm of solicitors and has threatened to sue the OPW unless they come up with a plan to restore the pool.

“We are giving them seven weeks to come up with a plan to rectify the damage that has been done. This has been going on for nearly a year, and if they do not come up with a plan we will have to sue the OPW,” he said.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Fishing Etiquette Comparisons

Combat Fishing
I've been wanting to write something, anything on fishing etiquette for some time but have not got around to it. So lets start, what is fishing etiquette, why is it so important and read the comparisons from around the world on it.

I think fishing etiquette can be best described as a set of basic rules of common conduct and courtesy while fishing. If you are a visitor or new angler to an area its best practice to ask first what the local etiquette is around fishing. It can be so easy to unintentionally step on someone's toes or cause an annoyance. Fishing etiquette, if followed correctly ensures there is harmony and cuts down on conflict or annoyance to others while enjoying a peaceful and tranquil past time.

I've gathered some interesting articles from different sources that outline the different points of Etiquette. Some are universal while other points differ.

Friday, 16 September 2016

The Salmon Hat-trick

published by Simon Toussifar

The phone rang, it was one of my fishing buddies. The conversation was the usual, we need rain, lots of it. Where are the salmon... Next flood we'll get a good run of fish surely? Having watched the 5 day forecast with anticipation, it appeared that heavy rain was finally due. So the usual ritual ensued, preparation of fishing gear, flies and make arrangements to get out!

The Bandon River
A good amount of rain fell a week and half into the month of September after a very long dry spell so there was an expectation of a good run of fish. The river came up and started to drop. It was time to go fly fishing. I met the fishing buddy that morning and off we went on a mission to catch salmon!

Desert Bridge Bandon River

On arrival the water looked perfect, still up high with the colour clearing. No sign of fresh fish travelling, a few coloured fish jumping alright. First pool worked it down and nothing. Moved on to the next pool and cast the fly across waiting for that subtle take. Then sure enough as the fly swung around I felt that slow pulling of the line, it was the unmistakable take of a salmon. Doing nothing as is the way when salmon fly fishing when a salmon takes I let the fish turn to hook itself and slowly but firmly pulled into the fish so setting the hook.

I was using my 12 foot Shakespeare Oracle double-hander with Hardy Marquis No.2 fly reel. A nice setup that rarely fails. It wasn't a big fish but fought well doing acrobatic jumps and darting up and down the river. I called the buddy to come over with the landing net and do the honours. Well done lad he said. A nice coloured 4 pound salmon. We released it straight away. You'll probably get a second fish knowing your luck he said.... I laughed and said you know what that sounds about right while casting the line across the water.. Then no sooner had the words been uttered... bang.... another fish on...

Simon Toussifar
This was a bigger fish I could feel the weight of it bending the rod forward. It jumped to reveal itself, wow... A double figure coloured fish... The battle continued with the fish running and charging towards me. And that lovely clicking sound of the Hardy reel as the fish ran with line.... This is what its all about.... The fish finally came to the landing the net weighing 12 pounds. It was a coloured hen fish so we wasted no time and returned it back to water carefully...

You lucky bugger he said... You might aswell go for the Hat-trick now.... Two casts after he said those words... bang and into a third fish... Hey I'm on again I said... What!!! This was another big fish... It battled hard and took its time getting into the landing net. 14 pound coloured hen fish, again we wasted no time in returning this fish and it took a few moments to recover before swimming away.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Life of a Salmon

Adult salmon change their appearance from silver to darker colours during their stay in fresh water. Those that have changed to the spawning livery are referred to as "coloured salmon". Those that survive spawning again change their appearance back to bright silver as they prepare to return to sea. The silver is caused by excretion of a substance called guanin beneath their scales which protects them from salt water by stopping their bodies absorbing excessive quantities of salts. This is but part of a process called osmo regulation for that purpose. Salmon migrate to the sea as smolts and return a number of years afterwards.

Those that come back to the river after one winter are classed 1SW those that have stayed a little longer but not another winter have a '+' added to their class i.e. they are 1SW+ All 1SW fish are called grilse. A fish that has spent two winters in the sea is classed 2SW and most of the spring salmon belong to this class. Really large salmon spend more time in the sea before maturity and may be 3, 4 or 5SW.

After spawning salmon are called 'kelts' or "black salmon". Those weakened fish start to drop downstream and begin eating to recover condition. Female fish are the most likely to survive spawning because they head downstream immediately after laying their eggs. Males keep scouting around the redds looking for new females and fighting amongst themselves to mate with them, consequently the huge majority of them perish in the rivers and provide a source of protein that is appreciated by future generations as it recycles through insects etc. Kelts are very easily caught and occasionally beginners mistake them for 'clean' fish, a term used to describe a fish that has entered the river and has not yet spawned, and usually a specimen that is in reasonably bright condition. By contrast kelts and fish that are near to spawning are described as unclean fish.

One further confusion remains the 'baggot' or 'rawner' both terms are used to describe fish that shed their spawn late or not at all. Such fish are occasionally caught in springtime on the early rivers and indeed some salmon may spawn as late as March month. Baggots can be distinguished by their soft flesh, distended bellies and sometimes open vents.

No doubt over the years many of them have been accidentally kept as clean fish because they are clearly not kelts and indeed some fishermen were known to favour killing them. They must not be killed because it is morally and legally the wrong thing to do.

Photos Compliments of Fly Angler Simon Toussifar Copyright Protected

Kelt- thin and lanky in appearance. This fish is bright silver and preparing to migrate back to the sea. (C) Pic. Safely Released. 

Fresh run salmon - deep and well conditioned, silver in appearance, firm flesh and a strong fighter. Does not feed in fresh water and is a challenging quarry (C) pic. a kept fish.
Coloured female salmonDark coloured, distended belly heavy with eggs and the vent beginning to open are sure signs of the latter stages of preparation for spawning (C) pic. Safely Released.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Inland Fisheries Ireland announces agreement with Angling Groups on Trout Production

The Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) met yesterday with a joint delegation from the National Anglers Representative Association and Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland to discuss IFI’s proposal to exit the production of trout for the re-stocking of angling lakes.

As a result of these discussions the Board of IFI has agreed to defer its proposal indefinitely. However, in the discussions the parties recognized that there are significant economic, environmental and biological issues surrounding the current production facilities which IFI needs to resolve. Inland Fisheries Ireland is committed to developing and seeking funding for a comprehensive strategy to meet current and future trout production needs, contingent on obtaining the significant investment required. The parties to the discussions agreed to continue to work closely together to deliver this strategy.

The Board of IFI wishes to acknowledge and thank all those who have made submissions to the public consultation on IFI’s exiting from freshwater trout production. This consultation process is now closed.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Doctor (51) whose body found during Galway lake search was top cancer surgeon

Article published from

Doctor (51) whose body found during Galway lake search was top cancer surgeon. Tributes have been paid to the top cancer surgeon who died in a boating accident on Lough Corrib in Galway yesterday. Dr Curran's body was found west of Camillaun Island, around four miles from where he set off in the Oughterard area.

Dr Curran was originally from Oughterard, Co Galway and lived in Dublin.
Tributes were paid to Dr Curran on social media as news of his death emerged.

Professor John Crowne expressed his sympathy: "Very sorry to hear of sad death of Prof Aongus Curran RIP. Fine man and outstanding cancer surgeon."
The body was brought to University Hospital Galway.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.
The alarm was raised on Friday after his fishing boat was found.

At least 10 local boats were assisting emergency services in the search.
Professor Curran was one of the top cancer specialists in the country.

He was responsible for setting up a rapid access clinical at St. Vincent's Hospital for patients with suspicious neck lumps in order to aid the speedy diagnosis of malignancy in patients with head and neck cancer.
It was the first clinic of its kind for head and neck cancer in Ireland.