Thursday, 5 October 2017

My overview of Season 2017 on the Bandon River

Written and published by Simon Toussifar

It has to be said the season of 2017 on the Bandon River was very disappointing. The catch numbers were not steady and satisfactory as stated on certain social media reports. The spring fish were few and far between in the earlier part of the season however one or two were caught which is custom for the Bandon every year. 


Spring fish caught April 2017. Photo: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Looking back at June we had a small run of salmon during the first flood of that month. A few photo's emerged of Bandon Angling members catching fish however this window of opportunity was short lived and so were the run of salmon. 


June 2017 Salmon during the first flood

June on the Bandon is usually a great month for grilse but the downstream dredging works below Bandon town were definitely having an impact on salmon/grilse migration as the month went on.




The usually good months of July and August saw very few fish running even though reports stated one or two fish were caught on worm and shrimp, these fish would have been left over from the first flood in early June. 

There were reports of trapped salmon in pools below Bandon at the height of the dredging works. One of the onsite ecologists hired to oversee the dredging had put his own health and safety at risk by running behind a moving track machines blind spot while attempting to rescue a trapped disoriented hen fish.

Onsite health and safety concerns in a desperate attempt to rescue a trapped salmon

Anglers and nature lovers spoke of their concern over the resident brown trout, salmon smolt and lamprey populations below Bandon town during the dredging works. It is unknown of their fate but it is feared these fish may have suffered a high mortality rate. These fish should have been removed and transported to safety prior to dredging works commenced. 

Inland Fisheries Ireland would not comment on water quality concerns even after members of the public made numerous requests asking for an update on the river dredging.






The month of September saw a trickle of tired stale fish move up river mostly during the weekends while the track machines below Bandon had stopped work. 


Coloured fish safely released after photo
Looking forward to season 2018 it most likely the Bandon River will be made a Catch & Release river to ensure the protection of future salmon and allow the river to replenish after the invasive in-stream dredging works of 2017.