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Loughs Agency asks anglers to play their part in conserving and protecting salmon and trout

Loughs Agency asks anglers to play their part in conserving and protecting salmon and trout

Date: 02/03/2021


Whilst some anglers enjoyed success on the rivers within Foyle and Carlingford in 2020, Loughs Agency continues to take a precautionary approach in line with national and international trends.

The State of the Salmon Report published by the international lead on salmon management, the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO), highlights the worrying and continuous decline in the populations of the Atlantic salmon. NASCO states ‘it now takes about double the amount of eggs to produce one adult (compared to 1990’s) that will return to that same river to spawn – an indication of the multiple pressures facing the species throughout its complex life cycle’.

This decline continues to be reflected locally, with rivers such as the Finn in County Donegal, failing to reach its conservation target in 2020 and therefore will continue to operate on a catch and release basis for the 2021 season.

Loughs Agency is calling on anglers to take steps to ensure sustainability of the fisheries of Foyle and Carlingford.  It is imperative that we all take a forward thinking approach that balances responsible angling and sustainability.

There are various pressure points, many of which are combined or interconnected during the life cycle of salmonids, with the actions of mankind very much a common thread.  Therefore, Loughs Agency is asking anglers to play their part in conserving and protecting these important fish.

Anglers are encouraged to:

  • Update their catch return and fishing effort regularly throughout the season on the elicence website.  This data is used to help Loughs Agency manage the fishery using real-time data.
  • Keep Loughs Agency’s 24hr Response Line telephone number +(0) 44 2871 342100 as a contact on their phone and report any concerns directly and promptly. Loughs Agency relies on reports of illegal fishing and pollution from the public.
  • Practice catch and release.  Many anglers already do this, with around 45% of anglers not taking carcass tags when they purchase their licence.
  • Implement biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • For the 2021 season Loughs Agency is issuing a maximum of 1 blue tag for the period 1st March to 31st May and/or a maximum 2 black tags for the period 1st June to 31st October, depending on the type of licence purchased. Tackle shops have been instructed not to issue more than these maximum quantities for the 2021 season.
For further information on season dates, licence and permit requirements in the Foyle and Carlingford areas visit the Loughs Agency angling pages.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Following the Government’s advice in relation to COVID-19, Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise our capacity to continue to deliver our services as best we can.