CON­FUS­ING IR­ISH FISH­ERY STA­TIS­TICS

Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Letters -

HAV­ING JUST read the March is­sue I was struck by your edi­to­rial on the catc­hand-re­lease pro­pos­als. I have started to fish for salmon this year on the Nore river in the south of Ire­land, which has a catch-and-re­lease-only pol­icy. It also has a sin­gle bar­b­less hook restriction and this year banned worms as bait. The Slaney is now closed for salmon fish­ing, which is wor­ry­ing for us on the Nore. This got me won­der­ing about the sta­tis­tics of salmon catches in Ire­land so I looked at the Fish­eries Ire­land web­site and found data go­ing back to 2001 and up to 2015, which at one stage states that salmon har­vest is down by 91 per cent. So we had bet­ter give up now. That is un­til you look at the rod-and-line stats where the catch re­sults have re­mained rel­a­tively sta­ble at about 24,000 per year while salmon li­cences have de­creased from 32,814 in 2001 to 18,460 in 2015. Less fish­er­men catch­ing more fish can­not be. Last year I went to the Drowes river for a week. I caught none but saw at least 80. Only two had been landed that week com­pared to 130 the week be­fore. They used to ask “Do all liars fish or are all fish­er­men liars?” but it is also said “There are lies, damned lies and sta­tis­tics”. Kevin Meagher, Kilkenny

A salmon comes to the net on the Nore: is fish­ing un­der threat on the river?

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