Emergency Meeting Calls for Slaney to Remain Open for 2017November 24th, 2016
An Emergency Public Meeting of the Slaney River Trust, attended by 50 people held on Tuesday in Bunclody, called on Minister Sean Kyne to reverse the draft decision to close the Slaney for salmon fishing in 2017. The meeting voted by 98% to call for the Minister to meet a delegation drawn from all parts of the river to hear why, for conservation purposes, it is essential that the river remains open in 2017.
The meeting expressed its disbelief that it was proposed to close the river due to low stock levels when following the removal of over 200 salmon and 2,000 seatrout from the tailrace of the Clohamon weir at the end of July by electrofishing which were put in above the weir ( with apparent significant mortality ), large numbers of fish are still trapped in the tailrace today.
Since then no attempt has been made to release them or the many other fish which have subsequently become trapped. Without immediate action none of these fish will be able to spawn representing a potentially massive loss to the river’s stock.
It was agreed that this situation must be addressed urgently by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department and the local County Councils and a solution found to both prevent fish entering the tailrace and to address the long term issue of waterflows over the weir.
Detailed points made by participants at the meeting included:
In the absence of reliable counter information it was felt that the analysis behind the decision to close the river was largely based on the result of this year’s electrofishing. Concern was expressed as to the electro fishing procedures adopted. Also the 2016 numbers for juvenile fish in some areas will have been significantly affected by the wash out of redds by the exceptional flooding experienced last winter which was a one off event.
The objective of closing the river is to reduce salmon mortality. Closure is likely to increase salmon mortality. The reason is that properly handled fish caught on single barbless hooks returned to the river suffer minimal losses. Based on 2015 catches of 191 fish ( all returned ) a mortality rate of 5% would have resulted in the loss of say 10 salmon. However closure would mean poachers would have easy access to poach. It is not unreasonable to think poachers could take 10 salmon per week or more during the season.
It was accepted that the most important reason as to why the closure would be a conservation disaster for the river was that the absence of legally licensed anglers would mean the policing effort against poachers would be greatly diminished. The staff of Inland Fisheries Ireland do good work but are very under resourced. There should be no doubt that poachers will kill all fish that they take, will use illegal methods of angling and have no respect for close seasons. There have been a number of instances in recent years of spawning fish being taken from the redds. The river is close to the road and wooded for much of its length. Inland Fisheries Ireland cannot adequately police the river without the information flow from licensed rod anglers. The presence of licensed anglers on the river clearly deters poachers.
Information was not available to the meeting on the scientific analysis which led to the decision to close the river because it has not been made public.
All SRT members, anglers on the river and other interested parties were urged to write to the Department expressing their opposition to the closure. The consultation period closes on 11 December and letters of objection should be sent as soon as possible.
28 June AGM gets fascinating presentation on Celtic Sea Trout ProgrammeJuly 11th, 2013
IFI’s Dr Willie Roche treated members at the recent AGM to a presentation on the Celtic Sea Trout Programme. Bullet points on some of the matters covered are included here but we will have to wait until the autumn for the full presentation of results.
Casting Class held on 29 JuneJuly 11th, 2013
The IFI sponsored casting class took place at Clohamon on the 29th of June. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon was had by all with great instruction and tips from Jason O’Riordan and Myles Kelly. See here for a report and photographs .
The November 2012 Vist to the ReddsJanuary 20th, 2013
Now that the spawning season is well over it is is time to publish a short note on, and photos from last November’s trip to the redds.
Casting class held in great September weatherOctober 20th, 2012
The casting class which was originally scheduled for June and washed out was finally held in beautiful weather on the 8th of September. Instruction was provided by Mark Corp, Philip Maher, Mark Patterson and Brian McGlashen. A very informative and enjoyable day was had by all. We hope to repeat it next year. A short report and photos can be seen here.
November 2011 Trip to the reddsFebruary 11th, 2012
About 15 members had a great day out on 26 November when they visited upper reaches of the river. Several fish were seen on the redds and generally spawning was much better than last year. See the report for futher details and photos
Carnew Scouts Kick Sampling TripNovember 23rd, 2011
A group of Carnew scouts supported by the SRT carried out a Kick Sampling exercise on 6 October. You can see the initial report and photos here
Rescheduled Slaney River Trust Seminar was held on 5 March 2011May 11th, 2011
The rescheduled seminar held on 5 March. A report on the seminar will be included in the annual news letter.
In addition to Paul Johnston’s presentation of his second Review of the River Slaney Salmon Fishery, papers were presented by Eamon Cusack on the Legal and Practical Background to Private Water keeper legislation,Willie Roche on Current Scientific Studies in the Slaney Catchment and David McInerney on Inland Fisheries Ireland new structures.
It was explained to the meeting the decision to reopen the river to salmon fishing on a catch and release basis was taken in light of the satisfactory levels of Juvenile stock revealed in the annual electro fishing surveys.
Amongst the issues raised from the floor were questions over the level of predation occurring as a result of the seal and cormorant populations with the suggestion that there were very large populations of seals in wexford harbour. see photo of seals