Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
304. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will allow salmon fishing on the River Barrow for the 2012 season on a catch and release basis as part of the process to determine the salmon stock levels in the river. [28770/11]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Pat Rabbitte): As the Deputy will be aware, the performance of salmon rivers is assessed on an annual basis by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) with a view to providing advice on the management of the fishery in the coming year. I am at present awaiting the scientific and management advice from IFI, which will inform how the salmon fishery, including in the River Barrow, is to be managed in the 2012 season. Draft Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations will be published for public consultation later this year, in accordance with the Inland Fisheries Act 2010.
Not anticipating the advice for 2012, I am informed that the salmon stock in the River Barrow continues to be considerably below its conservation limit at approximately 40% of that limit. This is based on standard methodology including surveys of spawning beds, fish populations and habitats, as well as juvenile electro-fishing results. Given the very low level of stocks even angling on a catch and release basis would not be permissible within the criteria adopted by IFI due to the fact that mortality associated with catch and release could be detrimental to the stock without contributing significantly to the stock assessment.
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