€230k funding to enhance top salmon habitats

Inland Fisheries Ireland yesterday approved €230,000 for a number of projects aimed at enhancing some of the country’s top salmon habitats.

The funding will assist a series of small and large-scale schemes such as spawning ground enhancement, repairs to weirs, river bank protection, fencing to restrict livestock access to rivers, and the removal and control of exotic invasive species.

The rivers to benefit are Castletown, Fane, Dee, Boyne, and Vartry in the north-east; Nore and Suir in Kilkenny and Tipperary; the Blackwater in Cork; Lower Shannon; Newport in Mayo; and the Glen and Crana in Donegal.

Joe McHugh, the natural resources minister, encouraged angling clubs and community bodies interesting in the promotion of wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout fisheries to consider seeking funding, in 2015, for projects under the annual Salmon Conservation Fund.

Part of the angling licence income is set aside by Inland Fisheries for projects to help rehabilitate wild salmon and sea trout stocks.

Beneficiaries of the 2014 funding include angling clubs, private fishery owners, riparian owners, and tourism organisations.

Mr McHugh said the works are seen as an important initiative to conserve, develop, and protect the country’s valuable natural resources and bolster angling and commercial activities.

Suzanne Campion, head of business development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said applications were over-subscribed and received from across the country.

Funding was aimed solely at salmon habitats, she said, and the evaluation process, in any project, involved issues such as water quality, planning, and core benefit for the sector as a whole.

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