A West Cork lake is to earn green credentials following a ban on petrol and diesel engine fishing boats in a bid to reduce anglers’ carbon footprints.
Inland Fisheries Ireland has announced it is introducing regulations which will only permit battery-powered engines on Shepperton Lake near Skibbereen from January 1, 2020, and will look to set an example by removing its four petrol engines from use at the lake.
For €30, anglers can now rent a refurbished boat and the boat hire will include a one-day fishing permit for up to two anglers - however anglers will have to provide their own battery-powered engines.
A similar setup in at Ballinlough, Leap, has been in operation for a number of years.
Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District, said: “This initiative was proposed by the local Inland Fisheries Ireland ‘Green Team’ as a quick and simple measure to reduce carbon emissions.
We are pleased to offer this green solution to anglers at the lake while also maintaining the permit price once again this year.
Meanwhile, Inland Fisheries Ireland has started an assessment and monitoring programme in the Lough Currane catchment in Kerry in an attempt to understand why the sea trout population has declined in the area in recent years.
The project follows complaints of reduced catches from anglers.
The research will be coordinated and conducted from Met Éireann’s Valentia Observatory in Cahersiveen where research officer Ryan Murray from Inland Fisheries Ireland will be based and will be supported by local fisheries staff.
In addition to the sea trout assessment, the team will also work on a salmon monitoring programme which will aim to determine if population trends between the two species are related or independent.
Dr Cathal Gallagher, head of research and development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “This research will collect vital information on sea trout which will ultimately inform management strategies which may be required to combat the possible deterioration of sea trout in the Currane system.
I would like to acknowledge the support of Met Éireann for this project and we look forward to working with local anglers on the ground to help establish the status of sea trout populations.
Researchers will examine important aspects of sea trout ecology throughout their life stages.
Inland Fisheries said habitat surveys will “map important spawning and nursery areas while electrofishing (a benign technique used to catch fish by stunning them for a short period of time) will be conducted to assess juvenile fish population trends against previous studies in the area”.
Sean Canney, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, said “the Currane system is an internationally renowned angling hotspot for salmon and sea trout and hosts some of the longest-lived and largest sea trout found in Ireland. However, recent indications from angler rod catch reports suggest declines in sea trout populations in the system and I support Inland Fisheries Ireland’s attempts to get to the bottom of these developments”.