Briggs nets first salmon of season

THE first salmon of the 2012 salmon angling season was landed on the River Liffey last Sunday.

Declan Briggs landed the 8½lb. bar of silver at 9.50am at Islandbridge, upriver from Heuston Railway Station. The salmon was taken on a yellow devon minnow with a single barbless hook. The catch was witnessed by Joe Delaney, Inland Fisheries Ireland Fishery Officer.

Declan is a member of the Dublin Salmon Anglers, a club that has existed on the Liffey since the mid 1950’s. He played his part in research being carried out by Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) on the River Liffey by taking scales from this multi sea wintered salmon before releasing the fish to continue its journey upriver.

The River Liffey is closed for salmon fishing as it is not reaching its conservation limit. However, for one day only, January 1, the Dublin Salmon Anglers are permitted to fish for salmon under a Section 59 Authorisation from IFI . This authorisation was granted to the club in an effort to gather research for IFI scientists.

This catch augers well for the capital’s three salmon rivers with the rediscovery of salmon in the River Tolka in 2011, and now the River Liffey has produced the first Irish salmon of 2012 season.

Since the ban on drift nets in 2006 and the various conservation measures in place there has been an improvement in the numbers of salmon returning to Ireland’s 168 indexed salmon rivers.

Munster’s River Blackwater’s salmon season has been extended to October 12 for 2012 — only the second time that an extension has been given and the first time it has been announced before the New Year to enable anglers make plans in plenty of time to make the most of the extra 12 days of fly-only Catch and Release autumn fishing.

To celebrate the opening of the new salmon season Blackwater Lodge is offering a limited number of places for a free day on February 1 , which will include coffee/tea at the Lodge between 8 — 9 am before heading to the river to wet the first lines of 2012.

Fishing on the day will be fly or spinning only. The Lodge does not allow worming in the early part of the season until the management are satisfied that all the kelts are safely out of the river. All types of state licences will be available at the Lodge on the day.

Elsewhere, Crosshaven Sea Angling Club members have been out over the past few weeks fishing their winter series of shore angling competitions in Cork Harbour’s environs. Returns, however, have been poor for the hardy competitors.

Their more recent outing was fished at Cobh from 6 pm to 10 pm. The competitors returned a very poor eleven fish catch that consisted of 3 cod, 2 lesser-spotted dogfish and 6 whiting.

Results: 1, Christy O’Sullivan, 7 fish, 87 points; 2, James Brandon, 2 — 47; 3, Eddie Deasy, 2-42. 4, Liam Long, 2 fish, 26 points; 5, Patrick O’Sullivan, 1-21.

A few weeks earlier Crosshaven SAC members held a rambler shore angling competitions in Cork Harbour. The competitors returned a poor catch of 15 fish that consisted of one flounder, three cod, two lesser-spotted dogfish and six whiting.

Results: 1, Tom Hanlon, 3 fish, 47 points; 2, Martin Perryman, 2 — 42; 3, Anthony Austin, 2-42. 4, Paul Hanover, 2 fish, 26 points; 5, James Brandon, 1-21; 6, Tony Hallahan, 1-21.

In County Kerry Waterville Sea Angling Club members, have also been braving the wintery weather to fish their club winter series of shore angling competitions.

On a most recent competition, club anglers fished Reenroe Beach from 11 am to 4 pm. The competitors shared a catch of 53 fish on a 3.7 meter tide. The anglers caught 45, 27 lesser spotted dogfish, one turbot and seven bass.

Results: 1, Aidan O’Halloran, 11 fish, 554 points; 2, John Osborne, 9 fish — 373 pts; 3, Pat Egan, 7 fish — 320 pts; 4, Chris Nelms, 9 fish — 314 pts; 5, Eugene Farrelly, 5 fish — 287 pts; 6, Aidan O’Sullivan, 5 fish- 197 points; 7, Joe Murphy, 5 fish — 68 pts; 8, Josh Corbett, 1 fish — 32 pts.

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