Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (321)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

321. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if the fisheries board had a by-law passed at some stage to change the date of the Maine-Brown Flesk river opening dates from 17 January to 17 March; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11330/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I am advised that bye-laws drafted by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) or its predecessor, the South Western Regional Fisheries Board (SWRFB), and subsequently enacted, did not affect the opening date of the Maine/Brown Flesk River. IFI’s research indicates that CS No. 61 of 29 June 1910, set the close season for salmon fishing by single rod and line, in all rivers and their tributaries flowing into the sea between Dunmore Head and Dromgorm Point, both in ‘No.7 or Killarney District’, in Co. Kerry. This closed season was set from the 1 November each year to the 16 March in the following year, inclusive. The opening date would therefore appear to be 17 March each year.

IFI further advise that Under the Salmon and Trout Conservation Bye-Law No.623 of 1981 the beginning of the annual close season was amended to 1 October in each year. The closed season for salmon fishing by rod and line in the River Maine/Brown Flesk and its tributaries is 1 October each year until 16 March in the following year, both dates inclusive. This bye-law did not affect the opening date which remained at 17 March. I can therefore clarify for the Deputy that it would appear that the opening date of the River Maine/Brown Flesk and its tributaries has not changed for more than 100 years. IFI’s advice on this matter is that in practice there is little point in this fishery opening before the 17th March due to the late run nature of the fish in the river and the risk of early anglers harming recovering kelts on their return to the sea.