Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (41)

Michael Healy-Rae


41. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding the issuing of brown tags in Waterville, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2467/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Salmon rivers are managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in accordance with the annual Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Regulations which set out the status of each river. Where the available surplus of fish on any river is low, the regulations provide for a brown tag system, in addition to the normal blue tag requirement, to protect vulnerable stocks and, if necessary, the spring run of fish and to assist these stocks to remain within safe biological limits.

From 17 January to 11 May 2021, brown tag regulations apply to the Currane Catchment. IFI uses its established lottery system to facilitate the fair and transparent distribution of brown tags available. Anglers seeking to secure a tag were required to apply by 5 pm on 8th January. 52 applications were received. In advance of the lottery, IFI consulted closely with local angling interests and engaged in an extensive public information campaign on brown tag requirements during the relevant period and the distribution method for tags.

15 tags were issued on 10 January and 5 additional names were drawn as alternates. The lottery draw was made in Waterville by local IFI management and two members of the Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust acted as independent observers.

An additional 10 tags will be issued on 7 March and the final 9 tags will be issued on 11 April. The closing date for application for the March draw is 5 March and the April draw 9 April. Similar public information campaigns will take place for the March and April lotteries.

Anglers not in possession of a brown tag may still fish in these waters during the period 17 January to 11 May 2021 on a catch and release basis in line with the conservation imperative.