asked the Minister for Fisheries whether he is aware that "the Blackwater Riparian Owners' and Anglers' Association," with a membership of 200, has been established for the protection and development of the salmon and trout fisheries on the said river; whether he has received a request from the members of the said Association as to the necessity of holding public inquiry into the causes which have led to the very serious diminution of salmon and trout in the upper and fresh water portions of this river; whether it is intended to grant the inquiry asked for, and if, owing to the lack of funds for said fisheries, he will advise that a special grant be made for these protective purposes.
CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - BLACKWATER FISHING INTERESTS.
A copy of a resolution passed by the Blackwater Riparian Owners' and Anglers' Association has been received stating that salmon was almost totally absent in the fresh waters of the River Blackwater and attributing this to certain illegal practices. The Association was requested to supply more definite information as to the nature of the alleged illegalities, but up to the present has failed to do so. My Department has out of the limited funds at its disposal made a special grant of £300 to the Lismore Board of Conservators for the protection of the local fisheries.
Would the Minister be prepared to consider the question of introducing legislation which would provide for the removal of existing weirs and artificial barriers so that the fish may have free and uninterrupted passage to the upper reaches of the rivers?
I do not think that I would be prepared to do that.