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Bundoran charity event next Friday to mark first salmon catch of 2018

February 2nd, 2018 | by

It’s a long-standing tradition that the first salmon of the year is prepared for a tasting event to benefit local charities.

With the first salmon being caught in Leitrim last Tuesday, we are delighted to announce that the North West Hospice, which ‘provides specialist care with compassion for those living with life-limiting illness in our community’, will be the beneficiary of an event being held in the Foxes Lair Bar & Restaurant, Bundoran, on Friday, 9th February from 8pm to mark what is seen by many as being akin to a starter-pistol sounding for the angling season of 2018.

The fish was landed on the River Drowes, Co. Leitrim, on Tuesday 30th January by well-known local angler Bill Likely.

The salmon, which weighed 7.5lbs, was a sea-liced fish taken on a Black and Gold Rapala from the Point of the Meadow Pool shortly before 1pm. Water levels on the river were high at the time, as they have been at the fishery for the first month of the season, but have been decreasing in recent days.

Bill with his lovely fresh spring salmon

Photo: Bill Likely with his lovely fresh spring salmon

 

Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, congratulated Mr Likely and said: “To catch the first salmon of the year is an accolade prized among anglers and marks the return of the fishing season every January. Using the event to support a worthy cause such as hospice services puts the iconic salmon at the heart of the angling as well as the broader community.”

“Protecting and sustaining our salmon resource as a vector for development and tourism in peripheral rural areas is among my top priorities,” he added.

To mark the catch, Fishery owner Shane Gallagher presented the Drowes Perpetual Cup to a delighted Mr Likely, who works on the fishery and is familiar to local anglers and is well-known for his generosity with advice and local insights.

Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Official confirmation of the first salmon catch of the year is always a key event. Last year, the first salmon was caught in the Careysville Fishery on the Munster Blackwater in Cork on February 1st, IFI staff have confirmed the appearance of spring salmon on a number of Donegal fisheries over recent days. The Board of IFI is concerned about the declining abundance of salmon and urges all salmon anglers to practice catch and release angling on all open salmon waters even where there is an available quota.”

The first month of the season has seen near constant flood conditions. This was the scene at the Bridge pool at Lennox's Bridge last week. Water levels are still high but have dropped to 0.944 on the gauge.

Photo: The first month of the season has seen near constant flood conditions. This was the scene at the Bridge pool at Lennox’s Bridge last week. Water levels are still high but have dropped to 0.944 on the gauge.

 

Mr Byrne continued: “We have a wonderful fisheries resource in this country that doesn’t just benefit anglers but offers rural communities sustainable tourism and job opportunities outside of the traditional tourist seasons. Inland Fisheries Ireland continues to work with these communities to develop our angling infrastructure and improve access, through extensive funding grants and sponsorship, with a view to increasing angling participation and growing local economic growth as a result.”

So, if you’re near Bundoran next Friday evening, do pop in. It’s for a great cause.

 


This post is in: Catch of the Week, River Drowes, Salmon fishing reports