Fisheries Awareness Week came to an end on Sunday 2oth May with a fantastic event hosted by Navan and District Angling Association in Navan, Co Meath. The day kicked off at 11am in the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan with an introduction by David Byrne IFI who welcomed all those attending and thanked Navan and District Angling Association for hosting the event.
David outlined the importance of promoting angling to all and introducing new adults and young people to angling and the angling and aquatic environment.
He said that Fisheries Awareness Week provided a great opportunity to work together with angling associations and the other industry members such as anglers, clubs, associations, federations, fishery owners, guides, ghillies, instructors, educators, boat hire providers, tackle dealers and accommodation providers to achieve this. David also said that Fisheries Awareness Week provided IFI with a platform to showcase the valuable work being carried out by its staff and stakeholders. Thanks was offered to all the IFI staff and Navan and District Anglers Association members who helped set up the two event venues at the Ardboyne Hotel and at Kilcarn Bridge.
Mr Richard Farrelly acted as MC for the day and he introduced the days busy schedule which began with a very informative power point presentation by Peter O’Reilly, APGAI Ire and FFF Master Instructor, who provided his services free of charge for the day. Peter gave a comprehensive talk on staying safe while fishing, how to choose and match fishing tackle and the basic rules of fly casting. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Next on the schedule was a presentation by Dr William Roach Senior Research Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland on the Celtic Sea Trout Project (CSTP). Dr Roach outlined the background to and developments in the Celtic Sea Trout Project and the benefits accruing from the research being undertaken. A valuable question and answer session then followed.
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Fergus O’Dowd TD then addressed the audience. He complemented Inland Fisheries Ireland on valuable research being carried out in this area and commented on how lucky we were to have access to this valuable scientific advise which helped inform management decisions in this area.
Minister O’Dowd then presented awards to 4 of the top contributors to the Celtic Sea Trout Project. Martin McKenny, River Dee, Jimmy Condra, River Boyne, John Harmon River Boyne and Brian McShane, Castletown River.
Following the CSTP award ceremony Minister O’Dowd launched the Boyne Valley Fishery Brochure and highlighted the importance of tourism in this historic area.
Navan and District Angling Association then presented a cheque for €500 to Meath River Rescue.
Following a finger food buffet lunch the event continued in the afternoon with a number of casting demonstrations at Kilcarn Bridge on the River Boyne. Peter O’Reilly, APGAI Ire and FFF Master Instructor demonstrated single handed wet and dry fly casting techniques.
Eamonn Conway, APGAI Ire demonstrated Czech nymphing and New Zeland style nymphing. The demonstrations finished with a double handed casting exhibition by Peter O’Reilly, APGAI Ire and FFF Master Instructor. People were then invited to have a go with the casting instructors.
The event finished with the draw for the competition where young anglers had to guess the length of the fish in the display tank at the river. Three sets of fly fishing gear were awarded to the winners and other prizes included a fly reel and a fishing book. One of the winners of the LMFM radio giveaway competition Gareth Ward from Ardee was also presented with his fishing tackle by Colm Lynch and David Byrne IFI on behalf of the local tackle shops Clarke’s Sports Den, Anglers World Specialist Tackle and East Coast Angling.
The organisers thanked all the sponsors of the event, Hydro International Rotary Club of Navan, Ardboyne Hotel, Clarkes Sports Den, Anglers World Specialist Tackle, East Coast Angling, Peter O’Reilly School of Fly Fishing and Inland Fisheries Ireland.