The fishing was poor on the opening day of the trout fishing season on Lough Derg on March 15.  Some 34 trolling rods fishing out of Garrykennedy produced just 11 trout over the legal limit of 14 inches. The best was caught by Sean Lyons (2lbs 1 ½ ozs). There were some heartening signs regarding stocks of undersized fish: One boat returned five and another boat returned three.

We hope the forthcoming Mayfly season, the highlight of the angling year on Derg,  will be better than recent years, which have shown a steady decline in catches.

Water quality, invasive species, predation and changes in weather patterns are issues that have been attributed to the fall off in catches. The closure of the lake’s only trout hatchery at Mountshannon a number of years ago may also be a contributing factor – but in the absence of scientific data we don’t know for sure what the problem is.

Anglers are hoping that the publication of a scientific study on native fish stocks in the lake, due for publication by the year’s end, will provide some answers. Dr Fran Igoe   is collating the data for the study and it is called the Lough Derg Native Fish Bio-Diversity Study.

Peter Gleeson

Nenagh Guardian

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