Towards the end of last year the Kilbride Anglers Club came joint second for their works on the Kells Blackwater in the Canon Ellison Awards. The Ellison Awards were set up in 1990 to commemorate Canon Ellison, who while ministering in Navan in the 1960s set up the local Meath Association of An Taisce with the aim of acquiring ownership of the title of the Boyne Navigation. They achieved this in 1969 when John Spicer signed the title over to An Taisce. Canon Ellison is author of a number of books including ‘The Waters of the Boyne and Blackwater’ (1983), and ‘The Hopeful Traveller’ (1987) which documents the life of Daniel Augustus Beaufort.

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Kells Blackwater

The Kilbride Anglers Club have a government lease for fishing on parts of the Kells Blackwater from Bloombury Bridge downstream to Liscarton, other parts are Navan Anglers waters, with whom Kilbride Anglers share fishing waters on a reciprocal basis. With the eventual proceeds of an action taken over a major fishkill in 1997 received, plus support from Inland Fisheries Ireland and The Salmon Conservation Fund, the Club began remedial work on the main river and tributaries to improve spawning for trout, salmon and other species found there. This work involved buying and installing boulders to create pools and spawning tail-wags on the main river.

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The Club also improved spawning streams by raking, adding gravel and removing bankside vegetation, which was preventing necessary daylight from reaching the river. Sun light is necessary for all life-forms to develop. The work was undertaken with the permission and encouragement of riparian owners. It also entailed hire of heavy duty machinery and drivers for transport of gravel and boulders. While the work is on-going the River and tributaries have now the potential to become an example to other clubs to improve the natural food chain and fish stocks of their waters.

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John Harnett Chairperson of An Taisce presented the plaques and certificates, stating that it was wonderful to see people from both Meath and Louth bringing life back into old buildings and preventing them from falling into total dereliction, thereby protecting our heritage for future generations.

Paddy Kelly
Kilbride Anglers Club