Inland Fisheries Ireland is currently recruiting for Seasonal Fisheries Officers. Here two staff members tell their story of what the job is really like on the ground.

A Fisheries Protection RIB in action.

Michael Kelly is an Assistant Fisheries Inspector from Cavan, working in the North Western River Basin District.

Assistant Fisheries Inspector Michael Kelly


How did you become a Fisheries Officer?

I came from a farming background so I have a love of working outdoors. Apart from that, I am also a carpenter so when a vacancy for a General Operative in fisheries arose which allowed me to use my carpentry skills and to work outdoors, I went for it. I progressed from there to become a Fisheries Officer and now an Assistant Inspector.

My background in farming is useful in this job. Landowners are one of the biggest stakeholders. It is important to us to have a very good relationship with them as we are dealing with them every day.

What does an average day look like?

My work mainly is on the development side of things in fisheries. I’m fairly new in the post. An average day for me is going in, checking emails, going out on site in the afternoon with staff, assessing structures that have to be replaced, replacing these structures and surveying the quality of them, dealing with landowners, ordering various materials and making sure there is a work plan for staff on the ground.

What is your favourite part of the job?

My favourite thing is being out and about, meeting different people. They will tell you areas where they believe suspicious activity is going on or areas that we can improve from a development side of things. Maybe areas that used to be good fishing spots but infrastructure now needs repair. Angling is very important to the local economy so it is nice to be able to contribute to this.

Cavan is a haven for coarse fishing so we have a lot of angling infrastructure that needs management. It’s good to get input from the public and local businesses.

What is the most challenging thing about the job?

Some people traditionally don’t want fisheries or the public on their land. There might be issues with access so you have to respect that.

We also work to many deadlines which can be challenging.

What do you think are the most important skills needed for the job?

Common sense and good judgement. You’re dealing with the public the whole time so you have to be a good communicator. You have to be observant and you need to be able to remain calm if a situation develops in front of you.

You have to remain calm, talk to the person if they are committing an offence, sometimes people genuinely won’t know they are doing something wrong so you need to keep your composure and explain to them. It’s always important to be courteous to members of the public.

What would you say to someone considering a job in fisheries?

I would say if you have a love of the outdoor life, then definitely apply to fisheries. You will have a great time, you will learn about fish and their habitats as well as the environment, get to meet people and it could potentially turn into a lifelong career for you.

Paul Reynolds is a Fisheries Officer from Galway working in the Western River Basin District.

Fisheries Officer Paul Reynolds


How did you become a Fisheries Officer?

I started in fisheries at the age of 19. I began as a General Operative, getting a contract working on Lough Corrib and it went from there. I just had an interest in fishing. I am 23 years in fisheries.

What is your favourite part of the job?

The best thing is the variety of the job, no two days are the same.

What is the most challenging thing about the job?

The most challenging thing is dealing with some members of the public plus technology and social media bring their own unique challenges.

What do you think are the most important skills needed for the job?

You need to have good people and communication skills. You need to be able to get an overall view of a situation and communicate it. You need to be streetwise, that’s the biggest attribute you need. Once you have that, the rest will come in time.

What would you say to someone considering a job in fisheries?

I would say it is probably one of the most rewarding careers you can get in the public service. The variety of the work we do, the equipment we use and the way we use it is very interesting.

Fisheries Protection Kayak Patrol

If you would like to work outdoors and help protect the fisheries resource, visit for further information. The closing date for applications is Friday, 8th of February 2019.