Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state agency that has responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats, has launched an important public consultation on the future management of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme.

The state agency is encouraging anyone with an interest in the area to submit their views on how the tagging system, which started in 2001, can be improved and modernised. It is especially keen to hear from salmon and sea trout anglers, angling clubs, commercial fishermen and those businesses that distribute salmon and sea trout licences, such as fishing tackle shops.

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme was set-up twenty years ago to record the issuing of wild salmon and sea trout licences, gill tags and logbooks to both recreational anglers and commercial fishermen and to process details of fish catches on a database for further analysis. It was part of a series of measures introduced to help with the management and conservation of Ireland’s wild salmon and sea trout populations, which have been in decline.

Figures from the 2020 Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report show that 14,138 salmon and sea trout licences were sold to recreational anglers in the state last year, which were a mixture of virtual licences sold online and hard copy licences sold over the counter in shops. In addition, 78 public commercial licences were made available to commercial fishermen in 2020.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is now carrying out a review of the whole tagging system, to see how it can be made more user-friendly in the future and to ensure that it can provide the agency with real-time, accurate data to assist with the protection, management and conservation of wild salmon and sea trout.

Public Consultation on the future management of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme – how the public can submit their views before the closing date of Wednesday, December 1st 2021 (at 5pm).