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Irish Specimen Fish Committee Update

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The Irish Specimen Fish Committee would like to update anglers on progress with the 2021 Annual Report and Awards Day. The report is being finalised now with a view to being published in April. The usual Awards Day event held in February every year was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation, but it is planned to have an event at some stage in 2022.

We would like to remind all anglers of the importance of proper fish handling for all species. Excessive handling and time out of water is harmful to fish, and so should always be minimised. This is particularly important for species like shad as they are less hardy than other fish.

Finally, some Specimen fish rules updates for 2022:

  • Corkwing wrasse length – 2021 was a data collection year for this species in order to set a realistic threshold. Data showed that the guideline length of 20 cm total length (TL) was too low. The new threshold is being set at >24 cm total length. This will apply to all claims received in 2021 and from now onwards.
  • Twaite Shad – the threshold length from 2022 onwards is 50 cm total length. From 2022 no weight-based claims for shad will be accepted. The only exception is where a record shad is being claimed.
  • Perch – length-based specimen category added with a threshold of 40 cm fork length
  • Grey Gurnard – threshold weight reduced to 600g and length based specimen category at 40 cm total length introduced

The ISFC may advise of more changes before the 2021 annual report is published.