The first brown tag draw for anglers wishing to catch and keep salmon from Cork’s Lower River Lee is now open

‘Brown tag’ regulations come into force on the river from February 1st 2024, and will remain in place until September 30th 2024, when the salmon fishing season ends.

Commenting on the requirements, Sean Long South-Western River Basin District Director at IFI, stated:

“The numbers of wild Atlantic salmon returning to our rivers is declining. The risk of over-fishing puts stocks in further jeopardy.

Brown tag measures for salmon and sea trout are required on the Lower River Lee to conserve stocks and avoid accidental over-harvesting.

Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over exploitation, this brown gill tag system is introduced to closely monitor the angling quotas.”

A total of 218 brown tags will be available. They will be distributed to anglers with a rod licence via four draws through the 2024 angling season.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time.

Therefore, 55 brown tags will be selected through the first online lottery on January 26th 2024.

The measures are part of the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2023, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, TD.

Interested anglers in entering the January 26th draw can apply through IFI’s online link between January 10th and January 24th 2024 only.

Successful anglers who receive the tags, via the lottery system, place them on the fish – along with a blue tag as proof it was lawfully caught and may be retained for private use.

Anglers not allocated a brown tag are permitted to fish for salmon on a catch-and-release basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Anglers must use catch-and-release methods only, involving single or double barbless hooks. Use of worms as bait is not permitted.

Full application details are available online through, by phoning IFI’s Macroom office on (026) 41221, or by mailing [email protected]