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Ireland on the Fly: Castleconnell – an historic fishery with hopes for the future


This week’s episode is a fascinating look at the famous Castleconnell Fishery on the River Shannon in Limerick with Pat O’Connor who is chair of the Castleconnell River Association.

It’s a fishery steeped in history when it was internationally renowned for its huge salmon in the 1800s to the early 1900s and it became a thriving centre for tackle development including the Castleconnell rod.

Enright salmon flies with tied in eyes

But since the Ardnacrusha development dammed the lower part of the Shannon in 1929 to provide power for the nascent Irish Free State, the fishery became a shadow of itself, and coupled with modern day issues around salmon numbers, it’s reckoned that they’re now at just 3% of their historic levels.

But, the Castleconnell River Association is trying to do its part in helping to save the existing broodstock and increase the numbers through conservation measures and ambitious projects.

Pat O’Connor takes Tom & Daire through the incredible history of the fishery as well as the work they are doing with some hope for the future.

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