Open Season: Salmon and sea trout: 17 March to 30 September; brown trout: 17 March to 30 September. (This season applies to all the tributaries of the River Barrow.)
Salmon (and sea trout over 40cm) fishing is by catch and release only in 2013.
The River Barrow rises on the northern slopes of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and flows north and then east past Mountmellick and Portarlington to Monasterevin. At Monasterevin it turns south and flows through Athy, Carlow, and Leighlinbridge, past Muine Bheag, Goresbridge, Borris, and Graiguenamanagh, before reaching the tide at Saint Mullin’s.
The Barrow is about 120 miles long and drains a huge catchment area consisting of mountain, bog, pastureland, and tillage farming. It is a river that has had recurring serious water pollution problems in recent times, and fish kills have occurred. Some of the tributaries and part of the upper river have had arterial drainage schemes carried out in the past.
The Grand Canal joins the river at Athy, and from there to the tide the river is navigable. The conversion of the river to a navigable channel involved the construction of locks and weirs, which have notably altered the character of the river and have resulted in much ponding and deep water upstream of each weir. The passage of boats can at times disturb feeding trout and be a source of annoyance to anglers.
Ownership of fishing rights on the river has been established only in a limited number of cases, and there is much uncertainty about rights on certain stretches. Some of the fishing is regarded as free. Angling clubs have made arrangements with riparian owners regarding access along the banks of the river, where necessary, and it is this arrangement that allows them to fish the river and its tributaries.
The salmon fishing is generally regarded as poor, and what fish are taken are mostly grilse, taken either during the summer or late in the season.
The brown trout fishing is fair to good and even very good in places, the average weight ranging from 0.5 to 1.25 lb. depending on location. The development of the brown trout fishing on the river is mainly carried out by angling clubs.
Angling is prohibited for 50 yards downstream of Clashganna Weir. Angling is also forbidden for 210 yards below the top lock gate at Lodge Mills and in the tail-race of Lodge Mills discharging into the canal.