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Press Release 10th August 2006



The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board would like to remind all anglers in the districts of Dundalk, Drogheda, Dublin and Wexford that under the new salmon and sea trout regulations, catch and release is mandatory from 1st September until the end of the fishing season.

In the fishery districts, where mandatory catch and release applies, there is a ban on worms and anglers must use single barbless hooks. One tag must be retained by anglers and all fish caught and released must be recorded in anglers’ logbooks. The Board would also like to remind anglers’ to return their logbooks by 19th October 2006.

Mandatory catch and release is part of a series of new regulations aimed at conserving and protecting Irish salmon stocks. *(Please see notes to editor) Within the Eastern Region salmon stocks are at extremely low levels. On the River Liffey the rod angling catch in 1988 reached an all time high of 800 salmon which dramatically declined to 37 salmon in 2005. Similarly the River Slaney in Wexford in the early 1980’s would have had 1,583 caught by rod and line; by 2005 this figure had plummeted to 311 salmon. The Board’s catch and release figure of 6.4% in 2005 is below the national average of 12% and it is hoped these new regulations will increase this figure greatly.

Pat Doherty, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board was anxious to stress that it is in all our interests to further promote and practice catch and release to protect stocks in our region and nationally: ‘The most significant contribution an angler can make to a fishery is to practice the correct method of catch and release. I hope the new salmon and sea trout regulations including the catch and release efforts by anglers help to improve our salmon stocks which are at unsustainable levels in most of the Eastern Region’.

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board would like to invite anglers to send in photos of fish they have caught and released in the Board’s region. The best photo or series of photos will be posted on our website: and will receive a prize of a high quality fly rod and reel. Don’t forget to learn the correct steps required to return the fish appropriately and in a manner that allows for minimal harm to the fish.

There are five steps that need to be followed to ensure the survival of the fish:

1) Using the correct tackle and equipment - anglers should use single barbless hooks and note that it is prohibited to use worms. Anglers should have the correct equipment including pliers, scissors, long-nosed forceps, a large diameter knotless landing net and a tape measure

2) Playing the Fish - avoid exhausting the fish, in a river move the salmon out of the current into quieter water, bring it quickly to the bank or boat

3) Landing the Fish - keep the salmon in the water at all times even when taking photographs, use a large diameter landing net with a soft, knotless mesh, always use wet hands when handling the fish, do not use a tailor or a gaff, and do not beach a fish

4) Removing the Hook - Wet your hands and keep the fish in the water, take care not to squeeze the fish or hold it by the gills, support the fish from underneath and remove hook with hands or long-nosed forceps

5) Releasing and Reviving the Fish i.e. support the fish in the water facing the current, hold fish gently until it is capable of swimming away, Avoid weighing the fish – measure the length with a tape measure to estimate the weight.

For a free leaflet outlining the correct catch and release steps and the 2006 Salmon and Sea Trout Regulations, or for further information on fishing in the Eastern Region, please e-mail or contact the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board on 01-2787022.


Media enquiries: Marketing Coordinator, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, 087 2746127

Download the brochure "Information for Anglers" [.pdf, 780 KB]

*Notes to Editor

1) Summary of new Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Regulations 2006

Please note the following regulations in relation to the taking of salmon and sea trout by rod and line for 2006.

There is an annual angling bag limit of 10 fish per angler of salmon or sea trout (over 40cm). Subject to the maximum annual bag limit of 10 fish an angler may take:

Mandatory catch and release operates from the 1st September in 8 fishery districts – these are Dundalk, Drogheda, Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick, Galway and Sligo.

In the 8 fishery districts where mandatory catch and release applies from 1st September:

It is illegal to sell any salmon or sea trout caught by rod and line from 1st January to the 31st October

Angling logbooks must be returned by 19th October 2006


(These guidelines have been prepared for information purposes only. The holder of a rod licence should familiarise themselves with the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations, S.I. 208 of 2006)

2) For further information on the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Statistics Report, please visit the Central Fisheries Board website:

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