A FRESH call by game angling groups in the Republic for a major cull of pike in wild trout fisheries has divided the angling community on both sides of the border.
Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state body responsible for fisheries in the South, is currently reviewing its trout and pike policies with an initial focus on pike management in designated wild brown trout fisheries such as loughs Mask and Corrib. However policy changes could have a major impact upon fisheries which straddle the border including the Melvin, Erne and Foyle systems.
Some anglers believe pike stocks to be a threat to trout and have been campaigning hard for a cull in an effort to influence the outcome of the review which has sought the views of the Trout Angling Federation of Ireland, the National Anglers Representative Association, the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs and the Irish Pike Society.
A spokesman for IFI described the campaigning as ‘regrettable’ and added,
“Given the strongly held views of the two angling stakeholder groups involved, trout anglers and pike anglers, it is IFI’s view that consensus will only be achieved if representatives from both groups participate in a constructive and respectful way in the current process, and away from mainstream and social media.”