THE Loughs Agency, which protects waterways in the Foyle and Carlingford Lough systems, has launched a sea trout tagging scheme in the Foyle area. The T-Bar Anchor Tags initiative is part of ongoing studies into the ecology and migration patterns of sea trout and will inform future management about fish populations, according to the agency.
All anglers are asked to assist with identifying and reporting any sea trout they catch with one of the tags.They will be orange, approximately 5cm in length and carry the agency phone number. Call or text the telephone number on the tag (00447736374136) to report your catch.The sea trout does not need to be retained, catch and release is recommended. Do not remove the tag from the fish as it may be caught again and provide further useful information.The important pieces of information to note are:
· Tag number (4 digits)
· Date caught
· Location caught (river and stretch)
· Length (if possible)
The habits of the sea trout around our coasts remain largely a mystery though there are healthy populations in some areas including the Foyle, Carlingford and Strangford Lough where attempts have been made to stock the area and create a saltwater flshery. Some important streams have been lost. Ballyholme Burn was an important sea trout spawning ground in the 1960s. Sea trout still run into the Enler and Dibney rivers and the river at Crawfordsburn in the autumn.The latest studies in the republic have established that fish can travel large distances to feed and spawn – including as far as the Welsh coast.
Meanwhile The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland is seeking expressions of interest from experienced anglers to lead three Youth Teams to the World Stage in 2018 and beyond. The current Youth Team manager, Jack Tisdall will present the teams at the World Youth Angling Championships on Inniscarra Lake this August but his term comes to an end at the end of the year when he will retire from the role. It’s desirable for applicants to have an understanding of angling at International level but not essential as the succesful candidate will have the full support of the National Executive and Senior Team managers. You should hold a coaching certification or be prepared to train and pass Garda Vetting/Access NI checks and will be required to attend meetings, seek sponsorship and submit reports and accounts. This is a volunteer role but finances permitting, overseas team travel is subsidised. Assistance with logistics and administration can be provided by the executive if required. Closing date for applications is July 31. Contact Der Casey at email@example.com
And finally a new campaign has been launched to raise awareness about the Common Skate and to remind sea anglers that it is a protected species in Northern Ireland. Part of the ongoing ‘Watch out for Wildlife Crime’ public awareness campaign by the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime NI (PAW NI) the new guidance aims to better protect our Common Skate. Common Skate is an endangered species and is protected in Northern Ireland out to six nautical miles. While once abundant, it has become very rare in UK shallow seas and in European waters. It is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly take, injure or kill Common Skate and sea anglers must not deliberately target the species. The maximum penalty on summary conviction for such an offence is a fine of £5,000 and/or imprisonment for six months.