Backing for brown trout lobby over Corrib pike row

Eamon O Cuiv

A former government minister has urged the current minister with responsibility for Lough Corrib to issue an unequivocal statement that brown trout will remain a priority in the last remaining wild brown trout fisheries.

Moycullen native Seán Kyne, the junior minister at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment with responsibility for Natural Resources, Community Affairs, and Digital Development, has declined to comment on any recommendations on policy change before a review into the management of wild brown trout fisheries is completed.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IF) is due to complete its report early next year and trout anglers believe the body which controls the waterways, including Lough Corrib, will recommend an end to pike control which would lead to a mixed fishery.

Trout anglers have launched a campaign to fight for pike culling to continue in order to ensure that trout remain the dominant species in the last seven remaining wild brown trout fisheries in Europe.

Deputy Eamon Ó Cuív has called on the Junior Minister to make a clear ministerial statement in advance of the review.

“I think he [Seán Kyne] needs to come out and reiterate to the IFI that trout in the wild brown trout fisheries have to be the priority. I’m not against pike or pike fishing but the preservation of the trout has to be a priority. It must be a matter of national policy,” he told the Connacht Tribune.

“He must make this ministerial statement before the review is completed. There’s no point in doing a review based on ground works that are not clearly based.”

Last week, a delegation of Connacht anglers met with top EU officials in Brussels as part of their campaign to maintain the trout havens.

Martin Kinneavy, chairperson of the Connacht Angling Council, John Gibbons of Oughterard Anglers and Boatmens’ Association and London-based environmental scientist, Roderick O’Sullivan, held discussions with top officials from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment, including Environmental Director Dr Michael O’Brien. The meeting was facilitated by Midlands-North West MEP, Marian Harkin.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.