Winter fishing opposed on lough sheelin by lstpa
The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association (LSTPA) has said that it will oppose any moves to open the lake to anglers during winter. Lough Sheelin closed on Monday of this week, October 12, to all anglers and will remain closed until March 1.
The issue arose after the Inland Fisheries of Ireland (IFI) mooted the possibility of leaving the lake open, while exploring other ways of conserving trout stocks in Sheelin. It also comes as trout by-laws are being reviewed.
Amanda Mooney, director with Inland Fisheries Ireland for the Shannon Basin, pointed out to The Anglo-Celt that “there are other Brown Trout Fisheries open all year round”.
While emphasising that the lake will remain listed as one of the wild brown trout fisheries under its remit, she added: “The IFI have to manage Lough Sheelin similar to all the other wild brown trout fisheries.”
Ms Mooney pointed out that the possibility of keeping the lake open all year long was discussed in consultation with the clubs as part of the trout by-laws that are currently being reviewed. “It was designed to gather a sense as to what the clubs’ thinking is towards this matter, and is there a better way to manage the stocks on those particular lakes, other than the current regime,” she said.
“The question does arise - why is one lake unique from everywhere else? There is pike fishing on Lough Corrib in the winter time and it is a wild brown trout fishery. As a fishery manager, I have to pose these questions.”
Meanwhile, Michael Callaghan from the Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association (LSTPA) explained to The Anglo-Celt: “I would be totally opposed to it because we feel it would impinge on our trout stocks. While people might be targeting pike, they will catch trout. There are big treble hooks used in pike angling and trout will be killed, that would be our fear.”
He made the comments following last weekend’s one-day trout angling event, the Sheelin Stream Rehabilitation competition, in which over 240 anglers participated.
At the presentation dinner afterwards in the Crover House Hotel, he told those gathered that proposals are being mooted to introduce a new set of by-laws to cover all the lakes in the Upper Shannon Region.
“We have no problem with most of the by-laws that are being proposed – we can live with a two fish limit and size limit,” he told the anglers present.
Mr Callaghan further said that he never remembers Lough Sheelin being open during the winter and that pike anglers are welcome to fish the lake during the angling season, provided they adhere to the current regulations.
Anglers from all over Ireland and from England and Scotland competed in last weekend’s competition, the eleventh year of the Sheelin Stream Rehabilitation Competition.
Eamon Ross of LSTPA told the Celt that this is the biggest one-day trout competition in Ireland. “We had 240 anglers out there today, and all the proceeds from today go into stream rehabilitation,” he enthused.“In the last five years, we have spent in the region of probably €150,000 on stream rehabilitation and improving habitat for young trout and it is having a huge impact on the lake,” added Mr Ross. He went so far as to say that Lough Sheelin is one of the best trout lakes in Europe. “The lake has been closed for angling for well in excess of 60 years, once the trout season is over. From our perspective, we don’t want to see any change in that. It would have an enormous negative impact on the wild trout population,” he said.