By Donal O’Regan
The Shannon, Mulcair and District Anglers have accused the ESB of failing in their responsibility of protecting salmon stocks in the lower Shannon and Mulcair river systems.
They say poaching is rampant in the tailrace in Ardnacrusha, Newport, Pallasgreen, Cappamore and around Keeper Hill.
“It is with great regret that the majority of anglers feel betrayed and let down by the ESB. The apathy of the ESB to ensure efficient protection has now reached crisis point as the Mulcair river system heads towards closure.
“Anglers are being forced to accept further restrictions year on year as the poachers are free to net salmon; fish from boats on the Shannon which is illegal; spear salmon under lamp in the upper reaches of the Newport river and main Mulcair.
“The situation is so grave that individuals and groups of up to half a dozen have been witnessed illegally fishing with rod and line during the closed season. Protection is inefficient and many of our members would say ‘non-existent’,” reads the statement form the Shannon, Mulcair and District Anglers.
“Our club have and continue to highlight these issues with both the ESB and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). The ESB currently have contracted the IFI to protect their waters but unfortunately the current level of protection is pathetic. While we do appreciate IFI resources are stretched – it is the ESB who must take responsibility for the current situation,” they add.
In response, the ESB said a partnership group, formed to address the practical concerns of the Mulcair angling clubs, consists of ESB, IFI, Mulcair Angling Club and Limerick & District Angling Club.
“This group meets before and after the season and has proven to be successful in the management of the Mulcair fishery. More....