Inland Fisheries Ireland to Carry Out Major Stock Survey on Lough Ree
Inland Fisheries Ireland are currently carrying out a complete fish stock survey on Lough Ree to assess the current status of coarse, pike and game fish populations in the lake. The survey started last Monday, 24th February, and will continue to 14th March 2014 and will involve netting of 200 sites throughout Lough Ree. The survey will involve a total of five boat crews, two safety crews and processing crews who will be casting five nets each day. The nets will be placed in their location each morning and then retrieved each evening and then placed in a new location the following morning. Anglers and other boat users should be very careful around the nets in order not to foul their propellers and to aid this each net will have at each end a buoy clearly marked “IFI SURVEY”. The nets are two meters deep and can be several hundred meters long and will be placed on the bed of the lake so in shallow water it may mean that the top of the net is just below the surface.
The time of year of the survey is comparable with netting surveys on other major lakes in Ireland over the last 30 years or so. The type of information gleaned from the survey will include catch per unit effort (CPUE’s) for each fish species, size distributions of fish caught, aging for all species and microsatellite (DNA) analysis (for brown trout). Sampling to assess the distribution of introduced (invasive) species will be carried out, with particular reference to the invasive ‘Asian clam’ Corbicula fluminea.
The genetic analysis of the brown trout will contribute the survey work carried out in 2013, with participation from anglers on Lough Ree, Lough Derravaragh, Lough Owel and the River Suck. In 2013 anglers sampled scales from adult trout caught in these areas and submitted these samples to IFI for DNA analysis. In addition all the major sub-catchments around Lough Ree, River Inny and River Suck were electro-fished in 2013, to help build up a baseline by which adult trout caught in Lough Ree, River Suck or Inny Catchment can be attributed to the rivers in which they were spawned. This is very exciting work and will help build up a picture of what rivers (or parts of river sub-catchments) are contributing to the adult brown trout populations on these major lakes.
Similar work on the major western lakes have shown that the native brown trout can undertake extensive feeding and spawning migrations and has also shown (for example the ‘Croneen’ trout of the Camcor/Little Brosna system) that there are genetically distinct populations of trout which undergo large migrations from specific river systems to feed in large lakes like Lough Derg and Lough Ree.
Another aspect of this current netting survey will involve floy tagging of pike. Floy tags will be inserted below the dorsal fin of the pike and each fish will be released. Each tag will have a unique reference number which can easily be identified on later recapture of the pike. Anglers will again be asked to record these tag numbers and potentially the length of fish, particularly during the major pike angling tournaments on Lough Ree in 2014. This will work as a mark-recapture method for estimating pike numbers in the lake. It could potentially provide information on the growth rate of pike also.
Inland Fisheries Ireland have paid tribute to the angling clubs for their support and contribution to the survey datasets over the last twelve months.
One of the marker buoys which IFI will use to mark the position of the nets
A pike with a Floy Tag in the Dorsal fin which will be inserted by IFI during the survey on Lough Ree
Annual General Meeting 2014
The following motions were passed at this years AGM:
Motion 1(Proposed by Eamon Cunningham)
I propose that we change the prize structure from the following
1st - €150 or catch and release €180
2nd - €70 or catch and release €85
3rd - €60 or catch and release €75
4th - €50 or catch and release €65
5th – €30
Boat Raffle Prize - €30
The catch and release prizes apply to the first 4 prizes and to Trout which were caught, weighed, released and which swim away during the competition.
1st - €150
2nd - €110
3rd - €75
4th - €60
5th - €40
Boat Raffle Prize - €30
In order to win the Raffle prize at least one angler from the boat must be in attendance at the venue at the time of the presentation. Presentations will take place between 9.15pm and 9.30pm
Motion 2 (Proposed by Eamon Cunningham)
I propose that the club hold at least one Pike competition using the measure, photograph, release method