Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Management of each of Ireland’s more than 140 salmon rivers, including the Maine, derives from the individual conservation needs of the rivers as each has a genetically unique stock of salmon. The annual management advice of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IF) is supported by the annual assessment of individual stocks by, and scientific advice of, the Technical Expert Group on Salmon (TEGOS).
I am advised by IFI that fish counters are one component of the assessment process and TEGOSdrawson a number of data sets including rod catch, commercial catch and catchment wide electro-fishing in its assessments.
These assessments also take account of 5 years of the most recent data across all data sets. This is done to assess multi-annual trends, and so that data from a single year does not disproportionately affect the scientific assessments based on the established precautionary principle.
The Maine counter differentiates between salmon and sea trout based on signal size and run timings. A large sea trout can be mistaken for a salmon. However, IFI installed cameras on the Maine counter in 2009 and in 2020 the cameras were upgraded and new high definition cameras were installed. The information from the HD cameras is that the numbers of large sea trout in the system are not significant. IFI has plans to upgrade the weir further, subject to environmental and other assessments.
I attach a comprehensive IFI briefing note on the setting of the available surplus on the river for the Deputy’s information.