Representatives of the OPW and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) are to be invited to meet Mayo Co Council representatives in Ballina to consider how to improve salmon fishing on the Moy.
The meeting was proposed by local Cllr John O’Hara who told a Ballina Municipal District meeting that he had received a lot of calls expressing concern about how bad the fishing has been in Ballina and Foxford.
Last September the IFI’s manager for the River Moy, Mr Declan Cooke, told the Western People that salmon catch numbers on the Moy for the 2019 angling season had been unexpectedly low and “really very poor”.
The 2019 season total catch was just over 4,000 which represents a 20% reduction on the Moy’s salmon catch total for 2018 which was 5,200.
More concerning is the fact that, with minimum floods, the weather conditions were mostly conducive to a good season this year which leaves the drop in catches unexplained.
Speaking at last Wednesday’s Ballina Municipal District meeting, Cllr O’Hara argued that the stretch of the Moy between Ballina and Foxford needs to be dredged and its banks cleared.
If Ballina is to continue to be marketed as the Salmon Capital of Ireland then the river needs to have a better stock of fish, he stressed: “We should call a meeting in January and come together with the IFI and OPW to get things moving. Salmon angling and the proposed Salmon Life Centre are things we need in order to be able to sell Ballina.”
Ballina Municipal District cathaoirleach, Cllr Michael Loftus, supported Cllr O’Hara’s notice of motion.
He said the OPW should be asked about cleaning the river, given that lots of debris has been washed into it during the storms of recent years including 129 bales of silage.
Noting that the town should be referred to as the Salmon Capital of Europe, Cllr Annie May Reape said it was also unfortunate that freshly caught wild Moy salmon cannot be eaten in any of the town’s local restaurants.