Sea Trout ‘may offer better sport than salmon’
The sea trout has usually been seen as an ‘inferior’ species to the salmon but, in the eyes of many, this perception is now changing.
Source Inland Fisheries Ireland / The Irish Times
According to the Irish Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd speaking at a presentation to hear the findings of the Celtic Sea Trout Project (CSTP). “The enigmatic sea trout is now regarded by many anglers as a fish which offers better sport than the salmon.”
Funded by the EU Interreg-4A Ireland-Wales programme, the CSTP set out to establish ‘where sea trout go to at sea’ and ‘what makes a good sea-trout river.’
Speakers including Nigel Milner, Willie Roche, Katie Sumner, Paddy Gargan and Graeme Harris spoke of their findings to enable a better understanding and management of sea trout stocks in freshwater and marine environments.
In order to achieve this goal, CSTP worked closely with anglers, fishery owners and marine fishermen throughout the six administrative regions bordering the Irish Sea to obtain biological samples and the required feedback to complete the project.
From sea trout scales a broad pattern of life histories emerged of faster growth and more multiple spawners in southern Welsh rivers; higher survival but slower growth in the north-western English rivers and lower survival off the Irish coast - the Currane system in Co. Kerry being a notable exception, with a high proportion of long-lived adult sea trout.
A genetic study found nine groups within the six regions and significant differences in the areas these groups occupied during their marine migration. This was demonstrated by some migrants that were recorded up to 300km from their river of origin.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is currently formulating a salmonid west project, based on the CSTP project, to extend from Kerry to Donegal and to take in parts of Northern Ireland. And IFI spokesman Willie Roche commented:
“We are seeking stakeholders to finance the project and hope to be up and running in 2014.”
Concluding his address, the Minister said that angling is hugely important to the tourist industry and the economy. A recent survey estimated that angling tourism spend is €750 million per annum, which supports 10,000 jobs. The survey also identified that more than 250,000 anglers in Ireland generate €470 million of the total spend.
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