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Salmon Anglers invest e180,000 in new facilities

Dundalk Salmon Anglers Association reached a new milestone with the official opening of a host of new facilities last Sunday, provided at a total cost of ?180,000.

In particular among them was the disabled anglers fishing stands, which will enable disabled or handicapped anglers enjoy their favourite sport in comfort and safety, and they have been widely praised for providing these facilities, including by the Louth Branch of the PWDI.

The Salmon Anglers came together as a group of people with the aim of developing the lower stretches of the River Fane as a salmon and seatrout hatchery.

For ten years they paid an annual rent to a Lord Shuckburg in England but, finally, with the help of Board Failte, they bought the fishery from, and it is now owned by Dundalk Salmon Fisheries Ltd., jointly owned by Dundalk Salmon Anglers Association and Bord Failte (Tourism Ireland), leased to the Association on an annual basis.

The Association controls about five miles of river, most of it both banks. Seatrout fishing is good, especially in the late evenings of July and August.

Salmon enter the river when water conditions suit from the beginning of August onwards, and angling for Salmon ends on the Fane on 12th October, one of the latest rivers in the country.

Salmon average about seven pounds weight, and during a good year about 250 are caught.

The Association have always put a lot of effort and money into developing their fisheries. A number of members hold fishery warrants from the local court which enables them to exercise control on the river, and they work very closely with the Eastern Fishery Board.

In 2004 the Association applied to the East Border Region Interreg 111A Fund to build three disabled anglers stands, a car park for members, a new road to their hatchery, river walkway and extra equipment for their salmon and seatrout hatchery, which they had already built themselves.

These facilities, which are on lands owned by Dundalk Town Council and leased to the Association, were officially opened last Sunday, and represent a tremendous achievement for them, with about 20 new stiles and bridges also constructed along the river as part of this programme.

Dundalk Salmon Anglers Association came together with Fane Anglers Club, a fishing club based in Culloville, who have also completed a development of their fisheries.

This has been a very successful cross border development involving two angling clubs from either side of the border. Both will now be publicising and advertising the facilities they have created with the help of the East Border Region Interreg 111A funding.