News and Events May 2015
The seatrout are starting to co-operate again!
This last week has seen a number of fish caught mostly
in the 3 to 5lb bracket! Bob Priestley had two nice fish on the
fly this morning and Rod Robinson released a fine specimen
of about 8lbs, also on the fly.
A fine Specimen sea Trout!
Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust/ Clean Coasts/ Sea Synergy
and Inland Fisheries Ireland joint 'Event' last weekend went
well. Very cold conditions kept the numbers down but those
who came along enjoyed their day!
Looking at the tide line!
Lucy shows the whale and dolphin exhibits!
IFI officers Michael Hennessy and Tim Moor demonstrate seine
netting to show the inhabitants of the inshore zones
Children looking at the salmon fry in the Old Hatchery
This next weekend 16th May the Waterville Lakes &
Rivers Trust, in conjunction with Inland Fisheries Ireland,
Sea Synergy and An Taisce’s ‘Clean Coasts’ campaign,
will be running an activity day for children and adults in
Waterville. This activity day coincides with IFI’s ‘Fisheries
Awareness Week’ and will involve a beach walk with
Lucy Hunt, a marine biologist, to look at local marine
biodiversity, a seine netting demonstration by IFI to
illustrate inshore fish populations and a visit to our
hatchery to see the work we undertake!
All are welcome!!
The Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust, since it’s inception
in January this year, has taken on the work previously
carried out by the, now defunct, Waterville Fisheries
Development Group and like that original organization,
it needs to be funded to be able to carry out its primary
conservation work. Much work is undertaken, on behalf
of members, by a dedicated team of local volunteers.
It is at this time that they need your help! Please show
your support by making your new subscription to the
Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust, through the WFDG
website www.loughcurrane.com if you wish, for the time
We are hoping to launch the new Waterville Lakes &
Rivers Trust website shortly and you will see the exciting
program of work we are undertaking!
We would remind you that every penny contributed to
the new Trust will go into the conservation of this iconic
fishery. Only by purchasing membership and fishing tickets
issued by the Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust and sold by
the Mace Store in Waterville can you be sure that 100%
of your funds are going to support our conservation
" The finest gift to any fisherman is to put a good
fish back and who knows if the fish that you caught
isn't someone elses gift to you" Lee Wulff
The cold wind persists, depressing both the fishermen
and the fish! But nevertheless there has been a flurry of
activity on the salmon front over the last week with a good
number 2SW fish caught, mostly on the troll.
The odd fish has caught over the lies by the ghillied anglers.
There has been a reasonable rise in the Lake level, which
for the past couple of weeks has been extremely low for
this time of the year. We now need some benign weather
to bring on the fish, which are undoubtably in the system!
Good news this week form the Old Hatchery! Tom O'Shea
reports that the all the fry have almost used up their egg
sacks and have been moved into the nursey tanks in
readiness for being converted onto real food! Very few
casualties so far, but the next stage is quite critical!
The unfed fry starting to move on!
It is perhaps worth pointing out at this stage that the hatchery
work is proving itself in the fishery! To date ten 2SW and
one 3SW finclipped salmon, from the hatchery, have so far
been caught on Currane! This currently represents a total of
over 20% of the Salmon caught on the Lough to date have
come from the Old Hatchery. A great result for all the
hardworking Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust's volunteers!
The Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust recommends that
all these wonderful fish and our iconic sea trout are
released to fight another day. They make a valuable
contribution each year to the gene pool and in any event
the large sea trout are poor table fare!
So gentle handling and careful release please!
WL&RT would like to receive scale samples from all Salmon
caught this year, whether fin clipped or not. It only takes a
few moments but it will help to generate valuable fishery
information. An ordinary envelope will do, just hand it in to
one of the ghillies, recording the date, size and weight. Your
help will be much appreciated!
May we also remind you about our Economic Survey! If you
haven't filled one in yet please do it now! It will only take a
few minutes and will provide much valuable information!!
Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust Economic Survey
In order to assess the economic importance of angling to
the area and use it to protect our fishery we have put
together the following questionnaire. The survey will only
take a few minutes to complete and will be fully confidential.
Your assistance in completion of the survey would be greatly
As well as the reward of protecting the Waterville Fisheries,
on completion of the survey you will be in with a chance to
win a free days angling on one of the lakes in Waterville or a
days guided bass angling in the bay.
Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust reports that the
Economic Survey is going well with over 180 responses
Despite continuing cold weather there has been a good
deal more fishing effort this last weekend in the run up
to St Patrick's Day! Several more salmon have been
caught, mostly on the troll and by the reports, all have
been in great condition. After the cold spring so far it's
good to see boats out on the Lake again in good numbers
The Irish Government has applied for a licence for
15,000 ton 1,126acres salmon farms in Galway
Bay to be leased a to a multinational for up to 10
years . This has the potential to create an
This is the 1st application. The Government wants
to increase licence capacity to 150,000 tons on
the west coast of Ireland.
Please help by signing this petition!!!
Well, the season on the Upper Lakes and Rivers opened
on 1st March, but there are few takers! It might have
had something to do with the cold gales and heavy rain!
Members are reminded that from the 1st March until the
30th April they can avail themselves again of the
This is for FLY FISHING ONLY on the Upper Lakes during
the duckfy hatches. The rate this year is €30 per day for
boat and engine - surely one of the best fishing deals in the
State! Those still wishing to troll on these Upper Lakes
must, of course pay the full rate!
The brown trout fishing during this period, weather
permitting, can be first class with bags of trout ranging
from a few ounces to over 3lbs. Why not give it a try?
The scenery and solitude alone makes a day worthwhile!
Do remember that you must be a member to be able to
enjoy this deal, so register your membership now!
Two more salmon caught on Currane this weekend! Noel
Clancy had a fine fresh 13.5 lb fish caught on the troll. Today,
Terence's Wharton, senior and junior, fishing together
reported a 9.5lb fish also caught on the troll.
Interestingly this is the second fish (out of the three caught!)
which was tagged and released as a parr at our hatchery!
The 17.5 lb fish was part of a cohort of parr released into
the Cummeragh in November 2011, this last fish, was also
released as a parr in November 2012.
lets hope this is the start of our spring run!
Local School Children enjoying their visit to the Old Hatchery
at Derriana today!
The children help release salmon parr into the Cummeragh!
First Salmon of the Season!!
Well known local ghillie, Brod Sullivan caught the first salmon
of the season on Lough Currane today! The fish weighed
171/2lbs and was extremely fresh! Lets hope its the start
of a great season!
Proposed Changes to the legal format of the
Waterville Fisheries Development Group
‘The Charities Act 2009’ has come into force but its
importance has really only been highlighted in the last
year where issues arose with the poor operation of some
charities such as Rehab. Among the requirements of the
Charities Act is the establishment the Office of a Charity
Regulatory Authority. The purpose of the Act is to ensure
greater accountability of charities and to protect the public
from fraud and abuse by companies which have
The provisions of the Act are presently becoming effective
and all organizations which carry out any charitable purpose
must register with The Charities Regulatory Authority.
In effect we have little choice but to comply with our legal
requirements as stated in the law and register with the
How will this new Law affect the Waterville Fisheries
Due to these changes it will no longer be possible for our
organization to continue in its present format as we fall
very much under the auspices of the new Act.
The WFDG committee has undertaken on your behalf to
comply with our legal requirments to reorganize and form a
compliant Charitable Trust, which will be called –
The Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust.
Why a Lakes and Rivers Trust?
The new Trust will be an independent organization working for
the Public Benefit. It will be readily able to form Partnerships
without impeding the all important campaigning to benefit of
Angling and other interest groups in Waterville. Charitable
status will confer several important benefits which are not always
available to Public Bodies or vested interest groups. Of vital
importance is the demonstrable benefit, of the Lakes and Rivers
in the Catchment, to the Community of Waterville.
The Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust will have a Board of Trustees
which will oversee the important aspects of the New Trust’s activities.
This volunteer board will freely give of their time and expertise,
including legal, business and accounting, fisheries, agriculture,
tourism and education. The day to day running of the Trust’s
activities will be the responsibility of a volunteer
What will be the benefits of the new Lakes and Rivers Trust?
The main benefits of the Lakes and Rivers Trust, with its charitable
status, are broadly:
It will enable the new Trust to display its charitable, ‘not for personal
gain’ credentials, so helping it to become a creditable organization
worthy of attracting funding. Indeed many funding opportunities are
only available to, or directed towards, charitable organizations.
Charities are well placed to attract public grant aid and private
contributions can often be used as match funding to draw down
additional funding through grant aid, which can significantly add
to the total available to undertake the valuable work we do.
The trust will be exempt from income/corporation tax and will
therefore be able to make full use of its income.
When will this new Trust come into being?
The Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust will be up and running before
the start of the new fishing season on 17th January 2015 and
from that date all contributions will be directed to the new Trust.
The 2014 Season
We are now taking stock of the 2014 Season!
It turned out to be much like the Curate's Egg –
good in parts!! After excellent spring salmon
fishing, which extended from early March right
through to the end of May (unlike last year
where the springers only returned in a very
concentrated run in late April!) the salmon fishing
slowed dramatically. From the middle of May
onwards the sea trout fishing produced some
great catches, including at least a dozen
‘specimen’ fish! The advent of the hot weather
in early July signalled the start of much more
challenging fishing for both salmon and sea trout
throughout the catchment.
At one stage in August, not only was there a
complete lack of rain but also the water temperature
in Lough Currane exceded 20 degrees! This lasted
for several weeks and echo sounders revealed that
large quantities of sea trout were comatoze about
40 feet down in the deepest regions of the Lough!
As soon as the weather cooled, in early September,
sea trout fishing improved dramatically with good
bags of fish taken throughout the system and this
season there were good quantitities of fish in the 2
to 5lb class regularly showing up in the daily catches,
what we think of as our ‘bread and butter’ fish!
On the downside the main grilse run failed to materialise
with very few grilse showing up in catches.
It seems that this has been the pattern everywhere
in the North Atlantic this year. Lets hope they weren’t
‘lost at sea’!
On a positive note we still have approximately 20,000
fry still in the hatchery, ready for release in November.
With the ongoing debate in the angling press about
about hatcheries we will be keeping in close touch with
the science as it develops!
Here are a few images from this season to help
sustain us all until the spring!
Lough Currane in September
A fine sea trout for a visitor!
A Quiet Corner of Lough Cloonaghlin
Searching for a bass on the Inny Estuary
Sunset on Coomcallee
October 12th 2014
Fishing on all the Waterville lakes has picked up
dramatically over the last week or so with good
bags of seatrout being caught. There is a good
mix of fish ranging from juners to fish in the 4 -5
pound class. The last rain lifted the Cummeragh
sufficiently to enable a good number of sea trout
to reach the upper lakes where good catches
have been made, particularly on Namona and
With the season extended again for sea trout fly
fishing until October the 12th, it looks like it willl
be a bumper finish!
Also good news from the catchment generally.
The IFI team has been monitoring the principal
spawning streams in the catchment with, at first
reckoning, excellent results!
We observed one of the operations on the middle
Cummeragh last week, where in just 20 metres of
stream almost 1000 salmon fry were recorded!!
There is certainly no shortage of juvenile salmon
in the Cummeragh! Below are some photos of
the event, which has been repeated all around
the catchment. We eagerly await the final results!
The stop nets are fixed - about 20 metres apart.........
....the team move through with the electro fishing nets
and the fry are placed in buckets. Note the aerator!
Ready for recording!
The fry are counted and measured.....
The raw data from these monitoring exercises will be
transferred to the IFI computers in Dublin for analysis.
We hope to have provisional results later in the
autumn with final results in the the spring. This is an
important exercise which will monitor the present
status of the migratory fish in our system.
Rain over the weekend and the next few days will
certainly perk up the fishing on Currane! There are
plenty of seatrout in the lake but they have been
very reluctant during the hot weather. The water
temperature is now down to a more realistic 17deg.
(62deg F) so, once the lake settles again, the
fishing should be excellent.
The salmon fry in the hatchery have been doing well
despite the high water temperature. There have,
inevitably, been some losses over the last few weeks,
at one stage the water temperature in the tanks
reached 22 degrees! but with the more moderate
conditions the fish will start to grow rapidly again.
The Lough Currane Championship 2014, held on
Friday 8th and Saturday 9th August,
was fished by 22 competitors in very hot and
challenging conditions. The winner this year
was John Holsted, a regular participant and a
previous winner! He caught two good seatrout,
including one over 5lbs, which won him, not only
the Ernest Appleby cup for the longest fish but a
voucher for €1000 worth of fishing tackle courtesy
of John Buckley's Emerger Tackle. The competition
was followed by a lively dinner evening at the
Waterville Inn. Altogether another very enjoyable
We extend our thanks to Derek Evans, angling
correspondent for the Irish Times, who kindly agreed,
once again to present the prizes, to Damien Duff and
his staff at the Waterville Inn for an excellent meal, to
Vincent Appleby for once again photographing and
donating the excellent framed photos of the the
event and last but not least to our hard working
secretary and his fellow conmmittee members,who
helped to ensure the event ran so smoothly.
The motley crew of 2014!
Vincent Appleby presents the Ernest Appleby Memorial
Cup to John Holsted for the Longest Sea Trout! John
was also overall winner for the second time since the
The hot dry weather continues into yet another week!
Fishing on Currane remains challenging, to say the least!
Fresh salmon are however being caught daily with occasional
seatrout showing up.What we need now is rain and plenty of it!
JoJo Daly of Tralee, out trolling with Ghille Frank Donnelly of
Lakelands, landed the 22lb sea liced MSW fish in bright
sunshine,the largest off the Lough for a good few years!
The heavy rain which fell over the last week has certainly
perked up the fishing on Currane! A number of good salmon
have been caught over the last few days and several sea trout in the 2 to 4lb class. (see fishing reports)
Ghillie Neal O'Shea reported tonight that his guests had four salmon and two seatrout today -all on the fly!
Tom O'Shea reports that the fry in the hatchery are doing
well with over 30,000 surviving the difficult transition from
egg sack to dry food!
We have had a major problem with the electronic feeders,
which failed at the the critical time, so Tom currently has to
feed the fish daily by hand until such time as the
manufacturers can forward a replacement part!
The new salmon fry are doing well!!
First MSW hatchery salmon caught on fly today!
Regular visitor from Germany, Michael Schulz, out with ghillie Neil O'Shea captured the fish, which weighed 91/2lbs, on a small Hairy Mary fly off the Grassy Island. Another first for Waterville Fisheries!
Michael Schulz and Neil O'Shea with the fish
The Upper Lakes 'Duck Fly Deal' finished at the end of April
and proved to be more popular this year with over twenty
days booked! A good number of lovely conditioned brown
trout were caught, with the best about 31/2lbs! A number of anglers commented on the quantity of salmon and sea trout smolts they encountered on these lakes. A good sign for the future!
Easter came and went with just a few salmon to
report. Two specimen sea trout of 7 & 8lbs also caught
this last week. It will not be long before their smaller
cousins turn up now and the start of the fly fishing
proper! As we move into May its good to take stock of the
spring salmon fishing so far. Fifty six salmon and one
grilse have been reported so far, an increase of about
10% on last year at this time. What is also significant is
that there have been far fewer boats on the lake, in the
early season, than last year, so if more effort had been
made I'm sure the catch would have been well up by now!!
For the first time for long enough the weather has felt
much warmer these last few days, with a much milder
wind. Lets hope the fish react!!
From the sublime to the ridiculous! From miserable cold
fronts to blazing sunshine and flat calms! A steady trickle
of salmon still coming to the trollers but with the lake now
very low fly fishing remains challenging. A good number of
visitors came into Waterville for the holiday weekend and
at least they had the best of the weather! I hate to say it
but we now need some rain to bring the lake up to a more
fishable level and hopefully bring in some more fish!
The duckflies are still hatching well on the Upper Lakes and
the trout are still mad for them! A good number of decent
brownies have been caught over the last month with fish up
to three pounds from Namona and Cloonaghlin. There are
still a few days left to avail of the 'Duck Fly Deal'!!
This correspondent spent a couple of hours on Derriana
for a total of 20+ brown trout! Several of them were around
the pound mark with many at 1/2lb+. The best was a lovely
conditioned fish of about 21/2lbs. All the fish were released! Why not try a day fishing for wild trout on Derriana, Namona or Cloonaghlin and re-connect with fly fishing at its best!
A wild Derriana Brownie in top condition! Note the Duckfly
imitation in its mouth!
Very blustery conditions on Lough Currane this weekend with torrential rain and gales overnight on Saturday. Martin
Coveney out with Tom O'Shea had a nice fresh salmon of
6lbs on the troll.
Frank Donnelly reports that on Saturday his guest had one
of the biggest brown trout off the lake for some time, a fine
cock fish of 4lbs!
Despite very little fishing effort on Currane this last
week, a number of salmon have been boated. Enrico
Fantasia, a regular visitor from Dublin, out with ghillie
Neil O'Shea caught and released a nice fresh fish of
There are now good hatches of duckfly taking place on
all the lakes, why not give our 'Duck Fly Deal' a try?!!
Enrico with his 91/2lb salmon
First Specimen sea trout of the year caught on Currane!
Regular English visitor, John Allen, fishing with boatman
Jim Sayers, caught the specimen off the Black Rocks on
a small rapala type lure. The fish weighed in the region
of 9lbs and was very fresh and in fantastic condition.
Lets hope we see more of these in the coming weeks!
These magnificent fish, whose genes date back to the last
Ice Age some 12,000 years ago, are the fish which have
made the Waterville Fishery famous throughout the world.
If we continue to treat these fish with the utmost respect,
let them spawn and pass on their valuable genes, our
children and grand children will be able to come to
Waterville to have a chance of catching the decendants of
these remarkable fish.
CPR = Catch, Photograph and Release!
Check into Vincent Appleby's fishing report for more
catches of the day!
The Upper Lakes - The 'Duck Fly Deal'!!
I can report that all the boats on the Upper Lakes are now
launched in readiness for anglers wishing to have a go at
the fine brown trout fishing, which these lakes offer at this
time of year when we have great hatches of duckfly.
Although the trout are not of the size of those in the great
Western Lakes, they average aound 3/4 lb with many up to
11/2lbs and higher caught at this time of year. Beautiful
wild fish straight from the last ice age!
Again this year we are offering a special 'Duck Fly Deal' to
paid up members of the WFDG. Members can book
a day's boat fishing on any of the three upper lakes, Derriana, Namona and Cloonaghlin for just €25!!
This deal is for fly fishing only - no trolling, spinning or bait fishing of any kind Membership Tickets are available, on line, at loughcurrane.com and at the Londis Store in Waterville Tel. 0669474253, where advance bookings for the Upper Lakes may be made.
A typical Derriana Trout of about a pound
The boats are ready on lough Derriana!
More salmon are being caught on Currane as the lake drops
and the weather settles. Liam Ellis had a nice fish of around ten pounds on the troll yesterday.
A grand fish for Andrew Wishart on the fly fishing with
Dominic McGillicuddy over the weekend!
More springers caught on Currane over the weekend despite
difficult weather and a high lake. local Ghillies Bob Priestley
and Dominic McGillicuddy both found fish with their guests.
Dominic's guest caught his fish on the fly!
Neil O'Shea reports that he caught and returned a well
conditioned grilse kelt, which was fin clipped and from our
own hatchery stocking in 2011!! Another first!
The salmon catch is mounting now that the weather has
settled a little! Neil and Tom O'Shea had a lovely fresh fish of over 14lbs within minutes of setting out!!
Local ghillie Dominic McGillicuddy fishing with regular guest
Tom Duggan also had a fish of about 7lbs on the troll.
The first salmon of the season caught on fly by Noel Clancy!!
Second salmon of the season caught on Currane !!
First Salmon of the season!!
Well known local Ghillie, Bob Priestley, Caught the first
salmon of the season this morning whilst trolling in the
vicinity of Morgan's Rock. It was a fresh sea liced fish of
Hatchery Event January 2014
WFDG has initiated a schools program with the Colaiste na Sceilge in
Caherciveen in 2014 to try to integrate our conservation work on the
fishery into the school's environmental curriculum for the younger
age groups. This program is intended to promote a better awaremess
in the pupils of their immediate local environment and to introduce
them to our unique fishery. We have so far given presentations at the
Colaiste to the Principal and teachers and two age groups of pupils.
We were able to organise a visit to our hatchery for a group of 17 1st
year pupils to assist us in the release of our remaining salmon parr!
Much to delight of the children TG4 attended to film the event and you
will see from the following photos that they were delighted to see our
youngsalmon swim off on their journey!
2014 gets off to a good start on Lough Currane with fine
mild weather and little rain. Initial reports say that alot of
kelts are coming to the troll, but no sign yet of any fresh fish.
A boat heads out on opening day!
Back to a warm fire after a mornings trolling!
REPORT ON THE AGM
There was a good attendance at the Waterville Fisheries Development
Group AGM last evening. Our Secretary, Kevin O'Sullivan, gave a
presentation on the work carried out by the group during 2013.
Chairman Michael Roden gave an update on the Group's financial
affairs during 2013 and the current situation. He concluded by making
an appeal to all, to help with Membership Ticket sales in 2014 to
ensure the continued success of the WFDG.
We wish all our Members 'Tight Lines' in 2014!