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Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Loch Corrib Fish Hatcheries.

Tuesday, 18 October 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 224 No. 10

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33.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries when money will be provided for the development of the fish hatcheries and the provision of rearing ponds for Loch Corrib.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Substantial grants have already been provided to assist the Galway Board of Conservators and other local interests in establishing from their resources a major salmon hatching and rearing station at Cong, County Mayo, with the primary aim of improving the salmon stocks of the Corrib-Mask system.

I have already indicated to an organisation interested in the brown trout of Lough Corrib the minimum cost of facilities at a particular site for hatching and rearing brown trout on the large scale appropriate to the trout stocks of that lake. I have not received any intimation that the local interests are prepared to contribute to the cost of such facilities. I should however point out that I am convinced that at best artificial propagation can only fill a minor role in the improvement of trout stocks in Lough Corrib compared with the major work of predator control and improvement of spawning areas which the Inland Fisheries Trust have been carrying out on that lake for a number of years past. As the Deputy is probably aware, the programme for continuance of that work was recently reviewed at a meeting between representatives of the Trust and local organisations.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton The Minister says the important thing is the work of keeping predators down. Is the Minister aware that the Inland Fisheries Trust have taken away three people? They used to have four but they have taken away three, and now there is only one person carrying out this work. Is he further aware that the local estimate is 300,000 fingerlings to re-stock the lake? The estimate was £16,000 for the improvement of the hatcheries and the provision of ponds. Would the Minister make even £4,000 available [1390] to permit of the essential work being carried out now and spreading the rest over a period of years?

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey The Trust are making assistance available to the hatchery this year to enable them to strip the trout. As the Deputy is probably aware, and as a number of other Deputies who are interested, are aware, there is no doubt that natural propagation is the most effective way of increasing the trout stocks. Any money we have——

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon Zoom on James Matthew Dillon Combined with predators elimination.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey Yes—should be devoted to the improvement of the natural spawning facilities rather than on artificial propagation. That is not to say that I do not very much appreciate the efforts of a group of voluntary people no matter where they are who are prepared to give their own time and money and who sincerely believe in the efficacy of this artificial propagation hatchery. This is a very difficult decision to come to. I do know that a number of these Corrib anglers firmly believe in the efficacy of this hatchery of theirs. They have devoted a great deal of time and energy to it down the years and I would be very reluctant to bring its operations to an end out of hand. That is the difficulty with which I am faced.

Mr. Clinton: Information on Mark A. Clinton Zoom on Mark A. Clinton Is the Minister aware that there are 240 boat owners who are at the same time uneconomic holders at the lakeside and that they are £250 per annum out of pocket from the hire of the boats? They allege they are being neglected at the present time. The only assistance they have been getting has practically disappeared and they have no intimation that money is being made available to them.

Mr. Haughey: Information on Charles J. Haughey Zoom on Charles J. Haughey The position is the Trust are devoting more attention to Corrib. As I indicated in my reply, they met the local interests recently with a view to reviewing the whole programme of activities on the Corrib.

Mr. Coogan: Information on Fintan Coogan Zoom on Fintan Coogan Is it not a fact that certain manufacturers in Dublin who [1391] have shares in the lake are deciding for the Minister what to do in that area and that voluntary efforts are being squeezed out in that place?


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