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Written Answers - Inland Fisheries

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 301.  Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin  asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  the reasons for the relative brevity of the 2011 fishing season in respect of two lakes (details supplied) in County Kerry; if the 2012 season will be extended; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6820/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Fergus O’Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd I can inform the Deputy that the opening and closing dates for lakes [456]are fixed annually by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) on the basis of assessment of demand from anglers and resources to manage those lakes responsibly.

IFI seeks to ensure that the resource and opportunities are available to recreational and tourist anglers at peak times at a reasonable number of lakes.

Over the years the demand in the early part of the season varies and is generally lower and hence resource management imperatives mean that all lakes do not open at the same time.

IFI, while recognising that there is some off peak demand for the lakes in question, must, in common with all public sector bodies, operate responsibly within overall budgetary constraints. As part of the balance between these constraints and assessed demand, it is necessary to manage the lakes within the resources available and in that context it is not currently in a position to open the lakes referred to by the Deputy any earlier than proposed.

IFI advise that Lough Fadda and Barfinnihy Lake are community managed trout lakes. They are run effectively as put and take fisheries (i.e. IFI stock the lakes prior to opening for fishing on a pay per use basis). In this regard they are no different from any other ‘put and take’ fishery in the country. They are managed on a commercial basis in that IFI endeavours to at least cover the cost for the stocking and management of these lakes from the permits fees derived from anglers.

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