A number of well known Donegal salmon fisheries will be re-opened in 2011 as native stocks begin to make a recovery, it has been announced.
The Eske in Ballyshannon will re-open as a "harvest" river, while the Owenwee in Teelin, which is also part of the Ballyshannon fishery district, along with Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray and Glenagannon in Letterkenny fishery district will re-opened as "catch and release" rivers.
A reduction in the cost a day angling permit was also announced in a bid to attract tourism to the sector.
In total the 2011 salmon fishing season will see 20 rivers which were closed for fishing this year reopen because of an improvement in salmon stock.
Announcing the move, Minister of State for Natural Resources Conor Lenihan said he was cautiously optimistic about the native salmon stocks given the performance of stocks over recent years.
He said five rivers previously closed for fishing – Eske, Suir, Glenamoy, Kerry Blackwater and the Castletown – will open with an identified surplus number of fish for harvest.
Some 18 additional rivers would be open to angling on a "catch and release" basis.
However, he said three rivers which had previously been open for catch and release would be closed next year on conservation grounds.
He also announced a €12 reduction in the cost of a one-day angling licence to encourage tourist anglers and said 52 rivers would be open next year, two more than in 2010.
He said 29 rivers had been classified as open for "catch and release", 18 more than in 2010.
He said in all 60 rivers would remain closed for salmon fishing as
there was no surplus of fish available for harvest in them. This is 20 less than in 2010.
The 19 rivers closed in 2010 which will now be open on a "catch and release" basis include the Grange (Sligo fishery district); Oily, Owenwee (Yellow River) (Ballyshannon fishery district); and Bracky, Glenna, Tullaghobegley, Ray and Glenagannon (Letterkenny fishery district).
The regulations specify rivers which were subject to "catch and release" in 2010 but next year will be open for harvest are, along with the Eske, are Castletown in Dundalk fishery, Suir in Waterford district, Kerry Blackwater, Glenamoy in Bangor district. The Minister said he had signed the regulations following scientific advice on the current status of salmon stocks from Inland Fisheries Ireland.