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Galway Weir faces leap in salmon prices

The State body charged with looking after Galway’s iconic Salmon Weir is rumoured to be exploring the option of leasing the world famous fishery to a private company in England.

Anglers reacted furiously to news that Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has discussed leasing the waterways to an English business that specialises in adventure and activity holidays. They fear that if it was agreed, there would be a massive hike in rod fees and permit prices for wild salmon fishing.

“The Corrib River was a virtual no-go area before the State bought the fishery in 1978,” a local angler told the Irish Times. “Only the well-heeled and well-to-do could afford to fish before then.”
IFI confirmed to the Irish Times that it is initiating a review of the ‘future management’ of the fishery, but denied that a leasing arrangement with a private company was being considered.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Minister of State for Natural Resources Séan Kyne said that IFI’s income had dropped as a result of bans on eel fishing and drift netting for salmon, and a loss of about €5 million annually from these licenses was drawing on the IFI’s reserves.

“The IFI board was given a number of options to make the fishery cost-neutral, as part of cutting costs nationally, but sale was never contemplated,” said Mr Kyne, who is a TD for Galway West.

On Monday, Nov 10, IFI released their new pricing for fishing the weir which shows an increase of €45 on the main beat session price, bringing it up to €125 for the period June 1 to July 16. Other prices will remain the same and IFI said there would be no public consultation on the matter. “This is the same price as is charged on the Moy Fishery Ridge Pool beat.” said Galway Fishery manager, Seamus Hartigan.

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