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Ireland opens for angling.. cautiously

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has updated its angling guidelines reflecting the Government and National Public Health Emergency Team advice from May 6.

In effect, the new guidelines mean anglers may fish in a location less than or equal to 5km from home providing they maintain social distancing rules, and do not share transport with any other anglers apart from those of their own household. The new rules also state that a maximum of only two people from different households can share a small inland boat.

Speaking on RTE, Ciaran Bryne, IFI's Chief Executive said about 2% of the country is covered in water, with up to 12,000 lakes and 70,000km of water ways, which mean a significant number of people live near a lake or river. He also said he believed angling would be a key plank in helping return tourism to Ireland's rural areas.

The current guidelines and limitations do not allow for tourism at the moment, and the guidelines also state that angling businesses may only open once classified as an essential service, and should only operate if they can provide online/contactless services.

IFI owned/managed state fisheries are now open, apart from the Galway and Moy fisheries.

ESB, which has the statutory responsibility of managing, the fisheries throughout the Shannon, Erne, Lee and Liffey catchments, has also opened its fisheries.

The IFI has stated on its website that the status of private and club run fisheries is a matter for the fishery manager/committee.

Permits went on sale the following IFI owned/managed fisheries
• Midlands Fishery Group
• South West stocked lakes
• Laune Fishery (Muckross)
• Kerry Blackwater

Permits for all other IFI owned/managed fisheries can now be purchased over the phone, from the local River Basin District (RBD), or the relevant fishery office.

Fisheries that require an IFI hire boat at this time, eg Ballinlough, Lough Brin etc, remain closed.

Salmon licences are also now available to purchase online. Anglers will now receive an electronic version of their licence that they can print out and carry with them. Tags will be issued in the usual way by IFI offices.

Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to monitor the situation and make further updates as appropriate in line the Governments Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.

For online permits visit: https://store.fishinginireland.info/

Updated angling guidelines in full
1 Fishing is permitted within 5km of your home
2 Maintain social distancing at all times, especially at car parks, access points and launch sites.
3 Anglers from different households should not share transport eg. car/van when travelling to fish.
4 Limit contact with other anglers and providers.
5 Permit/licence sales online where possible
6 Maximum 2 persons from different households in small boat for inland/inshore fishing
7 Angling businesses may only open once classified as an essential service, and should only operate if they can provide online/contactless services.
8 Charter fishing or guided fishing may only operate where skippers/guides can guarantee compliance with social distancing measures.
9 Recommend no competition fishing
10 Facilities where anglers could gather to remain closed – lunch huts, etc.
11 Where such facilities at 10 above are essential fishery should remain closed.
12 Recommend anglers/guides/skippers to carry hand sanitiser and to use it after touching surfaces such as gates, stiles, pier railings, ladders, etc.

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