At the Fishery District Committee meeting in Listowel last night the split for 2018 was decided by the director of IFI. The decision was 65% to nets and 35% to rods as was the case in 2016. This leaves 428 salmon to the commercial anglers and 230 salmon for anglers. You don’t have to be an Einstein to see that with approximately 325 anglers on the river, at least 95 of them will not have a tag for a salmon this year.
Approximately 325 anglers on the Feale pay €18,200 in licence fees. Last year, 28 net licences contributed €10,200 in licence fees. Thus the anglers, who pay almost twice as much as the nets in licence costs, get just over half the allowance of the nets. That does not appear to be a fair distribution.
International statistics have shown that that a rod caught salmon yields over €1,000 in tourist revenue. A net caught salmon is valued at the basic cost of the salmon which is around €100. Taking that into consideration it is clear that the TAC division on the Feale makes no economic sense either.
On a slightly more positive note, the counter figures for the last four years appear to have levelled off at around 3,500 salmon. From 2014 to 2017 the returns were 3604, 3570, 3710 and 3567. This years returns will be worth watching.
Tight lines to all anglers who are lucky enough to have a brown tag for a salmon!