Management of the Wild Salmon Fishery 2020

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme regulates salmon and sea trout fishing in Ireland and is administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland. Please note that the regulations and bye-laws are subject to change. Contact your local Inland Fisheries Ireland office for information on individual rivers.
All salmon rod licence holders must affix a gill tag to all retained salmon (any size), or sea trout (over 40 cm).
Notwithstanding anything contained in any Bye-law, it is prohibited for a person to use, or attempt to use, worms as bait or to use, or attempt to use any fish hooks, other than single or double barbless hooks, in angling for any kind of fish in the waters of a river mentioned in column (2) of the Schedule opposite the mention of a fishery district in column (1) of that Schedule. See full details of new Bye-law on link:
pdf
Angling Bye law No 973 2019 (145 KB)
pdf
(144 KB)
1. BAG LIMITS
There is an angling bag limit of 10 salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40 cm) on rivers where you may catch and retain salmon (Table 1). The bag limits are subject to any quota allocated to a river and its tributaries.
Subject to the maximum annual bag limit of ten fish an angler may take:

  • Daily Bag Limit - 1st January to 11th May - A total of one salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) per day  (three fish in total may be retained for this period),
  • Daily Bag Limit - 12th May to 31st August - Three salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) per day (except where a salmon rod (one-day) ordinary licence is held, 1 fish),
  • Daily Bag Limit - 1st September to the close of the season: One salmon (any size) or sea trout (over 40cm) per day, 
  • There is an angling bag limit of three sea trout (under 40cm) per angler per day.
Please note that it is an offence to kill any sea trout in the following waters;
  • Galway, Connemara or Ballinakill Fisheries Districts including at sea from Hags Head in County Clare to Clew Bay (and in any waters flowing into Clew Bay) in the Bangor Fishery District south of a line drawn due east and west through Achill Head.
  • Kerry District at sea, and in all the waters which discharge into the sea, east of a line between Bolus Head and Lambs Head (i.e. Waterville area).
After the daily bag limit has been taken, anglers are permitted to fish catch and release, using single or double, barbless hooks and anglers may not use worms. The killing and possession of foul hooked fish is prohibited.

On rivers where catch and release is permitted (Table 2):
  • anglers may not use worms,
  • anglers must use single or double, barbless hooks,
  • the fish must be handled carefully and should not be removed from the water prior to release.
On all other rivers (Table 3) angling for salmon (any size) and sea trout (over 40cm) is prohibited.
  • The Regulations on the River Avoca prohibit the taking of any sea trout (under 40cm) as well as prohibiting the use of worms as bait and any fish hooks other than single barbless hooks in angling for sea trout (under 40cm) (Bye-law no. 890, 2011)
  • The River Tor and its tributaries are closed for angling for all species of fish (Bye-law no. 311, 2011)
  • The regulations on the River Suir provides for catch and release in angling for salmon (any size) and sea trout (over 40cm) in the River Suir (including the waters of the Rivers Clodiagh, Lingaun and Blackwater) and also prohibits the use of worms, prawn, shrimp or any other crustacean or artificial forms thereof as bait and any fish hooks other than single or double barbless hooks during the period 17 March to 30 Sept.  pdf
    Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Suir) Bye law No 977 2019 (83 KB) pdf

    (82 KB)
  • Regulations on the River Slaney provide for catch and release in angling for salmon (any size) and sea trout (over 40cm) in the River Slaney, during the period 1st April to 31st August, otherwise closed. The bye-law also provides for the use of artificial fly only using single or double barbless hooks upstream of the Railway Bridge Enniscorthy and provides for the use of single barbless hooks and a ban on worms as bait downstream of the Railway Bridge Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford when angling for salmon or sea trout (any size).  pdf
    Conservation of Salmon and Sea Trout (River Slaney) Bye law No 976 2019 (83 KB)
2. OBTAINING A LICENCE
Anglers can obtain their licence from Inland Fisheries Ireland or any rod licence distributor. On payment of the rod licence fee, the angler will be given:
  • The relevant rod licence.
  • A logbook.
  • 3 gill tags where a salmon rod (annual) ordinary, juvenile, district or 21-day ordinary licence is issued up until 11th May and a further 7 gill tags (issued in lots of 3 or 4) from the period 12th May to 30th Sept up to a maximum of 10 gill tags in total provided they demonstrate that they have completed their logbook appropriately.
  • 1 gill tag where a one day ordinary licence is issued up until the close of the season.
  • A business reply envelope for return of the logbook and unused tags to the relevant Inland Fisheries Ireland office.
  • A plastic wallet for the logbook.
3. THE TAG
The tag to be used by anglers is a blue plastic self-locking device (an additional brown tag is also required for certain rivers – (refer to Table 1 – Open Fisheries 2020) to ensure angling quotas are not exceeded. Contact the relevant IFI office for details on how to obtain brown tags). Each blue tag is embossed with a code identifying where the tag was issued, the year in which the tag can be used, a security code and a tag serial number.
Anglers should carefully note the following concerning the use of these tags:

  • Each rod licence holder will be issued tags for his/her use only. Tags are not transferable between licence holders.
  • These tags shall not be re-used.
  • One tag shall be attached to each salmon (any size) and sea trout (over 40 cm) caught and retained.
  • Tags must be attached immediately on landing the fish.
  • Tags shall be attached through the gill opening and mouth of the fish and securely double locked around the gill cover.
  • Additional tags shall be issued on presentation of logbook information showing that the licence holder has used the gill tags issued to him or her, subject to bag limits.
  • Lost and accidentally destroyed tags may be replaced upon presentation of a signed declaration completed by the angler and signed by an Authorised Officer of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
  • Gill tags shall only be removed from the fish at the time of processing in accordance with the Tagging Scheme Regulations. For the purposes of this scheme processing includes: smoking, marinating or cooking the fish, gutting and freezing the fish or cutting any steaks, cutlets or portions of the fish.
4. THE LOGBOOK
On receipt of tags the angler will also receive a logbook. Details of the gill tags issued to an angler will be entered into the angler’s logbook by the issuing agent.
Each angler shall:
  • Have the logbook in his/her possession while fishing for salmon or sea trout.
  • Record all details of their catch in their logbook immediately after tagging the fish.
  • Make a catch record even if the fish is released (including kelts and baggots).
  • Record details of any lost or damaged tags.
  • Declare lost or damaged logbooks to Inland Fisheries Ireland.
5. RETURNING LOGBOOKS AND UNUSED TAGS
In accordance with the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Regulations anglers are required by law to return their completed logbook (even if there is no catch recorded) and all unused tags to the issuing office of Inland Fisheries Ireland by the 19th October annually. A business reply envelope is provided for this purpose. Anglers are required to obtain proof of postage and to retain such proof for 12 months.

6. PROHIBITION ON THE SALE OF ROD CAUGHT SALMON OR SEA TROUT
Anglers are prohibited from selling salmon (any size) or sea trout (any size) caught by rod and line.
These guidelines have been prepared for information purposes only and do not purport to be a legal interpretation. The holder of a rod licence should familiarise himself or herself with section 69 of the Inland Fisheries Act, 2010 (No. 10 of 2010), the current Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme Regulations and the Salmon and Sea Trout Conservation Bye-laws.




Thanks to Inland Fisheries Ireland for the full details.