Saturday, 18th October 2014  at  20.00

(See my full update on Current Projects on my Projects page )

Fish Talk.TV – and – Thursday, 23rd October 2014, 19.00

I’ve been invited to join my good friend Alan Broderick on his new angling magazine programme – Fish Talk .TV , next Thursday evening. It streams live on the internet every Thursday evening at 1900. Be sure to tune in this Thursday and every Thursday to enjoy this wonderfully innovative and novel approach to angling journalism!


Galway Fly Fair – 15th and 16th November

I’m really looking forward to the Galway Fly Fair where I’ll be describing my recent visit to the Kola Peninsula, courtesy of PINRO, the Polar Research Institute ( and the Atlantic Salmon Reserve ( ) . In addition to the famous, world class salmon fishing, these remote catchments hold phenomenal stocks of other game fish species: brown trout, sea trout & charr. See: , for more details. I will also have signed copies of, Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout, available at the show.


Training and Teaching

My popular Freshwater Detective course is ongoing in UCD at present and other courses are planned for spring of 2015. I hope to have more details available on these new courses over the next few weeks. With my friend Jason O’Riordan (Facebook:, I’m currently planning a range of one day courses covering river craft, matching the hatch and associated, specialist trout angling techniques. These will be available on a number of well-known fisheries during the off season. More news on this over the coming weeks.


Thursday , 18th September  2014  at  12.30

Freshwater Detectives in action!

Freshwater Detectives in action!



The Freshwater Detective

UCD Course – Autumn 2014

Ken’s ever popular Life Long Learning course will take place this autumn in UCD.

Thanks to all of you who have registered so far and I look forward to meeting up on the 29th September. There are still some places left on the course. I would encourage you to register without delay to avoid disappointment!

You can find all of the details you require on:

Page 42 of the 2014 / 2015 UCD Adult Education Brochure                                                     Code: AUTUMN AE-HN102







Surveying the Eastern Litza

Surveying the Eastern Litza

Fish Heaven...The Upper Rynda Catchment

Fish Heaven…The Upper Rynda Catchment


Just back from a fascinating visit to the upper reaches of some of the most prolific Atlantic salmon rivers in the world. What an adventure.. the ecology of these systems was a revelation! An amazing range of large resident and migratory fish species. I’ll be describing my trip to Derek on Mooney Goes Wild, RTE 1, Friday, 19th September at 1500.  I’ll also be talking about my trip and how you can fish these areas at the Irish Fly Fair in Galway, 15th and 16th November – . Do come along. I’d be pleased to give you any advice I can  on how you too can access this unique conservation zone –

The Freshwater Detective – Update

UCD Course – Autumn 2014

Ken’s ever popular Life Long Learning course will take place this autumn in UCD.

Thanks to all of you who have registered so far and I look forward to meeting up on the 29th September. There are still some places left on the course. I would encourage you to register without delay to avoid disappointment!

You can find all of the details you require on:

Page 42 of the 2014 / 2015 UCD Adult Education Brochure                                                     Code: AUTUMN AE-HN102


On my Blog –


 Tuesday, 19th August  2014  at  16.35




UCD COURSE – autumn 2014

Ken’s ever popular Life Long Learning course will take place this autumn in UCD.

Book early if you are not to be disappointed!!

Page 42 of the UCD Brochure



Ken Whelan

The island of Ireland possesses an aquatic heritage which is unique in Europe. Packed into a land area of just 84,000 km2 is a vast array of loughs, rivers and streams. Some of the bolder strewn, brassy river channels flash by for all to see; some are hidden from view. Our lakes are shallow, and amongst the most highly productive still-waters in the world. Easily damaged by over-enrichment, they demand careful and thoughtful stewardship. During our course we will examine this unique resource: its sources and origin, its contribution to biological diversity and its importance for the landscape and for humans. This course will teach the basics of becoming a Freshwater Detective and how, using the presence or absence of specific insects or fish, to read a river corridor or lake shore. This in turn will ensure that students can become guardians of this unique Irish resource. The course will comprise six talks and four field visits.



6 Mondays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Sept 29, Oct, 13, 20, Nov 3, 10, 17

4 Saturdays 11.00am-1.00pm

Oct 11, 18, Nov 8, 15,


Contact Details :

UCD Adult Education Centre, Library Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4

Tel: (01) 716-7123


Opening Hours:Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm




A young Freshwater Detective

A young Freshwater Detective


....slightly older Detectives hard at work!

….slightly older Detectives hard at work!



Tuesday, 8th July  2014  at 15.40

Launch of AST Small Streams Manual 

Thanks to everybody who attended the talks and field visits to the Dibney River over the weekend. What a fantastic event… the Irish International Fly Fair never for 2015 now open!!

With fly tyer extraordinaire Paula Smyth

With fly tyer extraordinaire Paula Smyth

Launching the AST Small Streams Manual

Launching the AST Small Streams Manual

Sorting a fauna sample, River Dibney

Sorting a fauna sample, River Dibney

Thursday, 19th June 2014  at 10.12

Irish International Fly Fair

July 5th and 6th 2014, Killyleagh, Co Down

 Launch of Small Streams Assessment Manual

Monitoring Small Sea Trout Streams

 Are you worried about the delicate network of small streams which are the very life blood of your fishery? Would you like to learn how to monitor and assess the health of such streams? Are you keen to gather information which will help conserve and enhance these vital arteries? If so, come along to the Irish International Fly Fair ( in KIllyleagh, Co Down, on Saturday, 5th July at 11.30, where Ken Whelan and Martin McGarrigle, of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, will describe and demonstrate the new small streams training manual developed by AST.

AST_LOGO_V2SLLP_Master_colour_large file sizeRiver Annan Trust - white line




Institute of Fisheries Management  – Tagging and Telemetry Workshop. Final Programme

Royal Armouries.

Leeds, England

22nd – 23rd July 2014



Wednesday, 10th June 2014  at 14.45

GAIA Open Day – 21st June 2014

Moorbrook Lodge –

Willie Holmes and my friends in GAIA ( are hosting an open day at Moorbrook Lodge on the 21st June – 10.00 to 1700. Present will be some of the top casting instructors in the UK and Ireland and there will be demos on: flytying, single and double handed casting and fishing techniques, French nymphing for trout and salmon , single handed streamer fishing for salmon, Scandi Skagit and traditional double handed casting techniques. There’ll be lots of instruction and discussion between demos for all levels of experience. The cost is £25 with a burger or hotdog and you can fish on after the day ends at 5pm, places are limited and lots of anglers have already booked and paid. Children under 12 are free with a paying adult.

I’ll be on hand to chat about managing your fishery, wild or stocked and I’ll be signing/ dedicating copies of our sea trout book: Nomads of the Tides








Saturday, 3rd May 2014  at 15.15

Irish International Fly Fair – Killyleagh 2014

Looking forward to meeting you all at the Killyleagh Fly Fair in July……definitely one for the diary…not to be missed!!  More details to follow over the next few weeks.

Killyleagh Fly Fair 2014

Killyleagh Fly Fair 2014


Wednesday, 29th April 2014  at 15.15

New Book!

I may be embarking on a new book. My co-author will be one of the country’s most successful and experienced anglers.

Negotiations with the publisher are ongoing and I hope to announce the details very shortly.

Trout Fishing in Waterford

A fine 8lb brown!

A fine 8lb brown!


I had a fascinating visit last week to the Carrigavantry Reservoir near Tramore. This is a beautiful, 30 acre lake, containing an abundance of trout food. A spot survey of the shoreline showed an abundance of lake olives, damsel flies, corixids, snails and some wonderful  large sedges, including , plant encased, Murrough type larvae – Phryganeidae.

During the afternoon and Jason O’Riordan ( ) and I had an opportunity to fish for a few hours and I was delighted with the quality of the fish we encountered. The rainbows were in pristine condition, fully finned, beautifully proportioned, and fat as butter. I also encountered a few of the larger stocked browns and was again impressed with the high quality of these fish. The reservoirs are open 10 to 11 months of the year and offer superb fishing. If you’re interested, a quick visit to the Waterford Anglers website will give you all the information you need ( ) . Do give the lakes a try!!

I’m due a visit with Jason to Carrigavantry’s sister reservoir, Knockaderry,  in the near future…can’t wait!

A handsome, fully-finned rainbow

A handsome, fully-finned rainbow


Atlantic Salmon Lost at Sea –

I recently spent a few days filming in Cork with my colleague Deirdre Brennan and well known, wildlife cinematographer Rick Rosenthall ( We filmed some of my friends in the Zoology Department in UCC, who have developed world class genetic stock identification techniques for wild Atlantic salmon – popularly known as the CSI Salmon Lab! We were also lucky enough to encounter some wonderful outdoor light and our interview locations on the Bandon and Maigue Rivers gave us a series of backdrops you could only dream about!!

Thanks to everyone for your patience and good humour….filming is at times a very tedious business!

The CSI Salmon Lab

The CSI Salmon Lab

Dr Phil McGinnity - as articulate and enthusiastic as ever!

Dr Phil McGinnity – as articulate and enthusiastic as ever!




Sunday, 23rd March 2014  at 11.50

South Island 2014 KW - fishing at the base of Mount Cook

South Island 2014
KW – fishing at the base of Mount Cook

Photo – David Lambroughton

South Island, New Zealand

Just after Christmas I had yet another, wonderful, four-week trip to New Zealand (see a selection of images on my photos page: Thanks to everybody who was so supportive and helpful during my stay. Particular thanks are due to my good friend David Lambroughton who acted as: mentor, fishing advisor, wet wading consultant, photographic consultant and Michelin *** chef! (see- for some of the most spectacular fishing images you are ever likely to come across). My brother Brendan and I fished some extraordinary waters and had what can only be described as spectacular fishing. I quickly learned to hate willows and what they can do to inexperienced and incompetent anglers, who allow large trout to dive into their tangled of roots, that they so effectively weave below the surface!

Bill Flynn and I are currently putting together a new travel company which will bring both anglers to fish in Ireland and also cater for European anglers who wish to taste some of the amazing fishing Bill and I have experienced in exotic locations around the globe, over the last 20 years.  If you visit –  - you will see our new, fledgling website. We are hoping to offer anglers visiting Ireland, fishing in the midland lakes, the west and the northwest. In terms of foreign travel, we hope to bring our first group to Slovenia and possibly to Newfoundland Labrador in 2014. We are currently working on a partnership deal with a major North American travel group and hope to offer a much wider range of packages in 2015, including of course trips to my two favourite homes from home, New Zealand and Slovenia.

If, in the meantime, you are planning a trip to New Zealand I can recommend two of the top guides in the South Island and an excellent guide in the North Island, all of whom I have fished with on my recent visits. I can personally vouch for their professionalism and the wonderful experience they provide to their clients:

South Island

Derek Grzelewski

Guided Fly Fishing with Derek

Two highly acclaimed books by Derek: The Trout Diaries & The Trout Bohemia – see


Casey Cravens

Wild Angler

Wild Angler
Casey Cravens
70, Passmore Crescent,
Maori Hill,
Dunedin, New Zealand 9010

Phone:  +64-3-473-8451
Mobile:  027 346 6903


Skype: caseycravens


North Island text

Mike Hughes

Tel:  +64 (0) 4 905 0025 or +64 (0) 21 023 85008



Friday, 28th February 2014  at 1445

Yet another great review for Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea Trout!

Country Life Magazine, February 19th, 2014

“…a true labour of love….It will prove invaluable to all sportsmen who seek those silver runners in the Emerald Isle…(it includes) a trenchant section on science by Dr Whelan, the fisheries expert…Dr McCully is a talented writer and his personal style makes the entire book a delight.”  

David Profumo

Nomads of The Tides


Monday, 17th February 2014  at 0630

Dublin Angling Show

A Happy Customer

A happy customer, having purchased Nomads of the Tides at the Dublin Angling Show, Saturday 15th February.

Irish Specimen Fish Awards


Receiving my Awards

Receiving my Awards

Receiving my two Specimen Fish Awards for Golden Grey Mullet from Derek Davis  and Robert Rosell at the Irish Specimen Fish Awards ceremony in Bewley’s Hotel, Saturday 15th February.

Friday, 14th February 2014  at 1230

Nomads of The Tides


Ireland Angling Show 2014

Get your signed copy of:

Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout

Chris McCully and Ken Whelan – with James Sadler


At the Courtlough Outdoors Stand at the Ireland Angling Show, Swords, this Saturday and Sunday – 15th and 16th February. See –

Ken whelan will be at the Irish Angling Expo to sign copies of his new book on sea-trout fishing. If you are one of the many anglers who bought a copy over Christmas please bring it along and Ken will be delighted to sign and dedicate your book for you. He will have some copies of the book available for sale on the stand at a price of €45 . Visit him on the Courtlough Outdoors Stand, where he and Bill Flynn will be glad to speak to you about their plans to organise angling holidays in Ireland and to host Irish anglers abroad in some of the world’s top destinations.

To see a selection of reviews of Nomads visit:

“If you collect together all the words that have ever been written about sea-trout in Ireland, and put them together between the same set of covers, the result will be a pale shadow of the tome that McCully and Whelan have delivered……..Truly, they do not write books like this any more, almost certainly because you don’t come across such stellar combinations of writers more than once in an epoch.”

Andrew Herd – Waterlog Magazine

“It is commendably well written, painstakingly researched, laden with interesting history and full of fascinating detail. I shall treasure it on my bookshelf as a never ending source of information and inspiration….. a book to keep and refer to and to dip into year after year, or just to read for pleasure.”

Edwin Oxlade – Trout and Salmon Magaine

“Nomads of the Tides, co – authored by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan, is the definitive book on Irish sea trout fishing.”

Ashley Hayden

“Nomads of the Tides explores fishing for sea-trout in estuaries – an area scarcely touched on to date….. un-precedented in scope and unrepeatable as a set of angling adventures. ”

Derek Evans  – Irish Times

To purchase Nomads on-line (£35 + p&p):–Whelan.html


Nomads of The Tides


Tuesday, 31st  December 2013 at 1200, noon

Encouraging Reviews for Nomads of the Tides!

Ashley Hayden

Ireland’s Sea Trout, a Definitive Account

Six years in gestation Nomads of the Tides co – authored by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan is the definitive book on Irish sea trout fishing. Driven by a narrative that transports the reader to a mid summer river bank as dusk falls, shadows lengthen and sedges dance, this wonderful publication is a must have for those anglers entranced by a species that to this day is still shrouded in mystery.

Passion and warmth underpin the narrative as the authors traverse the length and breadth of Ireland meeting, conversing, and of course fishing with like minded souls. Peter Wolstenholme and West Cork’s Argideen, the little silver stream, Eamon de Buitlear and the River Dargle, David Dobbs on the Slaney, amongst a host of others unlock the secrets of their special fisheries. Within each interaction men fleetingly become boys as authors and guides relive a tangible past in the present.

Sea trout have a special attraction, for this writer a passage written by Geoffrey Bucknall on night fishing Devon’s River Torridge was the catalyst. Capturing the atmosphere and approach to a tee, it took more than twenty years but I got there, not the Torridge but the Slaney. Positioned mid stream casting towards a long gut flowing under overhanging trees on the far bank. An upstream mend, flies dip, a solid wrenching take magnified in the half light, can a three quarter pound fish be this powerful?

Bewitched we anglers gladly succumb lured by a fish and punctuated moments that stay the course throughout our lives. Nomads of the Tidesencapsulates this perfectly. De Buitlear in the course of an interview talks about Bray locals back in the day calling sea trout “clowns”, derived from the Gaelic caile abhain (maiden of the river). Peal, a common term for the larger sea trout in Wales and South West England is also referred to, possibly derived from the Gaelic word Pil (the big one). Through these and other gems both McCully and Whelan unearth a connection with the species that transcends both time and the migration of man.

Containing memories, anecdotes, characters, places, methodology, and science within its 170,000 word, 480 page narrative, what the reader will feel most is the love affair Chris McCully, Ken Whelan, and their willing contributors have for “white trout” and their chosen pastime. Melding both an historic and a contemporary view of what sea trout represent within an Irish context, Nomads of the Tidesstands tall alongside  Falkus Sea Trout Fishing and Harris and Morgan’s Successful Sea Trout Angling as a must have follow on to these seminal titles.


Derek Evans  - Irish Times 23.12.13

Delight fore game-anglers as 50 Irish sea-trout waters are outlined in book

THE recently published Nomads of the Tides – Fishing for Irish Sea Trout, will make an ideal present at this time and belongs on every game angler’s bookshelf.

Written by Chris McCully and Ken Whelan, this lavish publication describes 50 Irish sea-trout waters – estuaries, rivers and loughs – with grid references, historical details, travel, permit and accommodation information.

Chapters include the history of Irish sea-trout fishing, tackle, angling techniques and fly-patterns, while a separate section is devoted to the biology of the species.

Nomads of the Tides explores fishing for sea-trout in estuaries – an area scarcely touched on to date. The book is illustrated with superb photographs, unprecedented in scope and unrepeatable as a set of angling adventures.

Exploring the truth that the species is genetically identical to brown trout, the authors conclude that sea-trout are essentially marine creatures that use freshwater in which to spawn – truly nomads of the tides.

The book consists of 300 pages and contains 200 original photographs, as well as a 48-page, full-colour section for fly patterns.


Monday, 30th  December 2013 at 1200, noon


To follow all of the action live on the Drowes and for updates on the Drowes and Liffey, remember to visit the Farson Digital Webcams!



Thursday, 18th  December 2013 at 0950


Do you need more salmon in your river??

Is stocking the answer???

See and hear what the experts and the practitioners had to say a few weeks ago at the IBIS / AST Conference in Glasgow!



Saturday, 7th December 2013 at 1955


The two new books are now PUBLISHED!




Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout – with Chris McCully & James Sadler

Published: 4th December 2013.                                Order Nomads now, online from:

 Medlar Press:–Whelan.html

Price:  £35







Celebrating Irish Salmon

Out a few weeks and already some great reviews.  Sales are very encouraging. Available from all good book shops – €20

Artisan House Editions:


Sunday, 27th October 2013 at 1700

Books and Articles – two new books will be published in November

*Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout:  Medlar Press ––Whelan.html – with Chris McCully

*Celebrating Irish Salmon: Artisan House Editions. (due for Publication November 2013) – with  Máirín Uí Chomáin. A book of salmon recipes: -

Readings and book signings:

22.2.14 Maypole Hollywood, Co Down:

Further details of book signings will follow shortly



Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine (

My latest article was published in the October issue: Angling Carries Weight – a review of the IFI angling survey showing that angling is worth €0.75b!


AST Updates –

  • ·         For details of my forthcoming public talk at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on the 26th November see:


  • ·         I’ll also be attending the up and coming SmartOceans Forum in Belfast:


  • ·         Don’t forget our major AST / IBIS Stocking Conference: Boosting salmon numbers: is stocking the answer or the problem? 27-28 November 2013 at the Marriott Hotel, Glasgow:


  • ·         For the most recent update on the AST / IBIS Ocean Tracking Workshop  - Newry, 12th and 13th September, see:

Monday, 19th August 2013 at 16.35

Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine (

Chile’s Great Escape - see my latest article on page 18 of the September Edition. Read about how aquaculture in Chile is supporting many of its prime sport fisheries!




Ireland’s Rivers and Lakes



Ken Whelan

The island of Ireland possesses an aquatic heritage which is unique in Europe. Packed into a land area of just 84,000 km2 is a vast array of loughs, rivers and streams. Participants will learn how our rivers and lakes were forged from a mixture of fire and ice; how aquatic life first appeared and how by genetic selection and diversification life thrived in these systems. It will describe our water resources as a source of energy and as pathways for transportation. Strategies will be discussed to ensure the sustainability of our unquenchable thirst for greater and greater volumes of this unique and fast disappearing native treasure.


7 Tuesdays 7.30pm-9.30pm

Sept 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, Nov 5

3 Saturdays 11.00am-1.00pm

Oct 5, 19, Nov 2

Fee €190

Contact Details

UCD Adult Education Centre, Library Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4

Tel: (01) 716-7123


Opening Hours:Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm


Donegal Treble Hook Tournament

Book now !!

September 22  to 27

33 teams of 3 in a species fishing contest covering –

  • Game angling in the Erne Estuary Ballyshannon
  • Beach casting at Rossnowlagh, Charter boat fishing out of Killybegs
  • Coarse angling at Assaroe lake

Prize fund €30k!!



Friday,  26th July 2013 at 2230


The last few months have been exceptionally busy at AST. Arrangements for the planned stocking conference are now in place and we are delighted with the line-up of speakers who have agreed to participate. This will be a unique event where equal prominence will be given to stocking for conservation purposes and stocking to sustain or enhance rod fisheries. Please be sure to book early as places are limited .(

Ocean tracking is quickly coming to the fore as a key research tool. This  approach may well hold the key to answering many seemingly intractable questions regarding where and why our salmon are dying at sea.  AST, with our partners in IBIS, are planning a workshop on tracking for early September. Fred Whoriskey who heads up the Canadian Ocean Tracking Network ( will attend, as will Richard Lavelle from the technology firm Vemco ( Attendance is by invitation only but a full report of the meeting will be available on both the IBIS and AST websites.


Chester Weir

Recently my colleague Alan Sullivan and I have been compiling a scoping study for Chester and Cheshire West Borough Council on the potential environmental impacts arising from the planned replacement of an old hydro unit, adjacent to Chester Weir, with Archimedes Screw turbines. This is a unique project, as the development is planned for a weir which hosts a key trapping facility, which is fundamental to the Dee as a salmon index catchment.

Chester Weir

DATA – Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance

Earlier this year a unique initiative was launched by the Community and Enterprise Division of Donegal County Council. The Donegal Marine and Water Leisure Programme will promote angling in Donegal by means of an interactive new website. Anglers wishing to book angling holidays in Donegal will have access to a wide range of information, directly from the site. A new collective marketing group has been formed by charter skippers, game clubs, private fisheries and Inland Fisheries Ireland to promote a single brand, through a single website. The group, headed up by my colleague Kevin O’Connor, is known as  the Donegal Angling Tourism Alliance or DATA. The website will be managed by a company named Donegal Angling Holidays Ltd. DATA has teamed up with Fáilte Ireland to select 15 suitable accommodation providers for anglers and  information on 15 game waters, 13 charter boats and 130 free shore fishing sites will be available as free downloadable maps from website. The new site ( will be live from early August and will offer fishing and recommended accommodation in Aug/Sep 2013 and during the whole of 2014. To promote the new company and focus anglers on the wealth of top class angling available in Donegal, Donegal Angling Holidays are holding a major angling festival on September 22nd to 27th. The angling festival boasts a prize fund of over €30k and involves teams of three, who must fish for sea, game and coarse fish species over three days!.  The Treble Hook Festival ( ) is being organised by my good friend Normal Dunlop. Formally an Angling Officer with the Central Fisheries Board, Norman is justifiably recognised as the doyen of sea angling in Ireland. I recently attended the CLA Game Fair to promote the initiative ( see image below) and I was most impressed with the number of anglers interested in visiting this beautiful but little known angling destination…the Cinderella of Irish angling venues.


CLA Game Fair

CLA Game Fair

Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout

Chris McCully and Ken Whelan – with images by James Sadler–Whelan.html

During the making of Nomads of the Tides the authors fished over fifty Irish sea-trout waters – estuaries, rivers and loughs. Each water is described – with grid references, historical details, travel, permit and accommodation information. Other chapters include the history of Irish sea-trout fishing, tackle, angling techniques and lures and fly-patterns, while a separate section is devoted to the biology of the sea-trout. Nomads of the Tides fully covers fishing for sea-trout in estuaries - an area which has been scarcely touched to date. Exploring the truth that sea-trout are genetically identical to brown trout, the authors conclude that sea-trout are essentially marine creatures that use freshwater in which to spawn – they are true ‘nomads of the tides’. The book contains notable references and an appendix with the regional and historical names of sea-trout – over seventy of them. Accompanying the book will be a website which gives further information about Irish sea-trout waters and fishing. Lavishly photographed, unprecedented in scope and possibly unrepeatable as a set of angling adventures, Nomads of the Tides belongs on every angler’s bookshelf.

Expected publication date is early November 2013 – book your copy now on the Medlar Press website.


Celebrating Irish Salmon –

As previously announced I’ve been commissioned by Artisan House editions, Letterfrack, Connemara to work with them on an exciting new cookery book – Celebrating Irish Salmon. The book will contain a wide range of traditional and novel salmon recipes. The principal author of the book, Máirín UíChomáin, has close family links with wild salmon and sea trout since her father was a ghillie on the Cashla system in Connemara and may well have ghillied for the most famous of Irish sea trout anglers , T C Kingsmill Moore.  Expected publication date is early November 2013.


Atlantic Salmon Lost at Sea

Sadly, in January of this year, we lost my close friend and mentor Éamon de Buitleár. However, with producer Deirdre Brennan, I’m continuing to work on his final film, which we hope to launch in early 2014. We are actively seeking sponsorship for the remaining segments of this magnificent tribute to Éamon and if you think you can help please do get in touch!!


AAPGAI and Irish International Fly Fair -

The Irish international Fly Fair, held in Killyleagh, Co Down each year, is fast becoming one of the major game angling events in Ireland. This years’ festival was no exception and we were delighted to welcome an ever expanding number of fly tyers, casters and expert anglers to the event. This year was a very special one for me, as over the weekend I took my AAPGAI trout angling assessment and I’m delighted to report that I passed!!  I’m now an Associate Member of AAPGAI, which opens the door for me to hopefully qualify as an Advanced Instructor in the near future. Thanks to Gary Bell for his patience and support in mentoring me through the process and to Glyn Freeman for some very helpful tips and on the day of the assessment!

AAPGAI Cert KW IG June 13

Tuesday,  30th  April 2013, at 1415

Killyleagh Game Fair -  Irish International Fly Fair, Killyleagh Co Down

If you are free, do come along – the kids are particulrly well looked after!!

My talk this year is “Trout in Strange Places”. Hear at first hand how and where our trout have turned up all over the globe – the South Atlantic, the Pacific, the Adriatic and even the Indian Ocean!! In includes spectacular images of my recent visit to Chile.

For full details, click on the link below:

Killyleagh Fly Fair A5 Flyer 2013



Saturday, 6th  April 2013, at 1055

Below is a summary of my recent activities and details of new projects which will undertake this year.

Visit to Chile – February / March 2013

Our project  – An economic and environmental study of  the main factors influencing the success of a planned recreational fishery for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Rio Palena (Region X– Northern Patagonia, Chile)is now nearing completion. I recently spent a fascinating three weeks in Chile working in the field with the team from theInstituto de Acuicultura, Universidad Austral de Chile.  Arising from my visit I plan to write a series of articles describing the current status of the aquaculture industry and its relationship with the sport fishery industry in Chile. I also plan two further articles, one on the sport fishing in the lowland areas, close to Puerto Varas and a second on fishing the Rio Palena and its tributaries, high in the Andes, close to the Argentinian border. I really must thank my hosts for a wonderful and unique experience. Rarely have I encountered such hospitality and warmth. I look forward to returning soon.

Watch my website for extracts from our final report later in the summer


Chinook - Petrohue River, Chile - February 2013

Chinook – Petrohue River, Chile – February 2013


Volcan Puntiagudo, from the shores of Lago Todos Los Santos, Chile

Volcan Puntiagudo, from the shores of Lago Todos Los Santos, Chile

Loire Allier Meeting – DREAL, Clermont Ferrand, France

In late March I chaired a meeting of the Loire Basin Salmon Advisory Committee in Clermont Ferrand, France. The salmon populations in the Loire Allier are amongst the most ancient in Europe and require a determined effort to protect and restore them if they are to survive the ravages of habitat degradation and climate change. This is the sixth such meeting and it is encouraging to see an upturn in the salmon returns to this iconic river. The work being undertaken by the various teams from Logrami, Onema and Conservatoire National du Saumon Sauvage is most impressive and I feel we have made real progress in recent years in quantifying the current status of the resource and in setting realistic targets for future restoration of the salmon stock.

Ireland’s Sport Fish

Following my very successful “Freshwater Detective” course, which was run by the UCD Adult Education Centre in autumn of last year, we are now planning a second course on Ireland’s Sport Fish. I’m sure this course will be of great interest to anglers, fishery managers and naturalists.  Registration for the course will open shortly but in the meantime those interested can obtain information from: or on 01 7167123.

UCD Term 3

Ken Whelan

Ireland enjoys a great abundance of sport fish ranging from the marauding Porbeagle shark to the ubiquitous and much loved brown trout. This course will describe in detail the natural history of these unique species and their importance as a much sought after recreational resource and biological indicators of our ever changing aquatic environment. The lecture series will chart the changes in our sport fish fauna resulting from climate change and describe the biology of new species such as gilt head bream, golden grey mullet and trigger fish. Students will become familiar with a wide range of freshwater and marine species and learn of current and future management challenges.  The series will be of interest to all of those with an interest in the natural history, management and continuing welfare of Ireland’s unique sport fish fauna. The course will comprise six illustrated talks with ample time for interactive discussion on the topics covered.


6 Mondays April 15, 22, 29, May 13, 20, 27No class bank holiday Monday May 6 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Cheshire West and Chester Council – River Dee Hydroelectric Proposal

My colleague Alan Sullivan and I have been commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to carry out a Phase I Scoping Study to assess the environmental impact of a proposed Hydro Electric Development at Chester Weir on the River Dee. This work will take approximately a month to complete and should ensure that the suite of environmental studies planned under Phase II of the proposed environmental impact programme provides all of the relevant information on the scale of the environmental assessments required to address the key impacts arising from the proposed project.


Celebrating Irish Salmon – has been commissioned by Artisan House editions, Letterfrack, Connemara to work with them on an exciting new cookery book – Celebrating Irish Salmon. The book will contain a wide range of traditional and novel salmon recipes. The principal author of the book, Máirín UíChomáin, has close family links with wild salmon and sea trout since her father was a ghillie on the Cashla system in Connemara and may well have ghillied for the doyen of Irish sea trout anglers, T C Kingsmill Moore.

Royal Society Edinburgh -

I’m very pleased and indeed very honoured to confirm that I’ve been requested by the Royal Society in Edinburgh to give a public lecture on the lives of salmon at sea in late November. Full details will follow a little later.


Pike,  Lough Key – Boyle anglers

Last week end I fished the Boyle and District Anglers Pike angling competition on Lough Key. Despite arctic conditions and water temperatures which at times dipped below 2°C, my boat partner Marc O’ Regan did very well, catching a pike of 20 lbs. 6 oz., which won him 2nd place overall in the competition, and also this wonderful Lough Key brown trout, which we estimated to be in the region of seven pounds. Marc and I landed a total of five pike and two trout over the two days.

Marc and 7 prize giving v 2  L Key 31.3.13

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying -

The March edition of Fly Fishing & Fly tying contained an article of mine entitled Saving our Salmon at Sea which looks at the topical issue of potential impacts on salmon post-smolts from pelagic fisheries in the north-east Atlantic.  The article was very well received and has generated quite a series of correspondence in the sister Trout & Salmon magazine.




Monday, 18th  February  2012 at  11.00

Nomads of the Tides: Fishing for Irish Sea-Trout

Chris McCully and Ken Whelan – with images by James Sadler


During the making of Nomads of the Tides the authors fished over fifty Irish sea-trout waters – estuaries, rivers and loughs. Each water is described – with grid references, historical details, travel, permit and accommodation information. Other chapters include the history of Irish sea-trout fishing, tackle, angling techniques and lures and fly-patterns, while a separate section is devoted to the biology of the sea-trout. Nomads of the Tides fully covers fishing for sea-trout in estuaries - an area which has been scarcely touched to date. Exploring the truth that sea-trout are genetically identical to brown trout, the authors conclude that sea-trout are essentially marine creatures that use freshwater in which to spawn – they are true ‘nomads of the tides’. The book contains notable references and an appendix with the regional and historical names of sea-trout – over seventy of them. Accompanying the book will be a website which gives further information about Irish sea-trout waters and fishing. Lavishly photographed, unprecedented in scope and possibly unrepeatable as a set of angling adventures, Nomads of the Tides belongs on every angler’s bookshelf.

Press Release – NOMADS Press Release_Nomad 11.2.13


Monday, 31st December 2012 at  10.20

Sorry for the delay in getting these updates to you but the last few months have proven to be exceptionally busy  for  With the assistance of our webmaster, Colin Byford of Byford Technology Ltd, we will be refreshing the site over the coming weeks. If for any reason the site is off line for short periods while we revamp the existing formats, please bear with us.

For more detailed information on the projects mentioned below please turn to my current projects page:

Nomads of the Tides – fresh and saltwater fishing for Irish sea trout.

As may be seen from our website (above),   we finally got there!!  Nomads has been delivered to Jon and Rosie at Medlar Press ( Chris, James and I are actively involved in designing a new and exciting website, which wil introduce the book to our readers. Chris and I will launch the website at the Dublin Angling Show in mid- February – The new website will contain all sorts of goodies: examples of Chris’s outstanding lyrical style of writing; additions to the core gazetteer; chapters on sea trout names; flies for the surf and a list of our favourite Chinese restaurants & fish and chip shops!!

 China – Shantou area

My visit to the Shantou area proved very successful. A full report on my trip is available below. My thanks are due to my hosts at Shantou University who could not have been more hospitable and accommodating. I look forward eagerly to joint future initiatives with the team at the Marine Biology Institute.

Visit to Shantou University Oct Nov 2012 – summary

Webcams –

There are now 12 Irish river cameras live and more to come in spring!! For opening day of the 2013 salmon fishing season, 1st January, be sure to follow the Drowse cam on :


Atlantic Salmon Trust  -

  • In October I attended a meeting of the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council to discuss with them the results of the SALSEA Merge programme and the requirement for greater protection of wild salmon on the high seas.  As a result of this meeting AST will shortly meet with DG Mare and DG Environment in Brussels to press our case.
  •  With our colleagues in IBIS we ran a very successful Small Streams Workshop in Carlingford, Co Louth, in November
  •  Recently we announced a major conference on stocking which will take place in Edinburgh in November 2013.   This is also a joint IBIS / AST initiative.

Stocking Conference:  AST and its partners are organising a major conference on stocking, to be held in November 2013. A full programme, booking form and further details will be published in due course.

Marine and Countryside Guide Programme and

We have completed delivery of the Game and Sea Shore Angling Guide Programmes at the Institute of Technology in Tralee. Once the assessments are completed in January, Fáilte Ireland will carry out a comprehensive review of the two programmes with a view to rolling out these programmes countrywide during 2013. My thanks to all of those involved with the initiative and the excellent crop of students who participated so enthusiastically on these pilot programmes.

The Freshwater Detective – UCD – adult education course

This is the second year of the Freshwater Detective course and it again proved very popular. It was completed In late November .

A new course is planned for spring: Ireland’s Sport Fish

Be sure to book early as this course is likely to prove very popular. 





   Chile – River Palena  &

An economic and environmental study of  the main factors influencing the success of a planned recreational fishery for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Rio Palena (Region X– Northern Patagonia, Chile)

Planning for this exciting contract is forging ahead. I will be working with colleagues in the  Palena River valley from mid- February to mid-March.

Watch my site over the coming months for information, updates and images!


 New projects for 2013

We have several new and exciting projects under discussion for the coming year. Watch this site for further information 


Tuesday 9th October 2012 at 1600


Welcome to all of those who have joined my Freshwater Dectective course which started last night in UCD.

There are still a few places left on my spring course – Ireland’s Sport Fish. Please register straight away wiith UCD Adult Education – see below – if you are not to be disappointed!!

The Freshwater Detective

Ireland’s Sport Fish

UCD Adult Education Centre, Library Building, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4


Press release for immediate use 8th October 2012

 ‘Help us learn more about the life of salmon at sea’   Atlantic Salmon Trust asks pelagic fishermen

Professor Ken Whelan,  AST’s Director of Research,  has asked the representatives of the EU’s pelagic fleets to work closely with salmon scientists to learn more about the life of salmon (the ‘canary of the North Atlantic’)  in the ocean, when he addressed Friday’s (5 Oct) meeting of the Pelagic Regional Advisory Council, held in Amsterdam.

It is now widely recognised that wild salmon face many challenges during the time they spend at sea. Over the past two decades, an increasing proportion of North Atlantic salmon are dying at sea during their oceanic feeding migration – though we don’t yet fully understand why.

The research carried out under the EU-funded SALSEA Merge (Salmon at Sea) programme (which also received funding from AST) showed conclusively that, during the part of their life-cycle spent at sea, Atlantic salmon are pelagic fish, swimming alongside commercially-fished species such as herring, mackerel and blue whiting, and sharing the same ocean environments.  They are therefore at risk from the fisheries targeting these species.  This is particularly true of the shoals of post-smolts heading for oceanic feeding grounds.

“Given the size of the trawls and  purse seines used by the commercial fleets, we believe that there is a real risk that shoals of migrating post-smolt salmon could unwittingly be intercepted by the fishery and significant numbers of young salmon harvested as a by-catch,” said Professor Whelan. “Despite research programmes such as SALSEA, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of exactly where these fish go. Hence the very practical requests I made to the Pelagic RAC in respect of the survey and research work that needs to be urgently undertaken, and to ask for their support.

“Including Atlantic salmon in the on-going routine monitoring of commercial pelagic species should not cost a lot, and would vastly increase our knowledge of exactly which ‘migration corridors’ salmon use,” continued Professor Whelan. “We would then be in a much stronger position to recommend actions to manage and protect those corridors during the relatively short period during which salmon migrate. There was a very keen interest at the meeting in how the salmon, which roams far and wide across the pelagic zone but ultimately returns to its river of origin, is being used by scientists to track the abundance and quality of the available food in the areas which it visits. In essence our wild salmon are self-homing miniature probes which bring back a vast amount of data on the health of the ocean and the availability of common food sources. SALSEA has shown how climate change is impacting on the survival of salmon at sea and clearly it is also affecting the  abundance and location of food for species such as herring and mackerel.  In addition, SALSEA has refined and developed new genetic fingerprinting technology which, if applied to the commercial pelagic species, could separate out what are now regarded for management purposes as stocks into self-reproducing populations of fish. Such a breakthrough would greatly refine how we manage a wide range of vitally important commercial species and ensure more accurate control and stock rebuilding measures.”

“We have also learned, through genetic analysis, that different regional stocks of salmon use different routes to the feeding grounds, and indeed feed in different areas,” added AST Chief Executive Tony Andrews. “At present, the greatest challenge to salmon conservation is our inability to predict which regional – and river – stocks are finding good food sources at sea.   The insights we would get from an on-going programme of routine monitoring of salmon as part of the ‘pelagic family’ would assist greatly in this, to the extent that in the future we’d hope to be able to give fishery managers reasonably accurate predictions of how many fish they could hope to see returning to their river.”

“I was very impressed with the interest shown by the Pelagic RAC chairman Iain MacSween  and members of the Executive Committee in the work of the SALSEA team. I was also taken with the generous spirit of cooperation shown by members of the RAC in offering to work closely with us in the future to further our understanding of the pelagic zone and the wide range of fish and other creatures living in this complex, dynamic environment,” concluded Professor Whelan


For further information please contact Tony Andrews on 07748 634658 or Ken Whelan on +353867835900





Notes for editors:   The Atlantic Salmon Trust, set up in 1967, promotes conservation of wild salmon and sea trout stocks to levels where they are sustainable, and addresses concerns about declining stocks of these fish. UK based, with Atlantic-wide scope, the AST champions the fish themselves, and does not represent any other interests or body. The AST’s work is focused on:

  • facilitating and promoting research into understanding & conservation of wild salmon and sea trout stocks
  •  using sound, peer-reviewed science to influence governments and public opinion, in furtherance of conservation of these species


The AST has charitable status; it is not a membership body, and its work is financed entirely by donations.


AST’s Ocean Silver Conference, held in London in December 2011, focused on the results of the SALSEA programme, and on implications of those results for salmon fishery managers. You can access the programme of the conference, and read the presentations, at


More information about the Pelagic RAC is available at

Other relevant websites and links:


Salmon Summit:


Salsea Merge papers:


Ocean Silver:


Atlantic salmon at sea: Findings from recent research and their implications for management


Monday, 27th August 2012 at 1720



The Freshwater Detective

Ireland’s Sport Fish

UCD will again be running my very popular adult education course The Freshwater Detective over the October / November period.

In addition they have asked me to run a second course in April / May  – Ireland’s Sport Fish  - an ideal course for anglers or those interested in the natural history of our sport fish species.

Based on last years’ experience these courses may well prove very popular and will fill up quickly. Those interested should contact the UCD Adult Education Centre a.s.a.p. :

UCD Adult Education Centre, Library Building, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4

(0)1 7167123

Saturday, 4th August 2012 at 1650

Sea trout from the tides – Bann Estuary, Roe, Burn Dennett and Crana


Chris and I enjoyed some excellent fishing over the past week – Many thanks to Leslie Holmes ( )and the many other anglers who supported our trip:


Wednesday, 18th July 2012 at 1015

Greenland glacier loses large mass of ice

Professor Andreas Muenchow, University of Delaware – The vast, flat expanse stretching into the background is the Petermann Glacier, well over one-third of which has now broken off. It connects the Greenland ice sheet to the Arctic Ocean.

By and , Wednesday, July 18, 3:59 AMThe Washington Post
A chunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan has parted from Greenland’s Petermann glacier, a break researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service attributed to warmer ocean temperatures.The separation along Greenland’s northwest coast, which took place Monday, represents the second major calving event for the glacier in the past three years. In August 2010, the Petermann glacier lost an area of roughly 97 square miles, compared with the 46 square miles that just split off this week.


(AP) – These 2010 and 2012 NASA images provided by the University of Delaware show the formation of a crack in northwestern Greenland’s Petermann Glacier. On Monday, an iceberg twice the size of Manhattan tore off one of Greenland’s largest glaciers, indicated at center right.

Andreas Muenchow, an associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware, said the glacier’s end point is now at “a location where it has not been for at least 150 years.”

“The Greenland ice sheet is changing rapidly before our eyes,” Muenchow said in an interview, adding that while “no individual glacier will be the canary in the coal mine” recent warming has transformed the overall ice sheet.

“The Greenland ice sheet is being reduced not just in size, but in volume,” he said. “The big and broader climate change story is what’s happening all around Greenland.”

Ted Scambos, the lead scientist for the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, said scientists will now be monitoring whether the glacier’s flow rate will accelerate “because of its loss of this chunk of ice at the front of it.”

“It’s going to take awhile to understand how significant a loss this is,” Scambos said.

The Petermann glacier’s flow accelerated between 10 and 20 percent after the 2010 calving event, Muenchow said, adding researchers were still waiting to see if that was a short-term increase or would persist over time.

Polar researcher Jason Box of Ohio State University noted that the 2010 calving was “the largest in the observational record for Greenland.”

He correctly predicted last summer that the piece that just broke off, about half the size, was on the brink.

Sunday, 8th July 2012 at 1400

Ken Whelan speaking at the Irish International Fly Fair, Saturday 30th June

Recent Talks

Thanks to everybody who was kind enough to attend my recent talks at the Irish International Fly Fair in Killyleagh, Co Down ( and on Friday last, 6th July, at the Ocean Wealth Showcase, part of the Galway Volvo festival ( Thanks also to the organisers who were kind enough to ask me to speak at these events.

River Touques Record Sea Trout

Giant Sea Trout Reported form the River Touques, Normandy

The River Touques recently made ??headlines in local newspapers in Normandy. Indeed the river record was broken on Tuesday, June 5 at 20h when a sea trout of 9.5kg and 90 cm succumbed to the temptation of a rappala presented by local angler  Laurent Boulanger . Well known as a great fisherman he combines a strong commitment to his hobby with the protection of rivers and their environment. We are pleased that it was he who took the record fish. No doubt he has taken for analysis some scales the results of which we will follow with interest. Unlike salmon, sea trout may spawn several times and a trout of this size has probably ensured a large family. Efforts on the Touques to open up full access to all upstream tributaries of this river are rewarded by the Normandy Development  Plan which year after year is proving more and more important. Fishing tourism is a significant income for the Normandy region. It remains however to monitor the nets that make significant catches in the estuary despite the presence of laws restricitng this practice.


Thursday, 28th June 2012 at 1910

New Greeland Salmon Genetics Project

CSI West Greenland – modern genetic fingerprinting techniques help scientists track salmon stocks along the West Greenland coast

Analysis of historical Atlantic salmon scale data has shown that the proportion of salmon from European rivers which successfully make their way to the rich feeding grounds off West Greenland has dropped by more than 75% in recent decades. The Atlantic Salmon Trust and its partners are now spearheading a project to help solve the mystery of why this is.

Advances in microsatellite DNA profiling now make it possible to identify salmon caught at sea to their natal region and, in some cases, to their river of origin. Building on this work, the new project will use existing genetic databases to carry out a pilot study to determine the region and/or river of origin of a range of contemporary samples from fish scale and tissue collections from Atlantic salmon captured recently in the fishery at West Greenland.

Atlantic salmon were first recorded from Greenland waters in the 1780s but it was the 1960s before a full commercial distant-water fishery for salmon developed. Since 2001 this has been restricted to an internal-use fishery through conservation agreements adopted internationally through the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). To date we have had no way of assessing which of the weaker populations of salmon are impacted by the remaining subsistence fishery.

Over the past five decades scientists have collected scales and tissue samples from the West Greenland fishery through an international sampling programme. These have been used for a wide range of analyses, including in more recent years, genetic assignment of salmon to their continent of origin. This work has shown quite dramatic changes in the proportions of salmon from North America and Europe appearing in the samples. Originally some 40% of the fish caught along theWest Greenland coast were of European origin but in more recent years this proportion has dropped to less than 10% – but we have no idea why.

Equally puzzling is the fact that almost all of the salmon at West Greenland will return to their native rivers as the large and much sought after, spring or multi sea-winter-salmon. For the first time in 25 years the overall abundance of these salmon has begun to increase in recent seasons, although it is still low in historic terms and many stocks contributing to the fishery are still likely to be below their conservation limits. Forecasts of abundance for 2013 and 2014 are less optimistic.

Thanks to work carried out as part of the recently completed SALSEA Merge programme ( European scientists can now assign, with remarkable accuracy, individual salmon back to their region or river of origin.

A consortium of scientists from Europe and North America has been formed to re-examine scales and tissue samples gathered over recent years from the West Greenland fishery, in order to crack the genetic code. This will make it possible to assign fish back to major European rivers, particularly in the UK and Ireland.   It is hoped that this work will lead to much deeper knowledge of the occurrence of individual salmon stocks along the West Greenland coast, particularly the weaker stocks and inform management of the fishery in the future . It should also provide an insight into why, and how, the proportions of North American and European salmon stocks are changing over time.

The initial work will concentrate on European stocks, but a similar database is near completion inNorth America. A full assessment of theWest Greenlandsamples, over the decades, is now a distinct possibility.

“When, as part of SALSEA, we started our intensive sampling  programme in West Greenland some years ago, assignment of stocks back to their region of river of origin was only a pipe dream”, said Tim Sheehan, a senior biologist at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. “It’s hard to believe we are now on the cusp of such an exciting breakthrough. Full credit is due to all of the laboratories and the dozens of individuals who have contributed to the programme over the decades.”

This newWest Greenlandsalmon genetics programme was spearheaded by the Atlantic Salmon Trust which seed funded the programme and coordinated the evolving partnership. Other major players include NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), US Geological Survey, Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute of Northern Ireland, NASCO’s  International Atlantic Salmon Research Board (IASRB), Marine Scotland, University College Cork and Queens University Belfast through the Beaufort Marine Research Award and a range of partner laboratories in Europe.

“Having coordinated the work of SALSEA teams throughout Europe to provide dependable genetic markers, it’s really exciting to see these tools being applied to shed light on practical international fisheries management issues,” said Phil McGinnity, Principal Investigator of the Beaufort Fish Populations Genetics team at University College Cork.

“As is the case with all mixed stock fisheries our major concern is with the weaker stocks and how these are impacted by the fisheries. The aim of this new study is to identify regional or individual river stocks, and the extent that they contribute to the fishery, so that their status can be taken into consideration in management terms,” added AST Chief Executive Tony Andrews.


The West Greenland Genetics Programme is funded by the Atlantic Salmon Trust, AFBINI and the IASRB.

For further information contact Professor Ken Whelan, Research Director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust on: +353 867835000


Additional weblinks for Editors

Atlantic Salmon Trust :

International Council for the Exploration of the Seas:

Recent Atlantic Salmon Trust Press Release regarding the West Greenland Fishery:

NASCO Annual Meeting – Edinburgh, June 2012:


LATEST: Ocean Wealth Showcase!!

Monday,25th June 2012 at 1050

See latest edition of Inshore Ireland Magazine:

InshoreIreland_8_3 20&21

Tuesday 19th June, 2012 at 1502


30th June to 8th July

Come and join me at the Ocean Wealth Showcase in Galway – I’ll be there on the 5th and 6th July 2012

Friday 6th July 2012 – Focus on the Marine Environment, Deep Sea Ecosystems and Climate Change

The oceans cover 70% of the earth’s surface and our very survival depends on them. Over the past 20 years Ireland has taken its place among the international leaders in the field of ocean science and has produced some exciting and revealing research on our marine environment. On the 6th July a number of distinguished and expert speakers will share their work with the public:

  •  Mapping Ireland’s Seabed – Why & How?  Keon Verbruggen, Geological Survey of Ireland
  • How Climate Change is bringing about Amazing Changes in our Marine Life – Dr. Ken Whelan, author, international researcher and lecturer with UCD
  • Deep Water Coral Reefs: Ireland’s Hidden Treasures – Dr Anthony Grehan, NUIG
  • The Challenges of managing and Protecting Ireland’s Water – Micheal O Cinneide, Director of Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Protection Agency.

See below for full programme details:

Ocean Wealth Flyer Low Resolution -2MB

Live Galway Harbour webcam courtesy of our partners at Farson Digital – watch the winning yachts arrive!!



Saturday 2nd June,, 2012 at 10.10
For more details see:
Irish Angling Update Highlights
• Bream good in Lough Allen, whereas Creenagh Lake and Finn Lough produce bags of tench
• Nice catches of Tench and Hybrids at Correen Ford on the Suck
• Young anglers catch some nice bream on the Royal Canal at Kilcock.
• The Inny boys strike again with bank to bank fish!
• Big pike on Corrib
• 33lb Pike caught near Mountshannon while trolling
• Terrific pike of 1.24 metres for 11 year old Thomas Bigot on Lough Derg
• Fishing slow on Carrowmore and Beltra but Ballisodare remained excellent
• Sunny days make salmon shy on the River Moy
• Liam Ellis takes a fine specimen sea trout for the third year in a row on Lough Currane.
• Salmon run improving on the Suir, new webcam at Clonmel
• Purple patch for bars of silver on Blackwater
• Salmon fishing on the Munster Blackwater, new webcam at Fermoy
• Connemara is in all its splendour but fishing is slow
• Six fine sea trout in the space of two hours on Moy Estuary
• Well done to Jim Hendrick who is shortlisted for the Wexford Business Awards 2012
• Ahoy skipper ! Thats a fine Grey Gurnard you caught !
• Good mixed fishing on west coast
• Destination Wexford, target Pollack.
• Bites were slow around Wicklow except for a few ray who took the bait
• The craic was mighty and the fishing too in Donegal Bay
• Tope day for father and son, simply the best!
• Strule still producing sport in low flows
• Monster Trout on Lough Corrib
• Weather sub tropical on Corrib, but fishing not sub-parr
• Lough Mask Produces Good Sport in BBQ Conditions
• Some great fishing reported on Loughs Conn & Cullin despite difficult conditions
• Brown Trout Update from the Fane, Dee and Glyde
• Trout to 9lb on Lough Sheelin, plenty of mayfly

Saturday 19th May, 2012 at 1215
Minister Coveney confirms that conservation measures for bass will stay in place

Irish Angling Updates – 18th May 2012
For more details see:
• Some Nice Fish for Pawel and Lucasz
• The only thing moving on the Inny was the water, so off to the Correen Forde for the   roach
• French anglers enjoy good pike fishing on Lough Corrib
• Pike up to 21 lb. for a Belgium party at Melview Lodge
• Pike to 114cm long taken on a Buster Jerk in perch colour at Boyle
• Cloongee and East Mayo produce the best catches on the Moy
• Winds disrupt weekend fishing on Carrowmore, however, early week fishing was productive
• Navan Anglers record 5 salmon on the Boyne
• Bieber preforms well in Delphi but others hit a bum note
• Salmon and sea trout report from Lough Currane.
• Shads on lead heads were by far the best rig with a fish on every cast for the Carrigaholt charterboat
• Killala Bay update
• A varied catch for the Rosguill in Donegal including half a ling !
• Plenty of action and mixed weather for fishing around Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry
• Wicklow Boat Charters treats the Irish Home Nations Team to an early season animal fishing bonanza
• Emy’s Superb Trout Fishing Attracts Fly Anglers to Emyvale
• Our boys in green ! ITFFA Youth international team and IFI at Lough Owel
• Lough Conn and Cullin update
• Lough Sheelin reinforces its reputation as one of the best trout fishing lakes in Europe
• Mayfly shows on Annalee
• Good Brown Trout Fishing at Navan
Tuesday 15th, May 2012 at 20.45 

Cuba – Barracuda, Bonefish and Classic Cars!!


Tuesday 15th, May 2012 at 20.45
Irish Angling Update Highlights
• NCFFI Senior Canals Championship held in unseasonably cold weather
• Bream and tench to 6lb and bags of over a ton reported from Arvagh, Gowna, Inishmuch
• Good coarse fishing reported from Co. Leitrim.
• Big specimen bream reported in big catches recorded in the Upper Shannon area.
• Super coarse fishing catches at two recent small festivals on Inniscarra Lake in Co. Cork.
• Good bream and tench fishing for english visitors at Melview Lodge.
• Information Days Promote Fisheries Awareness Event in Carrickmacross
• Fishing for shad by the light of the silver moon in St Mullins, Carlow
• French anglers enjoy good pike fishing on Lough Corrib
• Pike up to 21 lb. for a Belgium party at Melview Lodge
• Kenny Sloan reports on success for Scottish anglers in the Foxford area
• Salmon Continue to win Battles on the Boyne
• Spring salmon fishing continuing at Galway Fishery
• High water and big tides with fish up to 19lbs reported on the Slaney
• 8lb 15oz fish was a prayer answered for Gode at Delphi
• 14.2lb salmon for Tim Harty on the Blackwater
• Killala Bay update
• Good deep sea fishing reported at Courtmacsherry.
• Tope on a kayak – the freedom and excitement of kayak fishing
• Sunshine and a ‘secret’ location led Kevin to his first Bass in forty years
• Good shore fishing reported from the Beara Peninsula
• Sunny Saturday in Galway Bay and fish all around
• Emy Lake Continues to Fish Well
• Good rainbow trout fishing at the Cashel Fishery.
• Mayfly Hatch Greatly Anticipated on the Boyne
• May fly hatching in numbers on Lough Arrow
• Sheelin trout to 7lb on buzzer, mayfly warming up
• Lough Mask Continues to Produce Excellent Sport
• Good mayfly fishing on Lough Corrib
• The Lagan continues to boil with plenty of fish recorded
• Great hatches of Iron Blue Duns on the Suir but North east winds making casting difficult
For more details see: 22nd, April 2012 at 1210

see: for Irish Angling Update Highlights

• Arvagh Breffni King of Clubs- great value travel deals for UK anglers
• Some good coarse fishing reported by English anglers at Portumna
• The I.F.I. Ballybay Angling 2 Day Open Coarse Fishing Festival
• Weekend’s cold weather takes toll on the coarse angling at Lanesborough
• Outsmart your Pike and increase your catch
• Visiting French anglers using float tubes land 800 Leitrim pike
• Dublin angler George lands a fine 25lb pike in Roscommon
• Kylemore Abbey Fishery reports its first salmon of the season
• 11lb 3oz salmon caught on Sunray Shadow off Finlough in difficult conditions
• Fishing prospects good for the coming weeks at Galway Weir
• Bars of silver give a ‘Feale’ of thing to come
• East Mayo anglers enjoy great sport on the River Moy
• Salmon to 13lbs on Carrowmore Lake
• Nine more for the Delphi even though conditions were difficult
• River Drowes remains at a very low level but a dozen salmon still caught
• The Biggest Fish of the Season so far on April 14 on the Munster Blackwater
• Bass to almost 10lb and good cod on Cork Harbour reefs
• Smash and grab skate off Antrim
• Impressive display at the Boat Master Angler competition in Galway
• Wrasse fishing at it’s best off Irish rocky shoreline
• 2lb – 7lb Bass in great condition off Wexford
• In spite of very cold weather bass could still be caught on fly and lure in Inny estuary
• Wetflies and buzzer patterns kept activity high and rods bent at Lough Corrib
• 13.5lb ferox trout for junior angler Cian at Lough Mask
• Mayfly begin to make an appearance on Lough Arrow
• Mayfly makes it appearance on Lough Derg
• Trout look up to the Mayfly for Derravaragh Anglers
• Trout fishing testing as temperatures tumble on Sheelin
• Good Catches on Lough Lene in Collinstown
• Olives and Hawthorns on the Boyne at Navan


Friday 13th, April 2012 at 0830

see: for Irish Angling Update Highlights

• Superb catches of Tench, Bream, Roach, Rudd, Perch and Hybrids reported from the Upper Shannon area.
• Roach and Tench in Lanesborough over Easter
• Spawning roach running up the river at Mallady’s on the River Inny
• Conditions Improve for Carrickmacross Carp Anglers
• Big 1.06 Metre pike for French angler fishing in the east Clare area.
• Pike to 100cm in the Foxford area for visiting twelve year old French angler
• Carrowmore Lake continues to produce good sport.
• With the rain comes the fish on Easter Sunday at Delphi
• 16 lb. salmon caught trolling on Lough Melvin
• Great improvement in salmon and sea trout fishing on Lough Currane
• April showers but no trout for New Jersey Guy on the Deel
• Anglers report numerous trout of small size on Lough Conn.
• Ballin Lough, Westport, opens once again to anglers.
• Warren Campell wins the second trout competition in a row on the River Lagan
• Dryfly nails a big trout on the River Bann!
• Lough Sheelin trout angling report
• Huge hatches of buzzers should attract trout on Lough Melvin
• A busy week for shore anglers fishing in Waterville
• Eight varieties for the Leah in Killala Bay on a blustery day.
• Fresh peeler crab catches the cod off Antrim
• Good deep sea angling at Courtmacsherry


Friday 6th, April 2012 at 1515

Irish Angling Update Highlights

• Big bream early spawning roach at Lanesborough
• Philip Jackson in Pole Position at Lough Muckno Match
• Fish bite when baits are right at the hot water section at Lanesborough in Co. Longford.
• Good bream fishing reported from the River Barrow below Graignamanagh.
• Good pike fishing reported from Lough Ree
• Lithuanian Pike Angling Club Go and Catch competition on Lough Sillan
• €20,000 cash prize fund at the Lough Ree International Pike Festival 2012
• Near specimen ling and good deep fishing reported from Courtmacsherry.
• Cod to 10lb on Shannon estuary charter boat trip
• Cod appear in good numbers during the first outing of the season on Killala Bay
• Pollack, cod and coalies off Valentia, and many big basking shark spotted too
• Big bull huss off the Co. Antrim coast
• Bass en masse around Kinsale!
• Latest bass fishing report from Cahersiveen
• Trout report for Lough Ennell and Owel in the midlands.
• Lough Conn continues to produce sport despite weather conditions
• Low flows on Lagan, but quality trout for those in the know!
• Over twenty salmon caught for the week on Carrowmore
• Success on Lough Beltra opening day
• Twelve salmon on Ballisodare opening day
• Mid and upper Moy Fisheries produce salmon
• Click here to see all the highlights and read the Irish Angling Update

Friday 6th, April 2012 at 1300

A 30 pounder from the Rio Grande!

Irish guide winkles out a 30lb Sea Trout !!
Well known Irish angling guide Matthew Solon is gaining quite a reputation for finding large  sea trout on the Rio Grande in Argentina. Fishing out of Kau-Ta-Pen Lodge Matthew is seen here with his latest monster – a fish of close to 30lb, taken on fly by one of Matthew’s clients earlier this week.


Tuesday 4th, April 2012 at 11.20

Royal Irish Academy – Tuesday 24th April 2012 @ 1800

Alien world: New discoveries of exotic lifeforms & volcanic metal chimneys in the deep ocean

Andy Wheeler led a groundbreaking Irish-led marine research mission aboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer investigating life at 3,000 metres below the surface of the sea on the ‘45o North MAR hydrothermal vent field’ using the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland 1. These vents, which spew mineral rich seawater heated to boiling point by volcanic material in the earth’s crust below, are home to a rich variety of marine life that thrives in complete darkness on bacteria fed by chemicals.

Admission is free but booking is required – see:

Sunday 1st, April  2012 at 1200

 SSACN welcomes protection for a range of shark species in Scotland

“Tope  join common skate and Porbeagle in having the highest levels of protection in Scottish waters.

In a previous post we reported that the Scottish Government was looking to increase the protection of 26 species of Scottish sharks.

The necessaryStatutory Instrument (SI) has now been created and comes into force today. It means vulnerable species of sharks, skates and rays in Scottish waters will have protection over and above that under EU legislation; hopefully this will encourage the EU to step up to the mark and extend similar protection for them in all European waters.

In a press release, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said :

“With a landing ban across both commercial and recreational fisheries, we can help support stock recovery for vulnerable shark, skate and ray species. This legislation builds on Scotland’s leading protection measures for sharks – including our proactive decision in 2009 to strengthen the ban on barbaric shark finning.”

Analysis of the Scottish Shark Tagging Prorgramme (SSTP) data has shown that sea angling has minimal impact on stocks – the importance of that and the contributions of all the volunteers was recognised by Mr Lochhead :

“Recreational anglers will still be permitted to fish using the ‘catch and release’ method, while the tagging programme undertaken by anglers can continue. This important initiative is providing invaluable data about sharks in Scottish waters and will help inform policies about how best we can protect these stocks in the future”

Sea anglers were not the cause of stock depletion and are the ones actually doing the research so it seems only fair that they should be allowed to continue to enjoy their sport.

Sea angling attracts over 110,000 participants and contributes around £150 million/yr to the Scottish economy; other management solutions could have had very serious implications for anglers and all those businesses and coastal economies reliant on it.

There is still a lot more to be learnt about the stock dynamics and migratory patterns of Scotland’s inshore sharks; we will continue to gather information through the SSTP and lobby for inclusion in fisheries management to help ensure the future of sea angling in Scotland.

For more details see:

Friday 30th, March 2012 at 1445

Irish Angling Update Highlights

For more details see:

Friday 23rd, March 2012 at 0900

Irish Angling Update Highlights

For more details see:



Sunday 18th, March 2012 at 0930

Meanwhile….. in neighbouring Chile, Joze Ocvirk ( )  enjoyed excellent  fishing on the upper Rio Grande for resident browns and some large sea trout:

Milena with the best sea trout of the week


Joze with a fine resident Chilean brown

Friday 16th , March 2012 at 1130

Protection for Salmonid Habitat under Threat in Canada


Friday 16th, March 2012 at 0900

WRBD Galway Angling Report 14 March 2012


Galway Weir

The first salmon of the 2012 season has finally been landed in Galway. After 5 weeks of very high water, the OPW finally closed a number of gates on Friday the 9th, lowering the river level to a nice fishable level, with 4 sluice gates open. Local angler Sean O’Toole took full advantage, catching a nice silver fish to kickstart the season here. The fish was small for a springer, at 5.5lbs, but beautifully proportioned and gave a good account of itself. A couple of sea lice showed how fresh it was, probably just off the tide. Sean is a well-known supplier of shrimp to anglers in Galway, and used one of his own shrimps to tempt the fish.

Another fish was spotted in the top pool just 5 minutes after Sean landed his first fish, and with the water level remaining at 4 gates open, conditions are perfect for spring fishing. Weather conditions this week are also perfect, and hopefully we will have more Galway salmon to report soon.



After a fishless February,Delphi really came to life last week, and has had a cracking week since, with 12 salmon landed in 7 days. The first fish of the season was taken on Wednesday the 7th by Alan Dunlop – a fish of 9lbs from the Goat Pool, which was sportingly returned. John Mills then had and returned one from the Waterfall of 7lbs. Both fish were taken on a Willie Gunn Waddington fly. Alan then caught a second fish of 8lbs 1oz at 11.20am in the Whin Pool. So after 5 weeks without a fish, 3 in one day got the season going properly!

This was followed on the very next day by a cracking fish of 12lbs 12oz taken by Michael McLaughlin off Finlough on a Willie Gunn in the stream. On Friday Liam Dunne took a fine fish off Finlough in the stream that weighed in at just over 10lbs. It also took a Willie Gunn. His fishing partner Paul Smyth had lost one on the river in the morning. On Saturday Brian O’Donohue who started on the river in the morning landed 2 fish from the Whin pool in 30 minutes, the first weighed in at 6lbs 5oz and the second was approximately 10lbs. Both fish were surprisingly taken on a Willie Gunn!! Laurence Lock managed to hook and land a fish within 10 minutes of starting in the stream on Finlough. The fish weighed in at 8lbs 2oz and was taken on a Mediator. Laurence also had the first fish off Doolough of approx. 7lbs, that was taken on a Blair Spoon in Weedy Bay.

Later on in the week, Keith Pilkington had a 9lbs 8oz fish off the Rock Pool. The fish was taken on a Green and Black tube at 9.20am. It was netted by Keith’s long time fishing partner Peter Morrison who, according to Keith, attempted to knock the fish off a couple of times but failed to do so and landed the fish safely!


Laurence Lock landed another, a beautiful 12lbs 9oz fish. It was taken in the Rock Pool with the river at 20. The fly was once again a Mediator. Laurence has now landed 3 fish in 4 days which is pretty impressive at this stage of the season. Stewart Woodhead landed a 10lbs 8oz fish from the Rock Pool again, 10 minutes after he started to fish on a Dundee United fly.

It looks like Delphi is getting a good run of spring salmon at the moment, and would be well worth a throw. To book fishing or accommodation, contact Delhpi Lodge at 095 42222, or check



Lough Mask Still Fishing Well

Ronan Cusack reports that Mask was a bit quieter this week, with not as many boats to be seen out.

Water levels continue to drop under the dry mild conditions and good hatches of duckfly are beginning to appear. Local angler Conor O’Mahony and boat partner Mick Byrne fished on Saturday and they had 4 fish for their day (best fish 2lbs). Mick fished alone again on Sunday and he had a further 2 fish totalling 3lbs. Liam Conroy, Tourmakeady, reported having 5 good keepers coupled with several undersize fish on Sunday (best fish 1.75lbs, all returned). Liam also mentioned meeting 3 visiting anglers on the pier in Tourmakeady when he returned to shore and they had 11 trout between them.


Sean Maloney, Ballinrobe, fished on Wednesday last and he had 5 fish for his day (best fish 1.75lbs). Sean fished again on Sunday with angling partner Joe Fitzharris and they had a further 2 fish (best fish 2lbs). Joe reported large hatches of small sedge all along the Inishowen shore with plenty of fish rising in the calm water. Ronan Cusack fished on Sunday last and he had 5 fish (best fish 3lbs, all returned). Kevin Beattie, Ballinrobe, also spent the day on Mask on Sunday and he had 5 fish for his day (best fish 2lbs).

Although fewer anglers were out, fishing was very good, with anglers averaging 2-3 trout per day, not to mention undersize fish, excellent fishing for this time of year. With the duckfly hatch increasing, the next week should see more good sport on Mask.

Ronan also guides on Mask and can be contacted at or on 087 2869487.


Lough Corrib

Fisheries staff are still busy conducting a fish stock survey, so I haven’t had any reports in this week from around the lake, however I am reliably informed that the duckfly hatch is in full swing in a number of areas, and trout are switched on to them already and are feeding hard. The next week should see good fishing and I hope to have some good reports for the next report, especially with the bank holiday weekend this week.

Angling guides omi Kurman and Jack Gorny have been enjoying some great fishing with their clients over the last week, with some great trout landed. The lads have been trying out some new Hybrida lures, and spinning as well as trolling, landing quite a few smaller trout as well as the bigger ferox. On Sunday 2 anglers in one boat had 13 takes and landed 6 fish using the Hybrida lures, while last week Des Canning, who booked a day with the lads along with his brother Michael. Des landed the fish of a lifetime, a magnificent ferox trout that measured 88cm and weighed 18lbs 3oz.

To book a day with lads from the Corrib Predator Team, contact Tomi on 085 731 85 41 or check, or call Jack on 085 774 15 78  or visit his website at

Thursday 15th, March 2012 at 1645

Irish Angling Update Highlights

 For more details see:

Wednesday 14th , March 2012 at 1745

Chile – River Palena

Our new project in Chile:

An economic and environmental study of the factors influencing the success of a planned recreational fishery for chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Rio Palena (Region X– Northern Patagonia, Chile)

has just been launched. Visit our new website at:


Argentina – River Rio Grande

…..meanwhile in neighbouring Argentina the clients’ of my good friend Matthew Solon are enjoying amazing success on the Rio Grande:


A fish to dream about – a 20 pounder on the fly!!





Saturday 10th, March 2012 at 2100

Connaught youth team sweeps the boards at  the 2012 TAFI  Inter -Provincial Youth Fly-Tying Championship, The Dropping Well Pub, MIlltown, Dublin

All Ireland Champ! Ciaran Reilly, Lough Rea

Charles Kennedy and Noel Shiels  present the cup to all Ireland champion fly tyer Ciaran Reilly (13)

The Victorious Connaught Team and Tutors

Frank Reilly jealously admires the Dodder Rhino!!


 Friday 9th, March 2012 at 1100

 Irish Angling Update – Highlights

For more details see:

Wednesday 7th, March 2012 at 1000

Well known angling journalist and columnist, David Gray, launches new blog site

David’s very popular Going Fishing column appears each Friday in the Irish Daily Star.

To read David’s new blog visit:

Tuesday 6th, March 2012 at 2000

Possible new World Record tuna of 335 kg for the Kiwis!


Monday, 5th March 2012 at 1330

The Wild Trout Trust is looking for a Conservation Officer

A very exciting opportunity has arisen to join WTT as a Conservation Officer to provide practical advice and help in habitat management and improvement for river interests.  WTT are looking for a self-starting individual with significant conservation, habitat restoration, fisheries and project management experience; you need to be passionate about trout and trout fishing!!

The conservation officer will provide practical advice and help towards improving rivers in south-east England, on the lines set out in the Plan. Details of the job, and of how to apply, is available by

Friday, 2nd March 2012 at 1600

Ireland – Angling updates

Irish Angling Update Highlights


For more details see:

Saturday 25th February 2012 at 1300

Ireland – Angling updates: 24th February 2012

Irish Angling Update Highlights

For more details see:

Monday, 20th  February 2012 at 1540

Genetically engineered salmon hit some choppy waters

Firm’s genetically engineered salmon facing fierce opposition

AquaBounty Technologies, a Waltham company that has created a genetically engineered Atlantic salmon, is treading water while it waits for the Food and Drug Administration to decide whether it can sell its fast-growing fish to the public.

The already lengthy federal approval process has grown longer and more complicated in the face of strong opposition to the AquAdvantage salmon, the nation’s first genetically engineered food fish, by environmental groups, consumer advocates, and some lawmakers……

The company declined to comment on whether the cutbacks include layoffs at its Waltham office or its laboratory on Prince Edward Island, Canada, where it develops genetically engineered salmon eggs. The eggs are then shipped to Panama, where the fish are raised. Raising the fish in the United States, something AquaBounty wants to do, would require a review by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency to determine whether it posed any threat to wild Atlantic salmon, an endangered species.

AquaBounty, Waltham company that has produced engineered salmon, faces opposition and financial problems




Wednesday, 17th February 2012 at 1325




Russia Presses Norway for Reduction in Mixed Stock Netting in Finnmark

“Coastal fisheries for Atlantic salmon in Finnmark, where salmon of Russian origin are intercepted, must be regulated by more restrict measures,” writes the Federal Agency for Fisheries in an unusual strong letter to Norwegian authorities.

In a letter dated January 31, Deputy Head of Department for International Cooperation in Russia’s Federal Agency for Fisheries V. Chiklinenkov writes: “”The Russian Federation is deeply disappointed by the proposals of the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management to not only maintain the regulations that were in place for the salmon sea fisheries in coastal waters of Northern Norway in 2011, but to weaken the restrictions for this fishery be increasing its duration in the beginning of June by one more day per week.”

The dispute between Norway and Russia on coastal net fisheries catching salmon in Finnmark has been going on for nearly two decades. The North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF) points to a scientific study stating that between 60 and 70 percent of the biggest salmon catches by Norwegian nets belong to Russia and Finland.

The Russian letter is triggered by the Norwegian Directorate’s 2012 regulation for salmon sea fishery. The regulations does not allow for the protest from the Russian side. “Russia is gravely concerned by the interceptor mixed-stock fishery in Northern Norway, as killing quite a large number of migrating salmon,” the letter reads.

For more see:



Commercial Salmon Netting Curtailed in Northern Ireland

Ulster Anglers Federation,

PO Box 107,


BT38 0BW


The Ulster Angling Federation welcomes the information today from the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) that they cannot legally issue licences to net salmon this year due to the perilous status of the salmon population. This comes about as a direct result of the Ulster Angling Federation challenge to DCAL policy at the European Union Environment Directorate in Brussels. The Federation can confirm that the remaining salmon nets are in breach of the Habitats Directive as they are mixed stock fisheries, and as such are illegal due to the stock collapse on the River Finn in Donegal, a Special Area of Conservation for salmon. Sadly DCAL for some years refused to see commonsense. Following a meeting at the EU in Brussels on January 24th, DCAL have moved now in the face of threats of huge fines from Europe.


The anglers have always taken the lead in salmon conservation, and recently have exerted very considerable pressure at Stormont on this issue via the “No To Salmon Nets” group. MLAs Robin Swann and Danny Kinahan have also worked extremely hard, and have been instrumental in focusing pressure on the issue.   The Ulster Angling Federation policy on salmon has not changed since we commenced our campaigns on salmon in the late 1980s. This work intensified in the early 1990s and in 1993 we set up our sister organisation the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NI), which led directly to the buyouts of some 225 salmon nets in NI.


Despite a long series of meetings and correspondence over a number of years between The Ulster Angling Federation, the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NI), and DCAL, this Department continued to licence the remaining Mixed Stock Interceptory salmon Net Fishery which has been taking salmon destined for a large number of rivers in NI that are not meeting their Conservation Limit, and also the River Finn.


Under European law, DCAL have failed to make an appropriate assessment under article 6(3) of a plan or project likely to have a significant effect on the conservation status of a species (Salmo Salar) for which a Candidate Special area for Conservation has been identified in Ireland (the river Finn).


They have licenced and allowed the killing of an Annex II directed species without taking account of or consulting other member nations on the impact upon their SAC (the river Finn) of that licenced activity.


The Ulster Angling Federation policy remains the same as it has always been; that there is no future for commercial salmon netting, and that exploitation by rods only, with appropriate limits, offers the only prospect of  a continued salmon presence in our rivers.


Local Angling Associations have worked extremely hard for many years to conserve, protect, and enhance not only the fishery on rivers, but the entire river environment. This is important for its own sake, but also benefits local people and increasingly, visitors.  Countless (voluntary) man-hours and hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent to improve rivers and associated fisheries: these Associations continue to provide a self-financing and voluntary community-based effort to look after the rivers. A huge effort is now underway to protect and conserve the salmon.

Accordingly, in recognition of the parlous state of most salmon stocks in the Province, the Ulster Angling Federation recommend that as salmon numbers are at a historically low point, angling associations give serious consideration to the immediate introduction of ‘catch and release’ for salmon  in order to protect stocks.


We must now build on this success of the Habitats Directive in protecting the remaining salmon stock and work across a range of measures to conserve and enhance this wonderful fish for the future.

For further information contact:

Jim Haughey


Ulster Angling Federation

Tel +44 78 5038 9831

Tuesday, 14th February 2012 at 1600

Remotely Estimating Fish Farm  Production at Sea


In the face of global overfishing of wild-caught seafood, ocean fish farming has augmented the supply of fresh fish to western markets and become one of the fastest growing global industries. Accurate reporting of quantities of wild-caught fish has been problematic and we questioned whether similar discrepancies in data exist in statistics for farmed fish production. In the Mediterranean Sea, ocean fish farming is prevalent and stationary cages can be seen off the coasts of 16 countries using satellite imagery available through Google Earth. Using this tool, we demonstrate here that a few trained scientists now have the capacity to ground truth farmed fish production data reported by the Mediterranean countries. With Google Earth, we could examine 91% of the Mediterranean coast and count 248 tuna cages (circular cages >40 m diameter) and 20,976 other fish cages within 10 km offshore, the majority of which were off Greece (49%) and Turkey (31%). Combining satellite imagery with assumptions about cage volume, fish density, harvest rates, and seasonal capacity, we make a conservative approximation of ocean-farmed finfish production for 16 Mediterranean countries. Our overall estimate of 225,736 t of farmed finfish (not including tuna) in the Mediterranean Sea in 2006 is only slightly more than the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports. The results demonstrate the reliability of recent FAO farmed fish production statistics for the Mediterranean as well as the promise of Google Earth to collect and ground truth data.

11th February 2012 at 0930

A whole new meaning to the term “rising trout”!!

10th February 2012 at 1945

Melting Ice  – an increasing  threat to our planet ?

WASHINGTON — In the first comprehensive satellite study of its kind, a University of Colorado at Boulder-led team used NASA data to calculate how much Earth’s melting land ice is adding to global sea level rise.

Using satellite measurements from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), the researchers measured ice loss in all of Earth’s land ice between 2003 and 2010, with particular emphasis on glaciers and ice caps outside of Greenland and Antarctica.

The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and Earth’s glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about 4.3 trillion tons (1,000 cubic miles), adding about 0.5 inches (12 millimeters) to global sea level. That’s enough ice to cover the United States 1.5 feet (0.5 meters) deep.

“Earth is losing a huge amount of ice to the ocean annually, and these new results will help us answer important questions in terms of both sea rise and how the planet’s cold regions are responding to global change,” said University of Colorado Boulder physics professor John Wahr, who helped lead the study. “The strengthof GRACE is it sees all the mass in the system, even though its resolution is not high enough to allow us to determine separate contributions from each individual glacier.”

About a quarter of the average annual ice loss came from glaciers and ice caps outside of Greenland and Antarctica (roughly 148 billion tons, or 39 cubic miles). Ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica and their peripheral ice caps and glaciers averaged 385 billion tons (100 cubic miles) a year. Results of the study will be published online Feb. 8 in the journal Nature.

Traditional estimates of Earth’s ice caps and glaciers have been made using ground measurements from relatively few glaciers to infer what all the world’s unmonitored glaciers were doing. Only a few hundred of the roughly 200,000 glaciers worldwide have been monitored for longer than a decade.

One unexpected study result from GRACE was the estimated ice loss from high Asian mountain ranges like the Himalaya, the Pamir and the Tien Shan was only about 4 billion tons of ice annually. Some previous ground-based estimates of ice loss in these high Asian mountains have ranged up to 50 billion tons annually.

“The GRACE results in this region really were a surprise,” said Wahr, who also is a fellow at the University of Colorado-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “One possible explanation is that previous estimates were based on measurements taken primarily from some of the lower, more accessible glaciers in Asia and extrapolated to infer the behavior of higher glaciers. But unlike the lower glaciers, most of the high glaciers are located in very cold environments and require greater amounts of atmospheric warming before local temperatures rise enough to cause significant melting. This makes it difficult to use low-elevation, ground-based measurements to estimate results from the entire system.”

“This study finds that the world’s small glaciers and ice caps in places like Alaska, South America and the Himalayas contribute about .02 inches per year to sea level rise,” said Tom Wagner, cryosphere program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “While this is lower than previous estimates, it confirms that ice is being lost from around the globe, with just a few areas in precarious balance. The results sharpen our view of land ice melting, which poses the biggest, most threatening factor in future sea level rise.”

The twin GRACE satellites track changes in Earth’s gravity field by noting minute changes in gravitational pull caused by regional variations in Earth’s mass, which for periods of months to years is typically because of movements of water on Earth’s surface. It does this by measuring changes in the distance between its two identical spacecraft to one-hundredth the width of a human hair.

The GRACE spacecraft, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and launched in 2002, are in the same orbit approximately 137 miles (220 kilometers) apart.

Wednesday, 1st February 2012 at 1500

As the Celtic Sea Trout Project enters its final year, the organisers are calling for on-going help with scale collection (

The Celtic Sea Trout Project (CSTP) is a European Union, Interreg IVA-funded, Ireland-Wales collaborative project on the status, distribution, genetics and ecology of sea trout around the Irish Sea.

Like any large-scale scientific project, the CSTP is reliant upon effective field sampling to collect data and material such as scales from fish for analysis, and the Project’s steering group is very  keen to continue angler participation in scale collecting during 2012, which has been very successful on some rivers, less so on others.

The scale sampling to date has had mixed fortunes, but participation has been very good with over 1,600 anglers sending in 3974 sets, of which 2,322 came in 2011. The Project organisers are tremendously grateful to all of those who helped. Some rivers have done particularly well, such as the Border Esk, the Irish Dee, Argideen, Castletown and Currane, and on others some of the shortfall has been made up with other forms of sampling. CSTP will continue the sampling in 2012.

The prize draw for the champion scale samplers will be held in Carmarthen 21st March 2013, but the CSTP needs the continued support of anglers in 2012. Scales can be taken easily once you have the basic kit which is provided. CSTP project team members are available to present talks to angling clubs if required.

Contact them through the CSTP website, .

Tuesday, 31st January  2012 at 1715

New trans-generational tagging method

As reported by the Atlantic Salmon Trust ( at the University of Oviedo in Spain have developed a new method for tagging and identifying fish by chemical means. The research has implications for differentiating between wild and farmed fish.

The technique involves adding two stable isotopes to the fish at an established ratio. A mass spectrometer can then verify the isotope ratio of the animal, establishing if it is a tagged one.

Even when used in living organisms, such as fish, the technique does not have any environmental impact. As the fish already has copies of the chosen isotopes, there is no adverse effect on health. In fact the isotypes inserted into the female trout pass on naturally to her offspring, allowing the tracking of the next generation. This is useful in determining repopulation levels, and is currently being employed in rivers in Asturias, Spain.

The fact that the tag is trans-generational and carries through from adults to their offspring  is really very exciting and will be of great use to both geneticists and fisheries biologists.  If logistically feasible and cost effective, it could, for example, be really useful in tracking juvenile and adult aquaculture salmon and their offspring, in the wild.

For more see:

Great New Pacific salmon site


Do you dream about bonefish and tarpon? 

Need to know more about these fascinating fish? Visit the bonefish and tarpon trust at:



Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off


About Ken You’re very welcome to my website. I am a fisheries scientist with extensive international experience and a substantial publication record.  I now work as a marine and freshwater fisheries consultant.  My scientific work covers a broad range of areas: sport fisheries – marine and freshwater the marine and freshwater ecology of migratory fish the ecology of freshwater sport fish species the ecology of freshwater invertebrates biodiversity climate change impacts on the aquatic environment. I have extensive experience of...

read more


Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off


About Ken You’re very welcome to my website. I am a fisheries scientist with extensive international experience and a substantial publication record.  I now work as a marine and freshwater fisheries consultant.  My scientific work covers a broad range of areas: sport fisheries – marine and freshwater the marine and freshwater ecology of migratory fish the ecology of freshwater sport fish species the ecology of freshwater invertebrates biodiversity climate change impacts on the aquatic environment. I have extensive experience of...

read more


Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off


About Ken You’re very welcome to my website. I am a fisheries scientist with extensive international experience and a substantial publication record.  I now work as a marine and freshwater fisheries consultant.  My scientific work covers a broad range of areas: sport fisheries – marine and freshwater the marine and freshwater ecology of migratory fish the ecology of freshwater sport fish species the ecology of freshwater invertebrates biodiversity climate change impacts on the aquatic environment. I have extensive experience of...

read more

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