We have had a number of reports in again regarding illegal fishing and netting on the Castleconnell Fishery recently. On one day one angler told me that he saw five fish being taken using shrimps/prawns at the lower end of beat 6. These fish were killed and this angler left in disgust. Two guys who accessed the fishery by boat were involved here. We also understand that, as happens every year here, that the bush hole has also been netted. This happens every year once a head of fish builds up. A net is put across the end of the bush hole and rocks are thrown into the river to frighten the fish back into the net.
The main illegal fishing blackspot on the Lower Shannon however has always been, and still is, the tail race downstream of Ardnacrusha. Here salmon run into a dead end and often end up going up and down with incoming and outgoing tides. The area is easily accessed by boat at night from some of the most notorious estates in Limerick. There are still hundreds of salmon taken out of here this year by any estimate. Thousands have been taken here in the past. In addition to netting, the tailrace in front of the powerhouse in Ardnacusha is now another favourite shrimping / prawning area and boats come up here in the middle of the day on a working day and fish with impunity for salmon trapped below the dam.
Illegal fishing is definitely one of the contributory reasons why there are no salmon in the upper Shannon.