Fishermens’ blues!

The contentious issue of illegal fishing and poaching on local rivers has surfaced again this week, with the finger of blame once again being firmly pointed in the direction of foreign nationals.    A well-known Roscommon town angler who was largely responsible for the acclaimed restoration of the River Hind a few years ago has alleged that widespread illegal fishing and poaching on the Shannon and Lough Ree will ‘clean out every fish in the lake and the adjoining rivers’ if the authorities do not do something about it.   Michael Quigley from the Roscommon Angling Club told the Roscommon People: ‘It’s foreign nationals that are at it. I have seen them myself and so have several angling club members – and it has got to stop.’    Michael claimed: ‘They (the offenders) are catching everything: trout, perch, bream, pike, eels and whatever they can get from three inches to five feet in length. If this is allowed to continue then there will be no fish of any kind left in the Shannon, the Hind or Lough Ree’.    Mr. Martin McEnroe of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board in Athlone agreed that there is a major problem in this area.    ‘Look, there is a huge problem with illegal fishing in this area and all over the country and that’s a fact, but I am very disappointed to hear what Michael and the people in Roscommon are alleging is happening there.    ‘I can assure you that our local men there and the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board will be investigating this as soon as possible. I agree that it cannot be allowed go on’ he said.    Full story on page five.