Foreign national fishermen accused – again

I certainly stirred up a Hornet’s nest in my July column. It created an avalanche of phone calls and emails to yours truly. I mentioned the fact that huge deposits of trash were being left behind on our rivers and lakes and wondered about the escalation of what is now becoming a national problem. Unfortunately without exception the blame was laid firmly at the door of foreign nationals.     One email I received was from concerned Ballygar anglers who reported widespread killing of coarse fish by these people – and not only that but turning banksides into what resembles refuse dumps.    One example cited was Hollygrove Lake where they report fish being killed by the bucket-full. They also tell of fires being lit and fish including roach, bream and tench being cooked on-site. They describe the area as a ‘dump’ full of beer cans, plastic bags and paper. It is also claimed they have witnessed the killing of trout and perch on the Shiven. Several nets were found and removed.    Another report concerned three men of foreign extraction allegedly blatantly removing fish stocks from the Feorish river. When approached and told they were breaking Irish law they packed their fishing gear away and went to their vehicle. To the astonishment of the concerned member of the public as they left they threw out two plastic bags full of rubbish.    Another concerned angler was Trevor Webb from London who was on holiday here. Fishing close to Lock 7 on the Shannon Erne navigation he came across two foreign gentlemen who were in possession of a large yellow bucket. Mr. Webb could see live fish in the bucket and asked the owners about this.    He was informed that they caught ten fish, put them back and then caught more. It was pointed out to them that it was against the law to kill coarse fish. They told him they were fully aware of the law and intended to return the catch. Later in the day they were seen leaving with fish in the bucket. They also left behind cigarette packets and beer cans which the shocked English angler gathered up and brought away.    A local Irish angler told me of a visit he made to Church lake near the village of Gowna. Four of our visitors were there when he arrived