Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

Environmental Disaster


Dear Editor,

Now that 2004 is at an end I feel I must express my sadness and deep dismay at the callous and unsportsmanlike behaviour which occurred at the end of the salmon season on the Bann system's spawning rivers here in Northern Ireland. The Barn system's problems are many. Pollution, poaching, hydro-electric schemes legal and illegal netting on Lough Neagh and many more. But what disgusts and galls me and others most of all is what occurred on the upper spawning sites in October.

As some club members are trying to enhance these rivers others are undermining their good work by killing every single gravid unseasonable salmon they catch. Do these so called anglers not feel at all guilty every time they open up one of these fish and throw many thousands of eggs in the dustbin. I say "shame on you" because not only will the eggs go to the bin but the salmon will not be far behind as these red gravid fish are poor to eat and way past their best. It is widely accepted that their table value is low to non-existent. I appeal to all clubs on the Bann system to stamp out this unsporting practice.

To all anglers I would say that if you want your sport to continue and your rivers to return to their former glory then just three simple rules will suffice.

1. If you want a salmon to eat in October buy some in a supermarket. Not only is it fresh and cheap but also good to eat unlike their red gravid brethren.

2. If you want a trophy fish to show your friends then bring a camera with you and take a photograph of the fish, then carefully return it alive to the river. Remember a photograph is forever ........a dead salmon is gone forever.

3. Remember that a salmon is a living creature just like you and should be treated as such. If you love your sport be a sportsman and return the king of fish, the Atlantic salmon and allow it to spawn.

So remember if you want your children and grandchildren to experience the thrill of catching this wonderful fish its future is in your hands.

Yours sincerely

William Marsden
Finaghy Dunmurry.