Very important,- please read all of this..

I'm sure most readers of these pages are well aware of the problems that have arisen over the last two to three years here at Lanesborough. Excessive weed growth, lowering of Lough Ree water levels and now, a new invasive specie, - The Asian Clam.

 

In 2013, I warned of the levels dropping and a potential hot summer drought could pose a headache for us anglers. Little did we know, that it was probably over those months, that the current infestation saw their numbers rise at an accelerated rate.

The discovery of the clam by Dr Joe Caffrey led to new bio-security measures introduced on our precious piece of the Shannon. Despite every effort by IFI, it has been impossible to raise funding to solve the ongoing saga. It seems no one can take responsibility and finance the project.

So here we are, it's mid February, the levels are dropping, and who knows how the estimated 26 million Asian Clams have coped over the winter. Have they multiplied, or spread further downstream? The report published, suggested that about 95% of the little buggers were confined to the hot stretch above the bridge to the power station outlet. Although I'm reliably informed there are also some to be found across the lake near the cut.

The good name of Lanesborough/Ballyleague has been tarnished, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. A new angling hub has been set up by the locals in an attempt to rejuvenate the area. The temporary Angling ban has been lifted and we sincerely hope the current trial of sucking the clams from the river is successful.

There are of course, restrictions and measures in place to protect the rest of Ireland, and Europe from spreading the contagion. Keep nets are currently prohibited, and anglers are requested to use the disinfectant stations to clean their landing nets and footwear after each visit. These stations are positioned as follows,-

  • On the slope towards the hot water stretch as you pass Mr Ryan's drive.
  • At the top of the steps in the car park by the disabled swims.
  • In the harbour below the duckpond
  • On the Ballyleague bank near the toilets.
These must be used to protect the fish stocks and I hope curtail the threat of further restrictions elsewhere. Please encourage other anglers to do so, especially those who claim not able to read!

If you want to see how bad the infestation is, watch this short video taken on October 1st 2014 - It is quite horrific to see what's going on under water.

  

At this moment, I'm unsure as to whether I'm able to make my spring pilgrimage for 6-8 weeks. Having become a father in May 2014, I'd hate to come away and miss out on Dana making her first steps, or uttering those words "Barbel" "Mummy" or "Daddy" They are moments in every mans life that simply cannot be missed, so unless her mother and I come to a mutual arrangement, which sees the whole family residing locally, I may have to forsake my Lanesborough trip for the first time since 1992.