INLAND Fisheries Ireland has won a court case against a Co Louth man who was found to be illegally fishing for salmon.
Mr Pat Smith of 15 Seaview, Annagassan, Co Louth was found to be illegally fishing in September 2010. Fisheries officers from the Dundalk District apprehended him with a fixed net at the shores of Annagassan which is the tidal section of the Dee and Glyde rivers, and initiated court proceedings.
Both sides were represented in court and Mr Hamill fought the charges being brought against him. Judge William J Hamill convicted Mr Smith under Section 97 of the 1959 Fisheries Act, for using a fixed engine which was capable of taking salmon or sea trout.
Mr Hamill was also convicted under Section 301 for refusing to give his name and address when lawfully demanded.
Mr Smith was fined e600 and ordered to pay total costs of e880 to Inland Fisheries Ireland in Drogheda District Court on April 14 last.
At its peak 3,000 salmon were caught commercially in Dundalk. In 2006 Inland Fisheries Ireland introduced a series of conservation measures in order to combat the decline in salmon numbers.
Consequently all the rivers on the East coast with the exception of the River Fane were closed for salmon fishing. Earlier this year the Castletown river opened for salmon fishing based on a quota and the Glyde river is open for catch and release only. The River Dee remains closed for salmon fishing. Inland Fisheries Ireland’s freefone number to report poaching and pollution incidences is 1890 34 74 24.