The Island’s excellent angling opportunities can further boost visitor numbers and the economy.
That’s the view of Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, as he revealed there has been a bumper start to the 2015 reservoir angling season.
Many anglers have reported good quality fish up to 6lbs in weight since the season began on 10th March. Feedback on last year’s season has also been positive.
A relatively dry winter resulted in pH (a measure of acidity/alkalinity) levels remaining suitable for all reservoirs to be stocked prior to the start of this season, while fish not caught last season have over-wintered in great condition.
Last autumn, DEFA signed a new five-year deal with Troutlodge for the lease of the Government-owned fish hatchery at Cornaa. The company releases thousands of rainbow trout annually into the Clypse, Kerrowdhoo, Ballure, Sulby, Cringle and West Baldwin reservoirs.
Minister Ronan said:
‘Local people and visitors alike enjoy the tranquillity of fishing in our reservoirs and rivers and the exciting and varied opportunities for sea angling we offer.
‘A recent visitor survey conducted for the Department of Economic Development showed that nearly one in five people who come to the Island for activity holidays do so to fish and revealed the quality of the fish and peacefulness of the surroundings played a big part in their decision.
‘Fisheries officers will be working closely with the DED to improve and increase promotion of the Island’s recreational fishing opportunities.’
The reservoir fishing season runs until 31st January 2016, while the river fishing season starts on 1st April.
Anglers can purchase licences via www.gov.im/onlineservices, at the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, Douglas, or at DEFA at St John’s.
There is no increase in the price of freshwater fishing in 2015 and there are generous concessions for anglers under the age of 19, while children aged 13 and under can obtain licences free of charge.
The reservoir season concessionary licence, available to people aged 65 and over or those registered as disabled, is not available online as proof of eligibility is required to be shown when purchased. This type of licence is available at Post Offices, the Welcome Centre and DEFA.
All freshwater anglers must be in possession of a valid licence.
More information, including licence prices and the ‘Isle of Man Angling Guide’, is available on the freshwater fishing page of the Government website www.gov.im – click on Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture and then Fisheries Directorate – or by contacting the Department on +44 1624 685857.