Three water keepers have been appointed by Ormond Anglers Association to monitor fishing on the Nenagh River and its tributaries. The water keepers will assist Inland Fisheries Ireland members on the water and were invested with their powers by Nenagh District Court.
The application under the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 was made by solicitor Turlough Herbert at last Friday’s court when Judge Elizabeth MacGrath admitted she was not familiar with the concept.
However, she was told by John Finn from the club that it had engaged with Inland Fisheries Ireland and the water keepers would have the power to go anywhere on the water.
“If we come across unlawful fishing we have the power to seize nets and rods. We also have the power to apprehend,” she was told. However, they can’t pursue anybody on to private property.
Mr Herbert said the work carried out by the water keepers was all voluntary.
Granting the application, Judge MacGrath said: “It is great to see that people are prepared to volunteer for the protection of our fisheries.”
Ormond Anglers honorary secretary Joe O’Donoghue told the Tipperary Star the club previously had water keepers but had not replaced them few a number of years.
“We have a 30-mile stretch of water and have a responsibility under our agreement with the ESB to monitor it,” he said.
Mr O’Donoghue said that illegal fishing was only part of a “lot of things going on on the river”.
He said a three-year biodiversity study with UL was near completion and that would reveal the state of the lake, the river and its tributaries. “Trout has not been so good on th elake for the past few years,” said Mr O’Donoghue.
He praised the new water keepers, John Finn, Kevin Crosby and John Treacy.