Needless slaughter of hen salmon - claim

A number of anglers in the North Antrim area are angry at the killing of ‘hen salmon’ in the River Bush.

At this time of the year, salmon are in the process of moving to spawning ground and in under three weeks time they will begin spawning.

One angler says he is incensed at the needless killing of these salmon by anglers who care little for the stocks in the Bush or for the welfare of the salmon themselves.

The situation has worried anglers so much that they are seeking a meeting with the Minister of Fisheries to see what can be done.

According to one angler who contacted the Times, the problem is that DCAL extended the fishing season by twenty days from the end of September and running well into October.

“This has caused real problems for salmon. At this time of the year they proceed up to their spawning ground. They turn a blackish/red colour and their flesh is white which shows they are full of spawn,” the angler said.

He added: “DCAL introduced a twenty day extension and this has led to a decline in the number of smolts returning to sea from the River Bush because of the killing of hen samon.

“The slaughter of these fish is abhorrent and good, clean, decent anglers who have fished the fly since they were boys are asking that the river be closed again in October.”

The sentiments are shared by many anglers who fish for pleasure and not to see any fish being needlessly killed particularly when they are full of spawn.

“It ruins the natural cycle and there’s no need for that,” the furious angler said.

The angler described it as a tragedy and urged action by the authorities.