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Ireland team managers for next three years appointed

The National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland's executive committee have appointed Mark Theedom, Brenton Sweeney and Gavin Walsh as their national team managers from 2014 to 2016.

Theedom takes charge of the Float Team (World and European Championships and Celtic Cup); Sweeney the Feeder Team (World Feeder Championships); and Walsh the Junior Team (World Championships and Celtic Cup).

The appointments will be ratified at the Federation's AGM next month.

The NCFFI committee are delighted with their progress in World Angling circles, having recently hosted the World Championships for Boat Fishing with Lures and will, this July, host the Fourth World Feeder Championships in Inniscara, Co Cork on their new 2.7km match stretch.

In the past three years, 55 senior and 22 junior anglers have represented Ireland in international competitions.

This year, Ireland Team anglers for the first time received support funding from the NCFFI, greatly reducing each anglers costs and this funding will be extended to teams selected for the 2014 events.

The Loughs Agency has now completed the final phase of their Leghany Limestone Gravel Project, which was started to examine the practicalities and benefits of undertaking targeted limestone gravelm in addition to improving the survival rates of young salmon which are most vulnerable to low pH flushes.

Limestone gravels mats were placed at 14 positions throughout the river and smaller tributaries that run through Killeter forests. These increase the water pH and calcium levels within the gravel beds, helping salmon eggs to survive and hatch.

In total, 200 tonnes of limestone gravel was introduced to the Leghany and its tributaries and the effects closely monitored by water quality testing, and electro fishing.

It is encouraging to report that overall the findings have been positive.

In the summers of 2012 and 2013 electro fishing found good numbers of salmon and trout fry, young fish under a year old, at many of the limestone gravel addition sites. At one site on the Leghany, 70 salmon fry were recorded in a 10-metre section of the river.

Salmon parr – young fish over a year old – were also found, showing that fry from 2012 had successfully survived the winter.

In the longer term, it is the improving air quality and restructuring of conifer plantations which will help recover the Derg acidified waters, but in the meantime the limestone work will speed up the on-going recovery.

Belfast Telegraph