Milford and District Angling Club recently held a Youth Angling Day at Lough Fern, which was supported by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

A total of 48 people attended the event, which saw them try out fishing for the first time.

The novice anglers were fortunate to enjoy a good hatch of the mayfly along the Portlene shore which allowed a nice rise of trout throughout the day.

Local fly fishing expert Hugh Cullen and Gordon Roulston helped children with their fly tying while anglers from local fishing clubs coached them in their fishing efforts. Several trout of all sizes were caught and released on the lake with plenty of skill demonstrated by those fishing.

Aside from participating in practical lessons in angling, children also attended an outdoor lesson on aquatic insect life.

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Fisheries Officers brought samples of aquatic insect life from the river bed for children to examine under microscopes with mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies and freshwater shrimp all analysed closely.

The diversity and abundance of insect life present allowed children to learn how to determine the quality of the water while an aquarium containing juvenile trout and salmon was used to explain the life cycle of fish to the children.

In addition, Fisheries Officers also took the opportunity to talk to anglers about important biosecurity measures which are required to protect fisheries from the spread of unwanted aquatic invasive species and the potential impact these harmful species can have if they spread to new waters.

Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “There was a strong turnout for Milford and District Angling Club’s Youth Angling Day which shows keen interest within the local community for the pursuit of angling.

"I would like to thank both Milford and District Angling Club and Letterkenny Angling Club, who also assisted on the day, for organising this fishing experience for all.

"Fishing is a pursuit which can be enjoyed at any age or ability with a range of health and well-being benefits. We hope to see those young novice anglers coming back to fish again and to join their local fishing club. Well done to all for landing their first catch and for taking that first step to learning more about our valuable fisheries resource.”

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