As you might have been aware of, driftnet fishing was banned in Irish waters from the 2007 season onwards. It still is banned as far as the driftnet fishing is concerned – long nets being towed by boats in the sea. The simple reason for that is that the number of wild salmon went down dramatically in Ireland. In other countries as well, but as far as we are aware of, Ireland is the only country to have acted on it.
There are, however, limited licences being given out to small fishery outfits like the Grubb family. They are only allowed to fish a small number of wild salmon, and they basically do it by hand with draft nets (see photo).
The season started on 12 May and ends in August. Fishing is only allowed on certain days. The fishing takes place more than 5 kilometres upriver on Blackwater River (Co. Waterford). This is important, as the wild salmon, on return to and in search of the river where they were born, swim into the river for a certain distance and taste the water. If they find it is not the native river of their origin, they turn back to look for the right one. The outfit of the Grubb family is upriver from where salmon would turn back.