Angling news and events
This page has the latest news and information about the Public Angling Estate and fishing events in Northern Ireland.
Invasive alien Zebra mussels
Invasive alien Zebra mussels have been in Lough Neagh since 2005 and have also been detected downstream in the lower river Bann.
They have now been discovered by Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DAERA) Movanagher fish farm.
It is against the law to release or allow Zebra mussels to escape, as they establish rapidly and have significant irreversible environmental and infrastructure impacts.
Therefore, DAERA has taken a precautionary approach and suspended movements of live fish from Movanagher for stocking to other fisheries to make sure it is complying with the law.
DAERA is considering Agri Foods and Biosciences Institute’s (AFBI) scientific advice to inform the way forward.
Private sector production of table fish from the Lough Neagh catchment is unaffected.
You can find more information at the following link to the DAERA website:
Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, has been detected in multiple locations across Northern Ireland including some lakes and rivers in the Public Angling Estate (PAE).
Guidance for anglers can be found at:
Pacific pink salmon
Pink or humpback salmon are a migratory species. They are native to river systems in the northern Pacific Ocean and regions of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean.
Until 2017 pink salmon have very rarely been recorded in Irish or British waters. However, in the summer of 2017 there were more reports of pink salmon from angling catches in the west and north of Ireland, and also in Britain.
It is likely there will be more pink salmon in the rivers within the DAERA area in 2023.
Find out what anglers need to do if they catch a pink salmon:
Fishing safety advice from NIE Networks
Anglers can put themselves in danger by fishing too close to overhead power lines.
By following a few important safety steps anglers can avoid injury. Find out more on the Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) website:
The Broadwater Canal at Aghalee is a Public Angling Estate (PAE) fishery managed by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Anglers need a valid DAERA coarse rod licence and permit to fish the Broadwater Canal .
Only DAERA Fisheries Protection Officers (FPOs) are warranted to carry out licence and permit checks there.
DAERA FPOs will always identify themselves and show their warrant card when approaching anglers.
If anglers are approached by anyone about their licence and/or permit on any PAE water, they should ask the person(s) to show their warrant card.
Impersonation of a warranted officer is a criminal offence under the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966.
DAERA is aware that the Lagan Rivers Trust (LRT) claimed to have leased the fishing rights at the Broadwater Canal, and was selling season permits and day tickets to fish there. It also applied to the courts to have private water bailiffs warranted to work there.
LRT was unable to give evidence to support its claim and recently the court has struck the application off.
It would appear that LRT had no legal authority to sell permits or day tickets.
Any angler who bought these may wish to take the matter up with the Trust directly.
Contacting Inland Fisheries at DAERA
For enquires about angling licences / permits and refunds contact:
For general enquiries contact:
For specific enquiries, for example, about reporting illegal fishing activity, or pollution/fish kills visit the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) website:
Anglers with a DAERA angling licence and DAERA permit may fish at DAERA Public Angling Estate fisheries and do not need to pay any other fees.
Only court approved private water bailiffs with a valid warrant card may ask to see an angler’s licence and permit. They must carry a warrant card as evidence of their legal appointment.
If challenged by anyone while fishing at DAERA Public Angling Estate waters, an angler can ask to see the warrant card to make sure the person who has challenged them has the authorisation to do so.
Impersonation of being a private water bailiff is an offense.
Advice to anglers on reporting unusual catches
What to do if you suspect you have caught:
- an escaped farmed Atlantic salmon
- an escaped farmed Rainbow trout
- an escaped farmed Brown trout
- a non-native Pink salmon
- fish displaying external or internal signs of disease
Report any suspected catches to DAERA Inland Fisheries or Loughs Agency:
If possible take a picture before release and attach it to any report.
Don't kill fish unless in line with fisheries regulations and bag limits.
DAERA Inland Fisheries and Loughs Agency will monitor reports and develop further advice if needed.
Buying angling licences and permits
You can only use the online system to buy DAERA angling licences and permits.
Reports of diseased salmon
Reports have been received of Atlantic salmon from European rivers being caught which have demonstrated symptoms of Red Skin Disease.
If you catch or see Salmon with a red spotted rash, ulceration and bleeding, report to:
Affected salmon should not be removed from the water.
All fishing tackle, boots and fishing jackets should be disinfected.
If you've recently fished in the Republic of Ireland and plan to fish in Northern Ireland, follow the advice at the link below when you leave the water, to stop the spread of invasive species:
How to avoid spreading crayfish plague
Anglers are urged to take precautions to avoid spread of crayfish plague
Safety at waterways
If you're a competitor or a spectator at angling events, always pay attention to safety notices and warnings about waterways.