Friday 17/02/2023 A river without a name runs through it

Friday 17/02/2023 A river without a name runs through it

The trout season opened on Wednesday, looking forward to a few days on the Loughs

A still and misty morning following a night of gale force winds in Foxford. The week started off beautiful with sunshine on Monday but by Wednesday evening it was cold and wet and it seems to be continuing that way. The river is rising and is now at 0.8m at Ballylahan bridge. Still no news of a first Salmon on the Moy but it won’t be long now. The trout season opened on Wednesday and a few anglers ventured out on Lough Conn. I didn’t get any catch reports but I’m sure they will have at least moved a few fish.

We had our Angling Club AGM on Monday night. It was well attended and there was some good discussion on the season ahead and how we as anglers can both enjoy our sport and at the same time do something to improve things for future generations. Stream enhancement is always something that comes up in these conversations. Are there any spawning/nursery streams which we can work on to improve or increase suitable habitat.  One little stream was identified and not because of its potential to be a major benefit to fish stocks in the Moy or our local Loughs, rather because it’s a total shame in this day and age to see any stream in such a poor condition.

The Brook, overgrown and looking sad

The stream in question does not even have a name. I have always known it as “The Brook”. A little stream that flows from the hills outside Foxford, through the center of the town and enters the River Moy from under the Foxford woollen Mills. Yes, under the Mill. In my youth there was a nice stock of small brown trout and eels in the brook and we spent a lot of hours chasing them. Over the decades the brook has been neglected, abused and in general destroyed. It now looks like a dirty drain, typical of many streams flowing through the towns of Ireland. Since 2017 our club has made approaches to IFI (Inland Fisheries Ireland) to see if something could be done to help the Brook but unfortunately nothing has happened. Perhaps they don’t see it as a viable project, perhaps it’s too big of an issue for them, perhaps they don’t care about it or they don’t see it as their remit, who knows but the brook is certainly not getting any better.

The brook flows through our town, passing very close to both the national school and the secondary school. It has the potential to become an attraction to the town but more importantly it can become a valuable educational tool in our struggle to educate people in the importance of water quality and biodiversity. If cared for and rehabilitated it has the potential to produce some trout and maybe even a few Salmon. If left the way it is, it will be a poor legacy to the anglers of Foxford who walk past it on a daily basis on their way to fish the Moy.

A large pipe drains directly from a car park into the Brook. I’m no scientist but surely his is wrong ?

Following some discussion, I’m very happy to report here that although this project is big, as in we will have to knock on a lot of doors and carry out a lot of work just to have it recognised by the very people who SHOULD be trying to protect and restore it, our club has agreed to take on the project. I will report here as to our progress. I don’t expect it to be rapid or easy but I do hope we will lead the way and perhaps encourage you to have a look at a local stream and see if you can do something in your locality. Its not all about catching fish.

Litter dumped across a bridge on the Brook. If anyone needs a Gobshite we appear to have a surplus!

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