80th Annual General Meeting 2023 Mellon Country Inn 23 Feb 7.30pm

The Association will be holding the AGM on the 23rd Feb 2023 in the Mellon Country Inn at 7.30pm sharp. It will be great to have the AGM as normal again and I am sure you will look forward to meeting up with friends. It has been a difficult few years with Covid and the restrictions that this brought but hopefully we are now moving past this. Refreshments will be served on the evening.

Seamus Cullinan will be present on the evening and he will give an update on all that has gone on within the area including pollution incidents and in-river works carried out by the Loughs Agency and the Strule Trust over the last year.


Terry Smithson (Secretary), Freddie Spratt (Chairman), Ivan Grieve (Treasurer) at the Clubs AGM on the 22nd Feb 2018


Terry Smithson
Honorary Secretary

Angling suspension lifted!

With the plentiful rain and the continued drop in temperature in both the air and the water and the rise in water levels albeit small we have lifted the temporary suspension today 20th August 2022.. We just ask for a common sense approach when members are handling fish , please do it carefully. We are still not issuing visitors permits at this time

The pumps put in place by the Loughs Agency have also been removed at this time. May it continue to rain! The Drumragh had approx 29cm in it by lunchtime today.

Please keep an eye on our website should we have to invoke it again.

Temporary Suspension of Fishing

Omagh Anglers Association have now put a temporary suspension on club waters due to the extreme heat and prevailing low water conditions. we will notify of any change as soon as possible. Club permit holders are asked to use common sense and refrain from angling in such conditions. Fish caught in such environmental conditions have an extremely high mortality rate and are unlikely to survive

We have been working already in conjunction with the Loughs Agency and we had asked and received the deployment of their aeration equipment on the River Strule in known spots where the water temperature had risen to over 25 degrees and where the oxygen levels are low. Of course the rivers are to vast to cover all areas but we are attempting to do our best. These were asked for on Wednesday and the Thursday past and the Loughs Agency had them on site on Wednesday evening.

There will also be no day tickets for sale at this juncture.

Keep fingers crossed for a marked reduction in temperature and some very heavy rain!!

Camowen Hydro Electric Project.

Hi All, yes this has reared its ugly head once more. Can I urgently ask that you contact your local Council Representative and ask them to vote against this.

We fought Omagh District Council alongside FASTA and the Ulster Angling Federation (UAF)for 7 long years from 2007 to 2014 regarding this blot on the river until the Hydro station was eventually built. Omagh Anglers, FASTA and the UAF tried everything to prevent this going ahead and even met with the Environment Minister , Alex Attwood. I argued and proved that lies had been told in its development by employees of NIEA and that objections were omitted. However, at the time a Councillor told us this was a scheme that the council had inherited and it would be going ahead whether the Anglers liked it or not. Cllr Josephine Deehan stated in the Chamber when I delivered a presentation to the Councillors(alongside Jim Haughey UAF), that “We will look after your wee fish”.

We have all seen how well that has gone when you consider the amount of pollution incidents in our rivers in this area over the last three years. This looking after was clearly evidenced on the day the turbine was first turned on and the two weirs run completely dry. This happened in March 2016 and this led to all the juvenile fish stocks being at the mercy of crows and jackdaws and herons. This was highlighted to the NIEA and the scheme was closed for a further year until 2017

At a time when salmon numbers are in dangerous decline why are our Council representatives insistent in starting up this scheme again. When you talk to your local Councillor, ask them how much more do we as ratepayers have to pay towards another “White Elephant” in our District to match the Ulster History Park? How much will it take to repair this?. Ask them do the understand the operating licence and the water levels that must prevail in order for the turbine to operate. Ask them also how much money is this project likely to generate in terms of savings and in terms of overall spend when is it likely to pay for itself. They talk about putting the scheme out to a 3rd party operator. Who would take this on knowing that the turbine cannot run for at least 5 months of the year due to low water levels. How can OFFGEN have given a green light to something that isn’t working and hasn’t worked in several years. That is unbelievable.

To date over £1.3 million has been spent by an extinct council (ODC)on a scheme that should never have been implemented on a spate river due to varying flow regimes. Surely a new combined council would see the absurdity of throwing more money at a failed idea. Figures show that normally this type of project could take 20/25 years to break even. At what cost to the rivers environment and declining salmon numbers. We have seen for may years Fermanagh council highlight the positive attributes of angling and using angling to increase the number of visitors to the Fermanagh District. This does not occur in Omagh.

On listening in to the meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee I noted a Fermanagh Councillor point out the damage that the Ballyshannon Hydro electric plant caused to the Erne system. It has wiped out salmon stocks in Lough Erne totally which has been irreversible. He rightly pointed out we should not be interfering with Nature as if a mistake is made as in the case of the Erne it cannot be rectified.


Councillor Mc Elduff pointed out that the voice of Anglers is very important in this area. make them listen to you,!!

It will take money to decommission the hydro, but at least that will be a positive outcome, no further obstacles to migrating salmon!

Make contact with your local councillor now.

Membership Fees for Season 2021 during lock-down due to Covid 19

We are still in very strange times , and I would guess that none of us have seen the likes of it in our lifetimes, However as an Association we have to keep up with the administrative end of running the club and we must discharge our obligations to Riparian owners  and pay rents as per our lease agreements and  get membership fees collected and permits issued.

Andersons have had to close due to the Covid 19 regulations so we have had to think of other ways. Some of us are still at work so capability levels to do things are tough. However after consulting with the committee we have a process , limited but a process nonetheless. A cheque or postal order made payable to CA Andersons should be sent with a stamped self addressed envelope to Omagh Anglers Ass PO Box 92 Omagh BT78 9AX. Put name ,address and date of birth on reverse of cheque or postal order and Ivan will try to issue your permit as quickly as possible. You can also use this phone number: 07989855202. Ivan will be answering the phone between the hours of 10am and 5pm Monday to Friday . He can take card details and issue the permit after he has accessed the card payment machine.

Please stay safe , think of your own safety and the safety of others following and adhering to the advice that has been given out by Government.


(Click below for extra pages on OAA Catch Return Form)

OAA Catch Return Form  

Alo Mc Donalds fishing diary from 1945

Catch returns on all species in Omagh Anglers waters are mandatory from the 2019 Season onwards!

As an Association we have no figures to combat pollution incidents or how many salmon /trout are being caught in our waters and from this season onwards, compulsory catch returns are going to have to be made by all members.  This was highlighted at the AGM in February 2020. From the returns made in 2019 1070 salmon were caught and 783 were returned. 3464 trout were caught and 3345 were returned.45 seatrout were caught with 36 returned and 12 rainbow trout were caught  

We tried a voluntary scheme six years ago but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.

The new permits will be issued this year with space for catch returns on them and extra pages will be available from Andersons and also from this website (see the section on returns for extra pages).

From the close of the season there will be 25 days in which to make your return and nil returns must be made.

The final date by which returns can be made is the 15th November.

If a member does not make a return, then they will forfeit their licence for the next year. A late return will incur a charge.

Returns can be made via email (oaareports@hotmail.com) or on the returns form located on the physical permit and are to be posted back to the Clubs PO Box, Omagh Anglers Association PO Box 92, BT78 9AX. or there is a private box in CA Andersons where they can be left. 

Catch and Release from 1st October 2020 Season, as agreed at the AGM by the Members.

On February 27th 2020 at the AGM it was proposed from the floor and with a majority vote that the Association would make all waters of the Association Catch and Release  for Salmon fishing from 1st  October again this year. 

 It was decided that from this date that all salmon caught should be returned carefully to the river using full catch and release practises. Remember that bait fishing is not allowed from the 1st October as it is harder to safely release salmon using this method. Any member caught with a salmon carcass in their possession from the 1st October will be deemed in breach of this regulation and will be suspended from the Club. Dead or alive the salmon must be returned to the river. Loughs Agency rules will apply as per reverse of the permit ie.

Angling is permitted only with a single barbless hook with a gape of 12mm or less. From the 1st October the use of earthworms, as bait, is prohibited.

Thankfully as the years have progressed we have now many more members practising catch and release so this should not really cause too much of an upset to most. I would like to thank all these members for being proactive in protecting salmon for the years ahead. We are complying with the majority of members feelings who attended the AGM in Feb 2020. Don’t forget if you kill a salmon then you are denying this fish the possibility of spawning which in turn will only help decline salmon numbers for future generations. Please see catch and release information below. Any member found with a salmon after this date will face suspension from the Association Continue reading

Mc Bride and Courtney Cup 2019

Alan Norby receiving the McBride Cup from Chairman, F Spratt

The Clubs two cups were fished for on Sunday 5th May at Birchwood Fishery in Drumquin. Many thanks to Birchwood and also thanks for sponsoring two prizes on the day. 28 anglers availed of the pleasant conditions but at times it was cold and the fish stayed down. It is a great pity that more anglers could not support this event considering we have approx. 870 members in total. It took only 5 minutes for the members to start catching and several big rainbows came to the net. The Secretary was kept busy on the specimen lake running from one end to the other with the weigh scales, and each trout was getting bigger. Started off with a 6lb , then up to 8lb followed quickly with a few around the 9lb mark. Young Jordan McFarland caught his 9lb winning trout in this early session. All the anglers had at least hooked one trout by lunchtime . At the end of the day 195 trout were caught at Birchwood. The afternoon session brought a umber of bigger trout from the specimen lake although Pearse McKernan got an 11lb trout from one of the smaller lakes. A great days craic was had by all and the afternoon session on the specimen lake produced some fantastic trout. Alan Norby caught his trout late on in the afternoon at his first stand on the specimen lake and it was a huge trout of approx 14.5lb. Alan received the McBride Cup and a voucher for £100. Jordan McFarland won the Courtney Cup with his 9lb trout and got and new fly rod kit as well. The money raised from the draw at the Angling Fair in Castlederg and the entrance fees for the competition are going to be made up to a donation of £500 which will be handed over to the Local Special Olympic Group. We had several great prizes on the day for the draw with the first prize being a box of salmon flies donated by John Martin.

2019 Mc Bride Cup and Courtney Cup at Birchwood Fishery Drumquin, Sunday 5th May

Waiting on the results

Good friends made at Birchwood, the competition fished in a friendly manner with a bit of craic thrown in

Alan Norby eventual winner of the Mc Bride Cup bringing another fish to the net

Last years winner Justin Elliot getting 2nd prize from Chairman F Spratt

Jordan Mc Farland Courtney Cup winner again. Well done!

Alan Norby receiving the McBride Cup from Chairman, F Spratt

P McVeigh , fully concentrated on the job

Mr Mc Crossan getting a large Rainbow weighed at Birchwood



Willy Wans and Coneywarren area of the River Strule April 2019

As Secretary of Omagh Anglers Association I have been asked to make it known that the fishing rights in the  area known as the Willy Wans and Coneywarren area , left bank downstream , are OWNED not leased by Omagh Anglers Association. These rights were purchased by the Association along with other rights in that area in the1970s. With the fishing rights comes access rights.

Anyone caught fishing in this area without a valid Omagh Anglers permit will be liable for prosecution on the grounds of trespass on a Several Fishery and both Omagh Anglers bailiffs and Loughs Agency Officers will be authorised to check for valid Omagh Anglers Association permits.

Unfortunately a few  anglers are intent in  denying YOU fishing!

Willy Wans at Dusk