3rd April 2020
I hope this correspondence finds you and your families safe and well. These are unprecedented times for us all. Loughs Agency continues to review the most recent announcements from the governments of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We urge the angling community to follow the guidance provided and to keep up to date with the latest advice from the Public Health Agency (PHA) in Northern Ireland and the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland. As you will be aware both governments have provided guidance, listing circumstances where members of the public may leave their homes at this time. One of these is to take exercise, either alone or with other members of their household. The only forms of exercise permitted are walking, running or cycling. Angling, like many other forms of recreation is not specifically mentioned as a form of exercise, therefore we would urge you not to go fishing at this time – this includes Loughs Agency’s permit waters on the River Finn, River Foyle and at the Greenbraes. We thank those anglers who are already adhering to this advice and we will continue to review government guidance as it is issued. While we hope these restrictions won’t last long, we must all do what is asked of us by government and work together to fight this pandemic. This is about saving lives and supporting our healthcare systems and frontline staff. The Agency is encouraged by private fisheries closing during this pandemic and heeding government advice. Loughs Agency offices are closed and we would ask our stakeholders to engage with us using email and telephone. We currently do not have the capacity to facilitate the selling of licences by phone or through our eLicencing system. However, our Fishery Officers will be patrolling the rivers and will ask anyone found angling to leave at once. We encourage you to report illegal angling or pollution concerns through our website or through our 24hr response line on +44 (0) 2871 342100. The safety of anglers, Loughs Agency staff, our families and healthcare professionals are paramount at this time. We must do all that we can to help deal with this health emergency.
Chief Executive Officer