End of September 2011

The Officers of the Club have had a busy few weeks with several meetings being attended. The Secretary ,Treasurer ,Chairman and Assistant Treasurer all met up with Dr Paul Johnston in the Silverbirch Hotel on the 13th September to discuss the next Hydroelectric scheme on our rivers. It is to be sited directly above the Leap Bridge and will be linked with Mr Cathers house. This scheme is as big as the Council scheme  and at the minute we are waiting on an environmental impact assessment statement to be delivered to the planning office. It will most likely read that there should be no adverse impact on salmon. !! We will be unable to stop its progress but we shall be trying to ensure measures are put in place for the safe passage of salmon both upstream to spawn and downstream forthe smolts going to sea.

The Secretary then met up with The Ulster Angling Federation on the 21st to view the site at the Leap Bridge. We also took a trip to check out the work to date on the Council scheme at the back of the Leisure Centre. We were able to see the fish pass adjacent to the pump house and the actual size of the lade to take water to the Archimedes screw. FASTA have received papers from the Secetary which are being forwarded onto Europe. The meeting also discussed the ‘No to salmon nets in Irish waters’ group strategy. As previously stated The Federation are looking after Omagh Anglers interests in this matter and are at a well advanced stage re net buyouts and proposals to have DCAL nets and other nets removed.

Shane Colgan and Brian Mc Gillion on Saturday the 24th September attended the FASTA meeting in Strabane , the meeting was from 10.30am to 14.45pm and represented the Club on a variety of issues from net buyouts to hydro schemes and also had input on a trout consultation document put forward by the Loughs Agency. It was a long meeting and the Association was thanked for their continued affiliation and also for the donation that is being sent to NASF to continue the fight to safeguard salmon !!

Brian McGillion , Bobby Rodgers (Chairman)and Ivan Grieve(Treasurer) then represented the Association at the ‘No to salmon nets in Irish Waters’ meeting.  As many at the meeting found out, the Associations  and its members best interests are being well looked after by the Ulster Angling Federation.  We have to be very careful that there are not too many bodies presenting the same message, as this dilutes the message and the effect it has on the ears that hear it. Noel Carr of FISSTA was also at this meeting and our own FASTA is affiliated to this FISSTA group.

This morning 28th September the Secretary met with an Official from Strabane District Council in relation to the positioning of two memorial benches at the playing fields at Newtownstewart. This came about after a bit of a battle with Omagh District Council who turned the Club down on health and safety grounds and on the advice of the Chief Executive Danny Mc Sorley. I can only extend my thanks to Strabane District Council for allowing this project to proceed.

I hope from this small section  on our work our members can see that the Association ‘s Officers are representing its members on many fronts and are continuously working tirelessly in a volunteer capacity to ensure that we are heard loud and clear. Officers of the Association are also Directors on the Strule River Trust which has been charged with salmon enhancement work on the River Strule and its tributaries from Cappagh Burn and up to and above Omagh. A large sum of money is at the disposal of this group and the two directors from Omagh Anglers will again be attempting to look after the interests of both the salmon and its members with regards where and what the money will be spent on.  The money is to be spent on salmonoid enhancement schemes in line with NASCO stipulations. This money is being spent on top of the £250.000. that the Club had invested on salmon fishing on our waters from 2006. In this time there has been no money spent on trout stocking as the Loughs Agency have stated our trout rivers are in excellent condition !!

The Face book page has had to close down as the Secretary doesn’t have the time or even a Facebook account and the Assistant Secretary who had looked after the page over the summer has left to go to college and won’t have time to do regular updates. The Facebook page was only a stopgap until the web site was up and running again.