October 2011

Another season over and varying reports on failure and success. Some very excellent catches on the Camowen with quite a few salmon returned carefully to the water. The same story on the Drumragh with H Mc Sorley catching and releasing several salmon on the upper reaches of the Drumragh and Owenreagh.

As many will have seen in recent reports in the local press the Omagh District Council have their Hydro scheme almost ready to go with the Archimedes screw now in place. Unfortunately we can see in the paper again this week there is another one planned for just above the Leap Bridge on the Camowen River. This is as big as the Council scheme. This scheme has had to include an environmental study with the plans. It is only approxiamately a half mile above the small hydro at Hamilton Kees farm.
Can I ask all anglers to put in an objection to this scheme picking from any number of reasons such as close proximity to another hydro electric plant, Closeness to a B class listed bridge the Leap Bridge itself, the danger that this scheme could be to salmon, an annex 2 listed species which are offered protection under the European Habitats Directive. It is unreasonable also for planning permission to be given to another one of these schemes when we do not know the impact the councils scheme will have on salmon numbers which are already in decline. I would like anglers to write to :

Area Planning Manager, Western Area Planning Office County Hall Drumragh Avenue Omagh BT79 7AF and quote K/2010/0681/F

and put in a objection to this scheme. A new weir is going to be built at the top of the falls to help direct water to the mill race to power the turbine. We organised over 240 letters of complaint to the last scheme by the council , we need to make our objections heard again. We have to make a complaint because if we don’t then if it goes wrong and salmon stocks are decimated then at least we have told the powers that be it is a mistake.

I will leave a selection of objection letters in Andersons for signatures and names and addresses if anglers would prefer.