River Blackwater Salmon Opening Day in Ireland

Count-down to Salmon Opening Day on February 1st on the Cork Blackwater
The Cork Blackwater river was running very low for the time of year up until the 11th. January, when the first rain came.
Since then the weather has been very wet & the level has stayed very high.
The graph below shows the actual height & rainfall at Ballyduff.

This could be a perfect run-up to the start of the season as it is always good to have a flood in late January
to help encourage the first of the spring fish to run. We have already seen a few fresh-run fish showing,
but at this time it is difficult to know if they might be early fresh-run spring fish or late spawners.

What would really make it for us would be dry cold weather for the last week of January to help hold up the springers in the lower beats on the river.
For the first time ever, the first (two) springers of the year in Ireland have been taken on the Laune/Killarney Lakes.
The presence of springers so far south bodes well for the opening on the Blackwater which is only round the corner from Kerry.
The spawning run in the Blackwater system has been truly exceptional this year – one of the best for very many years.
It is also very encouraging to see virtually no diseased fish present in spite of the very high numbers of kelts in the river.
We all now wait with eager anticipation for the start of the new season.

by Ian Powell
Ireland salmon fishing