Limerick’s fishing landscape unveils an exciting development in inland fishing as Mr. Anthony, a well-known and enterprising local gentleman, has taken a significant step to strengthen the city’s fishing industry. With an ambitious plan to carve a niche in the nation’s thriving eel fishing market, Mr. Anthony acquired the fishing rights to Lough Derg and a portion of the Shannon River above it for £2,000 a year, an unprecedented sum for such a license.
Taking advantage of the available resources, Mr. Anthony has equipped himself with a fleet of modern fishing boats and a steam launch, as well as state-of-the-art eel-catching nets. Utilizing a meticulous approach, the nets are strategically placed at the mouths of the tributaries with three-quarter-inch mesh sizes, ensuring that eels weighing at least one pound are caught while allowing smaller aquatic life to pass.
The eel fishing season, which begins in October and ends around Christmas, sees captured eels sent to various markets in living condition, fetching as much as £3 for each eight-pound box. As a testament to their quality, these Lough Derg eels have gained popularity in markets far and wide, even amidst the competition from Norwegian eel imports, and are known to command premium prices of up to 1s 8d per pound.
While the overall fishing industry in Ireland recently experienced an uneventful quarter, with the Foyle and Bann districts facing inadequate salmon supply and limited sea fishing, Limerick’s eel fishing endeavor, on the other hand, brings a new surge of optimism for local fishermen and the economy. With Mr. Anthony’s visionary initiative, the city of Limerick stands poised to benefit from a booming eel fishing industry that is sure to enrich its thriving fishing landscape in the years to come.
Belfast News-Letter – Thursday 11 October 1900