Press Release

Record tally of salmon caught and released by Irish anglers in 2022

  • Rivers in Mayo, Cork, Kerry, and Galway accounted for 53pc of all Irish salmon landed last year
  • Inland Fisheries Ireland publishes 2022 report on wild salmon and sea trout data
  • 26,715 salmon and 2,082 sea trout caught by all methods – incl.commercial and angling
Salmon released into water

IFI image of salmon released into water

A newly-published report by Inland Fisheries Ireland reveals a record percentage of wild salmon were placed back in the water after being hooked by fishermen/women in 2022.

And Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report 2022 shows that five rivers in four counties accounted for 53pc of all salmon caught in 2022.

  •  A total of 18pc was taken on the River Moy, Co Mayo;
  • 16.1pc on the River Blackwater (Lismore), Co Cork;
  • 7.3pc on the River Laune, Co Kerry;
  • 5.9pc on the River Corrib, Co Galway and;
  • 5.4pc on the Lower Lee, Co Cork.

Lower River Lee, Cork

Last year anglers in Ireland released back 54pc of their wild salmon catch, compared to 52pc in 2021, and 51pc in 2020.

Barry Fox, Head of Operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) said: “Catch-and-release of salmonids in Irelands rivers and lakes is becoming the norm. 

“It is very encouraging to see the year-on-year increase in the catch-and-release of salmon. This method supports the angling community to sustainably fish, and conserves our salmon stocks.

“Wild Atlantic salmon and sea trout continue to face numerous risks, including climate change, water pollution, and illegal fishing. I commend all our stakeholders who participate in the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme - which limits the number of fish that can be retained - and helps ensure its continued success.”


Moy Fishery, Mayo

The Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Statistics Report 2022 outlines the total number of fish caught by all methods (commercial and angling, including catch and release) was 26,715 salmon, and 2,082 sea trout.

This is a reduction of 14pc on the total salmon catch recorded in 2021 (31,148), but an increase of 30pc of the total sea trout catch recorded that year (1,595).

Anglers from 42 different countries held salmon rod licences in 2022.

Most of these licences were sold to residents of the Republic of Ireland (66.5pc), followed by Northern Ireland(11pc), and England/Scotland/Wales(6.6pc). Hundreds of anglers from France, Germany, and the United States also bought salmon licences in 2022 during trips here.

Commercial fishermen caught 15pc of the salmon catch in 2022, compared to 21pc in 2021 and recreational anglers caught 85pc in 2022 compared to 79pc in 2021.

A total of 17,318 salmon licences were bought by fishermen/women in 2022 - up some 11pc on the corresponding figure for 2021.