Press Release

Second online draw for ‘Brown Tags’ on Lower River Lee in Cork

45 ‘brown tags’ for the Lower River Lee will be issued on Wednesday 22nd of March 2023 and the deadline to enter the online draw is 5pm on Monday 20th of March 2023.

To boost conservation efforts, anglers who wish to catch and keep wild salmon from the Lower River Lee in Cork this year, are being advised by Inland Fisheries Ireland that ‘brown tag’ regulations are in force until the season closes on September 30th 2023.

The measures are included in the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, recently signed into law by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, T.D.

Under brown tag regulations, an angler who wishes to ‘harvest’ a wild salmon i.e., take or keep it, must attach a brown tag as well as a standard blue tag to the fish. To help conserve stocks of wild salmon within the Lower River Lee, No. 5 or Cork District, a total of 180 brown tags will be available for the season and will be distributed to anglers with a 2023 rod licence through a series of online lotteries.

Up to a quarter of the available number of brown tags can be issued at one time, under the Wild Salmon and Seatrout Tagging Scheme Regulations. The first online draw took place in January and 45 brown tags were issued to anglers.

2023 online draw for ‘Brown Tags’

Any anglers that are interested in entering the second draw are being asked to apply between Tuesday March 7th and Monday March 20th 2023 only.

Anglers with a 2023 rod licence who are not allocated a brown tag are only permitted to fish for salmon on a ‘catch and release’ basis on the Lower River Lee, where the salmon is returned safely to the same waterbody.

Further details are available from the Inland Fisheries Ireland’s website at or by phoning its Macroom office on (026) 41221.

The brown tag regulations are in force on the Lower River Lee in Cork from February 1st and will remain in place until midnight on September 30th 2023.


For media information:

Sadhbh O’Neill

Communications at Inland Fisheries Ireland

E :

T : 087 101 9998

Full Notice

Salmon Anglers – Lower River Lee, No. 5 or Cork District: Brown Tags Required

Salmon anglers are advised that from 1st February 2023 to midnight of 30th September 2023, Brown Tag regulations are in force on the Lower River Lee.

180 Brown Tags are available for the season and distribution of these brown tags will be by four electronic lotteries throughout the 2023 angling season.

The Wild Salmon and Seatrout Tagging Scheme Regulations permit a maximum of 25% of the available tags to be issued at one time. IFI have issued brown tags to 45 anglers on 31st January 2023 and will further issue another 45 brown tags to anglers on the 22nd of March 2023. 

2023 online draw for ‘Brown Tags’

Any angler requesting a brown tag must be in possession of a valid 2023 Salmon Licence and must apply by 5pm on Monday 20th March 2023.

Anglers must provide their Name, Contact Address, Telephone Number and 2023 Salmon Licence number. This is the only method to apply for a brown tag.  Anglers may only fish one brown tag over the full season. Multiple applications will disqualify. Salmon Licences are available online at:

Salmon anglers not in possession of a Brown Tag must fish using Catch and Release methods i.e., single or double barbless hooks. Use of worms is not permitted. A Salmon cannot be taken unless the angler is in possession of a Brown Tag. If a Salmon is taken both a Blue and Brown Tag must be affixed to the fish. Failure to do so may result in penalties.  Catch details must be recorded on the Anglers Logbook promptly.

IFI will email all applicants their entry number for the lottery by close of business on Tuesday 21st March 2023 for the draw which will take place on Wednesday 22nd January 2023. No personal information will be shared.  10 reserve licence numbers will be drawn in case the initial offer of a brown tag is not taken up. Tags will be issued to successful applicants by post.

Application may be made between Tuesday 7th March 2023 and Monday 20th March 2023 to:  Late or early applications will be instantly excluded.

For further information contact Inland Fisheries Ireland, Macroom on 026 41221.

Information about angling quotas

Quotas for how many fish an angler can catch and keep (harvested) are set by Fisheries Managers every year, on the basis of scientific advice.

These quotas reflect the ‘exploitable surplus’ in any river, as follows:

  1. In cases where the exploitable surplus cannot sustain angling, that particular fishery is closed for the season.
  1. Where it can sustain angling, but not exploitation (harvesting the fish for consumption), the river is opened on a ‘catch and release only’ basis where the fish is returned safely to the same waterbody.
  1. Where there is a modest harvestable surplus with a risk of over exploitation, a brown gill tag system is introduced where it is considered necessary in the interests of conserving stocks to closely monitor the angling quotas. This is to ensure that river-based quotas are not exceeded.  Where these restrictions apply, you must be in possession of a brown tag specific to that river to harvest salmon, to be used in conjunction with a blue tag.  Similar to blue tags, brown tags issued contain a unique serial number specific to that licence holder and are not transferable between licence holders.   
  1. And finally, where there is an adequate exploitable surplus, the river is opened with the standard 10 tag allocation issued in lots of 3 or 4.

About Inland Fisheries Ireland

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.