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Fishing on the Owenea River

Salmon, Grilse, Sea Trout, Brown Trout. Fishery open 1 April to 30 September

Access requirements: Government angling licence (includes log book and tags) and fishery permit. The Owenea Fishery is Catch & Release for 2018. This means anglers must return all salmon and any sea trout of 40cm or over and can only fish with single barbless hooks. No worm fishing is allowed.

The Owenea River runs for some 13 miles, draining Lough Ea in the west of the Croaghs, into Loughrosmore Bay at Ardara. The Owenea is primarily a spate river taking around one to two days to run off after a good flood.

This is one of the best salmon rivers in Donegal. The fishery has a good run of spring salmon, grilse, sea trout and has a resident stock of small brown trout.

The fishery consists of 9 beats which visitor rods share with local club anglers on the lower eight miles of the river, fishing under local rules and angling etiquette. Good pools are distributed throughout the river. The beats cater for two or three visitor rods each. The river has a lot of nice fly water with the majority of fish caught by this method. When in condition, the river is one of the best in Ireland for grilse. The main grilse run starts in July with salmon right to the end of the season.

The fishery is well managed with good facilities for visitors, including those who use wheel chairs. Shrimp and Prawn are strictly prohibited.

The fishery opens each year on 1st April and closes on 30th September inclusive.
Fishery Rules – Owenea River
1. All anglers must be in possession of a permit, licence, logbook & tags before entering onto the fishery.
2. Fishery Opening times: Dawn to Dusk.
3. Visitors must only fish on the beat allocated on permit.
4. Fishing with natural shrimp or prawn baits is strictly prohibited.
5. Worm fishing is not allowed from the neck of wards pool (beat 5) to the tail of Archie’s pool (beat 6).
6. Fish one rod only at a time.
7. Directions of Fishery Manager to be observed at all times.
8. Commence fishing on river at the top of the pool and fish down from there.
9. Do not commence fishing in front (downstream) of an angler already fishing down a pool.
10. Allow a reasonable distance between you and the angler ahead of you.
11. Fish at a reasonable pace to allow access for following anglers (1 cast – 1 step).
12. If illegal fishing is observed, notify IFI at Ballyshannon (071) 985143. 24 hour line Tel: 1890 347424.


Inland Fisheries Ireland, Glenties Hatchery, Glentie