Snap-net fishing in Carrick-on-Suir

Statutory Instrument No 123/2011 — Control of Fishing for Salmon Order 2011 allowed for a maximum of 87 snap-net salmon-fishing licences to be issued in the No 3 (Waterford) District, the only district in which this method is permitted.

There are two good sources of information on the snap-net fishing. The first is Noel Wilkins’s book Men, Tides and Salmon. Snap-netting on the Barrow, Nore and Suir Southern Regional Fisheries Board 1998. The second is the writings of Carrick-on-Suir poet Michael Coady. I have relied on Wilkins for the information in the captions below; if I have misunderstood or misrepresented anything, I am sorry (and I would be happy to correct it).

Here are some photos taken in the pool, between the two bridges, in Carrick-on-Suir on a damp August day in 2012.

Two cots come upstream together under one engine

The paddle men get into position while the fishermen get the net ready

The two cots separate to stretch the net between them

The Carrick net was traditionally 16 yards long

The cots drift down with the tide, the paddle men keeping the cots in position

The light cots drift faster than does the net, so it forms a bag up into the tide

The fisherman sits on the header seat

The fisherman holds the head rope and the sole [or stone] rope

The paddle man steers for the bridge opening

Cots moored in the background

One cot approaching the bridge …

… and the other

If a salmon hits the net, the fishermen will feel it, snap the net shut and thus trap the fish. The cots come together to kill the fish and remove it from the net.

Passing through

Nearing the arch

Out the far side


10 responses to “Snap-net fishing in Carrick-on-Suir

  1. Cot fishing returned to the tidal reaches of the River Nore 2 years ago. Crews fish regularly from Ballinagoth and Brownsford Quays. There has also been a revival of cot making in the Inistioge/Rower area. A number of new cots have been built and launched. The nore crews consist of 2 members, one in each boat. They all wear life jackets.
    I run a cruising restaurant on the river and have to manoeuvre past the drifting crews. They are a great attraction for diners as they are generally the only other humans we see on our trips. The 2012 Salmon Season finishes on 15th. August.

  2. Great news; thanks, Mark. I have photos of some Nore cots to add to the site but I haven’t seen them actually fishing. bjg

  3. vinny walsh (j33)

    Many a flood tide or high water I fished sadly missed but great to see it back on the river .those long summer nights down waiting for the tide listening to all the old boys telling stories of years gone by treasured memories

  4. Thanks for that, Vinny. If you want to put any memories up here please do! I think a lot of people don’t know much about the fishing (as opposed to angling) and how important it was (and maybe is). bjg

  5. Pingback: Hot Smoked Wild Irish Salmon Tacos | Farmette

  6. love snapnet fishing on the nore its a pleasure ta be able to do it

  7. Pingback: Fish No More - Slow Food Ireland

  8. Pingback: Fish No More – Slow Food Ireland

  9. Great pictures great story of course I was wondering why Inland Fisheries were issuing licenses while it is known they don’t own the fishing rights to the Tidal River from Mount Congreve Kilmeadan to Powers Weir reach is owned privately.

  10. My brother has the license to fish with a snap net a lot of the fisher men sold their back to the fisheries board and they will not lift the ban on it itis my brother right to carry on this tradition my father and grandfather done it and it is lovely to watch the craft of it you have to feel the ropes it is so sad to see this gone .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.