Lough Ree is the second largest lake on the River Shannon system. It is a large rich limestone Lough of 10,500 hectares in area and classed as a mixed fishery with good stocks of trout, pike and coarse fish present. The town of Lanesboro lies to the north and the vibrant, flourishing town and angling centre of Athlone is located to the southern end of the lake, a distance of over 25 kilometers.
In recent years Lough Ree has seen a dramatic improvement in wild trout stocks in response to improved water quality. The local angling club is actively involved in fisheries programmes and operates a hatchery on the system. The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board has been involved in local in-stream and bank rehabilitation development works on the Hind River and the Inny system, which are feeder streams of Lough Ree. Such work will enhance and have a beneficial effect on wild brown trout stocks on Lough Ree in future years. This is a collaborative project involving local angling clubs, interest groups and Roscommon County Council.
Trout fishing can be very good. Early season trolling along the extensive shores is effective using Rapalas of different types and sizes. In recent years fly fishing has proved to be an equal if not better method than trolling provided the angler concentrates on the shallows and around the islands. Hotspots such as Hare island, Inch More, and Inch Turk are all worth exploring to seek out some of the finest wild brown trout specimens an Irish Lough is capable of producing. The lake has all the usual fly hatches typical of an Irish limestone lake i.e. duckfly, olives, mayfly, sedges and in September some good fishing dapping the daddy longlegs is possible. Wet fly and dry fly both work well.
OPEN SEASON: March 1st – September 30th.
14 inches or greater, 4 trout
All legal methods subject to Bye Law No 787, Shannon Fisheries Region (Control of Angling in Lough Ree) dated February 11th, 2003, it is prohibited to fish with more than 2 rods at any time.
Public Access is good from piers and marinas around the lake.
There are excellent launching facilities with a number of slipways at various points around the lake, Lanesboro to the north has a public slipway, boat jetty and angling platforms including custom built facilities for disabled anglers. Hudson bay on the western shoreline and Coosan point on the eastern shore provide ample safe parking for car and trailer, the latter having a picnic and play area.
This is an open fishery, angling rights are controlled by the ESB Fisheries (Electricity Supply Board). There is no fishing licence required to fish the River Shannon or Lough Ree. However, a Share Certificate available from the North Shannon Development Co-Operative Society is required to fish the North Shannon and tributaries located upstream of Banagher Bridge in Co Offaly. A Share Certificate can be purchased from most of the larger tackle dealers or from Mr Martin Mc Enroe, Athlone Tel: 090 6494800