THE opening of a new footbridge over the Owenea River in Glenties is a “welcome boost” for angling development.
Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state agency responsible for the conservation and protection of freshwater fish and habitats, and the development and promotion of angling, has opened a new footbridge over the Owenea River.
“Completion of this footbridge is a vital element in the overall management and development of the Owenea salmon fishery and a welcome addition for angling access and the local community,” said Milton Matthews of Inland Fisheries Ireland.
In a welcome boost for angling access on the Owenea fishery, the new steel footbridge was commissioned by Inland Fisheries Ireland to replace the former ‘Green Bridge’, which was constructed in the 1970s, but had fallen into disrepair.
The footbridge is now officially open to anglers and the public.
Funded through the National Strategy for Angling Development, the custom-designed footbridge will provide safe access to both banks of the Owenea fishery between Beats 4 and 5, near Glenties.
Good run of salmon
The Owenea fishery, which is directly managed by Inland Fisheries Ireland, remains one of the most productive salmon rivers in Donegal.
The fishery has a good run of salmon and sea trout as well as a resident stock of small brown trout and is popular with local anglers as well as visiting anglers, travelling from abroad.
Mr Matthews , the Director of the North-Western River Basin District with Inland Fisheries Ireland, announced the opening of the bridge.
He said The Owenea fishery in Donegal is a popular destination for both local and visitor salmon anglers to the area.
“Installation of this new bridge is the culmination of over four years of work in terms of completion of the various safety, engineering and associated environmental reports and planning permission requirements needed.”
He said Inland Fisheries Ireland acknowledge the contribution and support of various landowners, contractors, Donegal County Council, local angling clubs and Community Development Groups, who contributed to and welcomed the successful delivery of this project.
Inland Fisheries Ireland has an ongoing programme of maintenance and upgrading of angling access along the Owenea River, including infrastructure such as stiles, footbridges and walkways.
Constructed in the 1970s, the Green Bridge was used extensively over the years by anglers, recreational walkers and local residents.
However, following safety audits conducted by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Consultant Engineers were commissioned in 2021 to conduct a full examination of the structural integrity and suitability of the structure as a pedestrian footbridge.
The report confirmed that the steelwork of the existing bridge was severely corroded and that it was no longer fit for purpose.
Although Inland Fisheries Ireland didn’t own or manage the Green Bridge, it undertook responsibility for its removal and installation of a replacement galvanised footbridge to ensure safe access to both banks of the Owenea River for the angling community.