SOUTH Down MLA Chris Hazzard has called for “one last push” from all agencies involved in the Quoile Barrier issue to find an acceptable solution and finally move towards establishing the Quoile River as a world class angling location.
The Assemblyman recently met with local anglers at the river, and has been in regular contact with both the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in an effort to bring the longstanding issue to a positive conclusion.
Mr Hazzard said: “Following detailed investigations by various agencies, it appears that seals are indeed accessing the Quoile River via gaps in the barrier gates. As the barrier is the responsibility of Rivers Agency, I will be asking them to detail what modifications can be made to the tidal barrage as soon as possible to prevent more seals from passing through in the weeks ahead.
“It is vital to the future of angling in the Quoile River that we finally resolve this situation and then turn our attention to a programme of restocking the river. For years the Quoile pondage was famed for its high numbers of rudd and pike and the angling was amongst the best in the country.
“With the correct management in the years ahead, the Quoile River can generate large amounts of revenue for the local economy through tourism and international fishing competitions which draw anglers and spectators from all over Europe.”