The Department is responsible, under the provisions of the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966, for the salmon and inland fisheries of Northern Ireland and providing advice and guidance on matters relating to the conservation, protection, development and improvement of salmon and inland fisheries to angling clubs, fishery owners, and a range of other water users and interested parties.
Movanagher Fish Farm is located on an island between Movanagher Canal and the Lower River Bann, near Kilrea. The farm covers an area of about 4 hectares, comprising long concrete raceways, concrete and fibreglass tanks, a substantial hatchery facility and a small administrative building.
The farm produces brown and rainbow trout to supply the Department’s angling estate.
Workings of the farm
Water is supplied directly from the River Bann by gravity to the various tanks, supplemented with borehole water pumped directly into the hatchery. An aeration tower ensures that the latter is well oxygenated and dissolved nitrogen removed before use. The borehole water, being very clean and of constant temperature, is used primarily in the hatching and early development of the fry. It is also of considerable value during the warm summer months in order to keep fish cool. Ova are produced annually from brood fish, which are specially selected for the purpose. When the young fish are suitably developed, usually one or two years old, they are transported live in oxygenated tanks and stocked into various fisheries which make up part of the Public Angling Estate around Northern Ireland. All fish stocked were “catchable sized” (25 cm +) and contribute directly to angling opportunities for both local and visiting anglers.
The farm also supplies small quantities of fish to private angling clubs and fisheries. Additionally, the Department, to support the work of various voluntary, disabled and community groups, also supplies fish on a charitable basis for a variety of angling competitions.
Staff at the fish farm offer free technical advice on fish husbandry techniques, stocking and conservation issues to organisations and interested members of the public.
Visitors to the farm
Visitors have always been welcomed at the farm, particularly school groups. Prior appointment is necessary in order to ensure that all health and safety requirements are in place and to ensure staff are available on specified dates.
Work has been completed to enable visits from people with disabilities. This provides suitable access to some areas of the farm.