ESB Fisheries' Update

Following updated guidance from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), ESB Fisheries have now re-opened subject to the strict adherence to Government COVID-19 guidelines. Further details on these guidelines are available on the Inland Fisheries Ireland website

ESB Fisheries’ Role

At ESB, we have the statutory responsibility of managing, conducting and preserving the fisheries throughout the Shannon, Erne, Lee and Liffey catchments. We are committed to putting significant resources into the conservation of the fisheries to ensure their accessibility and enhancing their amenity value.

ESB fisheries’ role is part of our organisation’s larger, strategic goal: our commitment to Ireland’s environment and natural landscape; and engaging sustainability as our core value; with particular focus on waterways and fish stocks.

For more information on ESB activity in this area, view our infographic:

Angling Information

While every angling permit issued by ESB, or approved permit agents, clearly sets out the angling regulations applying to ESB-controlled fisheries, it should be noted that these fisheries are also subject to regulations and bye-laws issued by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

All angling permits issued by ESB or ESB-approved agents must be available for inspection by ESB and Inland Fisheries Ireland staff. Any angler found to be in breach of angling regulations on ESB-controlled fisheries may have his ESB permit withdrawn without notice. Inland Fisheries Ireland staff are authorised to withdraw ESB angling permits from any angler found to be in breach of angling regulations.

ESB Fisheries controls angling rights in the following catchments;

• Shannon 
• Castleconnell 
• Lower Shannon 
• Mulcair River 
• Mid-Shannon 
• Erne 
• Assaroe Lake 
• Liffey 
• Lee

ESB Permit Information

For information on our permit charges and where you can purchase the permits, please download the files (PDF) below. Also available is the boat permit application form.

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs)

The use of stand up paddleboards (SUPs) is not permitted at this time on ESB Fisheries. ESB recognises the growing interest in this activity in recent years and continues to liaise with the appropriate governing bodies in relation to the governance of this emerging sport. It is understood that further safety guidelines and online training programmes will emerge in the months ahead. Due to the particular risks such as potential underwater hazards and rocks on our fisheries, ESB is reluctant to permit the sport at this time on our Fisheries. ESB will continue to monitor developments in relation to the management of safety with the governing bodies and will review its’ position as further details emerge.

Eel Trap and Transport activities

ESB is committed to Ireland's environment and natural landscape, with sustainability our core value. We operate a trap and transport programme for migrating silver eel. Juvenile eel (elvers) coming from the Atlantic Ocean are captured in elver boxes and released into freshwater habitats upstream of the stations. When fully grown, the adult eels move downstream and are captured in large river nets. They are released downstream of the stations where they continue their ocean migration. In 2016, the Trap and Transport programme accounted for approximately 70 per cent of all eels trapped and transported in Europe. 

In the first video, ESB fisheries biologist Dr Dennis Doherty describes how upstream-migrating juvenile eels are captured downstream of Ardnacrusha before they are transported and released above the station to continue their migration up the Shannon catchment. .

In our second video, Tom O’Brien of ESB describes how downstream-migrating adult silver eels are captured in Athlone by traditional fishermen, to be then transported by road and released downstream of the Parteen Weir

Contact ESB Fisheries

ESB Fisheries Office, Ardnacrusha, Co. Clare 

T: 00353 61 359090 
F: 00353 61 344560 

ESB does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred to any person or property on ESB property unless caused intentionally or recklessly by ESB. All persons permitted onto ESB property must take care for their own safety and well-being and must supervise those accompanying them.

Anglers must respect the rights of property and land owners whose land or property they may have to cross or whose land they occupy while fishing. Lighting fires or any other damage caused by a permit holder will be considered a breach of the permit conditions and the permit will be withdrawn.

Permits must be available at all times for inspection by ESB personnel or Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) Officers. ESB reserve the right to refuse to furnish further annual, weekly or daily permits to any person found to be in breach of IFI or ESB angling regulations.

ESB or IFI Officers may withdraw permits without notice upon breach of any of the IFI or ESB angling conditions therein. ESB reserves the right to close all or any part of the listed fisheries, at any time, if doing so is considered necessary to conserve fish stocks.