The River Shannon

Note: Salmon angling is prohibited on the Shannon for 2017 until further notice. 

The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland and has a total main channel length of almost 400 km. Its catchment area covers approximately 17% of the country (approximately 6,060 sq. miles).

The river rises in the mountains of West Cavan and flows south for 257.5 km to the tide at Limerick. The largest of its lakes are: Lough Allen (35, Lough Ree (105 and Lough Derg (117 With the most important tributaries of the Shannon being:

To the West To the East
Boyle Inny
Suck Brosna
  Little Brosna

The River Shannon is home to some excellent coarse, trout and pike fishing.

ESB controls the fishing rights of the entire River Shannon under the Shannon Fisheries Act (1935). The role of maintenance and preservation of the entire fishery resources is undertaken by ESB Fisheries Conservation. The River Shannon fisheries are managed in co-operation with:
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI)
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
The Marine Institute

Shannon Catchment Areas for Angling

  • Mid-Shannon
  • Castleconnell
  • Mulcair
  • Lower Shannon 

Review and Assessment of Fishery Management Options for the Mulcair River

In November 2016, ESB commissioned consultant Ken Whelan to carry out an independent review and assessment of fisheries management of the Mulcair River, to consult with relevant stakeholders within specified time limits and to make recommendations for the management of the river for the 2017 season.

Shannon Catchment Areas

Note: Salmon angling is prohibited on the Shannon for 2017 until further notice. 

The Mid-Shannon catchment lies between Lough Ree and Derg, along with many quiet backwaters and the River Suck joining the Shannon at Shannonbridge.

Lough Derg is the largest of the Shannon lakes at over 30 km in length. It is considered a mixed fishery with excellent trout fishing. The lower end of the lake towards Killaloe tends to be the best part of the lake for brown trout fishing.

The Portumna catchment has a steady population of quality bream. Shoals of roach and hybrids feed all year round, and many more move out of Lough Derg and into the river in spring and summer. There are quality roach to 2 lbs, and some large hybrids.

Best fishing times are from March to October, when the river is in full flow; warm and overcast summer days in Lough Derg provide good fishing conditions, especially for bream.

Fishing Season

15th March to 30th September


Access is generally good, especially around the towns of Athlone, Shannonbridge, Banagher and Portumna. Salmon fishing is available on the following rivers:
• Big Brosna
• Little Bosna
• Suck

Note: ESB-operated fishery in Castleconnell is closed for 2017. 

Castleconnell Salmon Fishery is located on the River Shannon, approximately 11 km up river of Limerick City and about a 45 minute drive from Shannon Airport. It is one of the most prestigious Salmon Fisheries in Ireland, well known for its angling.

Fishing Season

February 1st to September 30th - Castleconnell Salmon Fishery operates seven days a week, during daytime hours only.


Castleconnell Salmon Fishery is about 7.2 km long, comprising of six beats (a stretch of water fished by an angler) of 800 metres each. Each beat permits four rods per beat and each beat has up to six pools. Please see below regarding the accessibility of each beat.

Beat Location Access
 1  Located on the Limerick side of the fishery, adjacent to Castleconnell Village. Pass through the village of Castleconnell and the beat is upstream of the village.
 2  Located on the Limerick side of the fishery, adjacent to Castleconnell Village. Opposite the sign for Scanlan Park Housing Estate. There is a public right of way to this beat by Island House.
 3  Located on the Limerick side of the fishery, adjacent to Castleconnell Village. Via the Castleconnell car park.
 4  Located on the Clare side of the fishery, adjacent to Clonlara Village. Crossing the Footbridge at Beat 3. Access from the Co. Clare side through the village of Clonlara to the Anglers Rest Pub at Doonass.
 5+6  Located at the back road from Castleconnell to Limerick. Turn right at the sign for Ahane GAA Club/ Clareville Waterworks.

Note: Salmon angling is prohibited on the Shannon for 2017 until further notice. 

The principal salmon areas in Limerick city and its surroundings are:
• Longshore Fishery
• Corbally Falls
• Plassey
• The Falls
• The Cut
• O'Briensbridge

Fishing Season

February 1st to September 30th

 The Mulcair River is a tributary of the River Shannon, joining the Shannon near Annacotty. It is a spate river, comprising of approximately 32 kms of fishable water and subject to sudden variations in water levels. This fishery is an important salmon and trout angling water. It is popular both as a fly and spinning fishing river.

Note: Salmon angling on the Mulcair is permitted on a "Catch and Release" basis only. All salmon must be carefully handled and immediately returned to the wild. It is prohibited to use or attempt to use worms as bait or any fish hook other than a single barbless hook.

Salmon Fishing

The best times for salmon fishing at Mulcair River are from late spring, through summer to September. Optimum grilse fishing is from mid-June through to September, when water levels permit and especially during wet summers as the grilse can move more quickly. In drier conditions, salmon angling is dependent on the occasional flood. Noted optimum salmon fishing spots have been found below Annacotty weir; below Annacotty Bridge at Lanes Weir; and upstream of Annacotty at Ballyclough.

Trout Fishing

The fishery holds very good stock of small brown trout on the upper stretches of the river up to the Bilboa River, Cappaghmore. On the main river, trout of 25 cm to 35 cm can be frequently caught.

Fishing Season

1st March to 30th September


There is good access to Mulcair river with roads running parallel to both banks. Recognised entrances along the left bank and at the bridges from Annacotty include: Abbington, Brittas, Kileenagarriff, Dromkeen and Cappamore Bridges. Car parking available at Longfield and Abbington.