Overdigging by Commercial diggers

Tue May 25, 2021 3:52 pm

Hi, just want to see if I'm the only person that has noticed the problem with overdigging of ragworm in Dollymount.

I've dug there for over 40 years and have only started fishing again since restrictions eased a few weeks ago. I can't get over the amount of commercial diggers that are digging in Dollymount and the fact that the whole mussel-bed has gone from the digging, on both sides of the wooden bridge.

For the small bit of bait that I dig for my own personal use, it normally takes me 20 mins. That is now taking me 2 hours. They are not giving the ragworm a chance to replenish with all their digging. Something has to be done before there's no bait for anyone.

Has anyone else experienced this? Would appreciate your comments.

Re: Overdigging by Commercial diggers

Tue May 25, 2021 7:55 pm

Hi, I regularly dig for ragworm and lugworm at dollymout. Been there before sunrise and throughout the day whenever it is possible to dig. I have noticed the same. Lots of bait collectors out and about for hours both sides of the wooden bridge. I have never really spent more time than 30 minutes to collect what I need. However, sometimes if I arrive a little later than planned, I've noticed lots of sand turned over and holes everywhere. And I agree with you, it can be a bit more work involved when you arrive, if there are bait collectors already at work. But there are plenty of ragworm, sometimes white rag in the right spots.You are spot on about the mussels. But I think the mussels are being harvested by the public. I have seen this quite a bit. I don't want to mention a nationality as I don't want to appear racist!!
But my instinct tells me that they are collecting the mussels for consumption. (I wouldn't recommend eating any shellfish from the bay).

That said, there are plenty of gaper clams to be had. Nice ragworm and in some spots, yellowtail lug.

Are you collecting in a specific area?
Or do you collect both sides of the bridge?

The are at the slip way for Clontarf yacht club is really good for ragworm. Also at the shallow channel which drains the lagoon, just were scarring and rocks are visible. I think those commercial diggers concentrate at the lagoon.

Tight lines

Re: Overdigging by Commercial diggers

Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:28 pm

Hi, thanks for your reply. The commercial diggers are not even digging on the land anymore, they're digging on the water as they've dug all the land that previously had an abundance of rag in it. The point I'm trying to make is that they are taking over 600 - 1200 rag per tide and this cannot be sustained.

You, like myself, collect an amount per week just for our own use. But the commercial diggers are taking vast amounts per tide and it is very visible that the ragworm stock is depleting.

To answer your question, I now dig everywhere in Dollymount (and on both sides of the bridge) as the specific part I dug for many years with my father was decimated by the commercial diggers within one month. My fear is that there will be no rag left if it continues this way. In Mornington, up near Laytown, commercial digging was stopped because they made it into a bird sanctuary and you can only dig there now for personal use. This is what should happen in Dollymount.

Tight lines!