Welcome to the website of the Lough Erne Wildfowlers Council (LEWC).
On this site you will find information on the LEWC, it’s affiliate Sporting clubs and it’s
objectives and goals to support sustainable and responsible Wildfowling on Lough Erne.
Information is also provided on the history of local Wildfowling, our Conservation activities
and most importantly, how to participate in and enjoy Wildfowling locally on Lough Erne,
through participation in our annual Shooting Permit Scheme.
Lough Erne is a unique and beautiful natural resource, dominating the landscape and
spanning the length of County Fermanagh itself. It has a catchment area of over 4200 km,
located in both Northern and Southern Ireland. When combined, the Upper and Lower
lakes form the 2nd largest freshwater system in the UK
The Lough Erne system is internationally regarded as an important habitat for wildlife
especially for wildfowl and breeding waders. Various portions of the Lake are officially
designated as Ramsar Sites, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protections Areas
and Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Despite it’s official ‘protective’ status, many people believe that not enough is being done
to preserve it’s unique character nor to protect or enhance it’s natural habitats.
Upper Lough Erne covers 3,075 hectares, (7,596 acres) with a perimeter foreshore of
154 miles. Lower Lough Erne covers 10,384 hectares (25,660 acres) with a perimeter
foreshore of 161 miles. Each lake is peppered with numerous islands and secluded bays,
all of which harbour internationally significant numbers of native and migrant wildfowl.
Simply put, Lough Erne is a Wildfowling paradise.
[ picture of island / decoys ]
For as long as man has hunted for food, wildfowl have provided a welcome alternative
and sometimes essential food source for those living in and around Lough Erne . Over the
centuries, wildfowling on Lough Erne has changed from an essential activity to provide
much needed food for the table, to a full time professional occupation, to more recently, a
sporting activity enjoyed by hundreds of people locally.
‘Modern’ wildfowling utilises various types of guns and has been practised on Lough Erne
for centuries. One of the earliest recorded references to wildfowling activity relates to the
skilful use of ‘long barrelled fowling pieces’ in the defence of Crom Castle on Upper Lough
Erne during the Seige of Crom in April 1689.
Today, whilst the equipment we utilise has most certainly been modernised, the skills and
ability to gauge the environment and local conditions has remained the same.