Between April and July, folks on the bridge can watch salmon fight their way upstream to their traditional spawning grounds in Lough Corrib. This is one of the prime salmon fisheries in Ireland, and one of the largest (thus, the name of the bridge). During this period, anglers can be seen standing in the waters, hoping to catch their share of salmon ( after purchasing a permit, of course).
The weir itself is a low dam (constructed from stone and wood in the beginning) in order to regulate water levels (up to four million gallons per second at full flood, and one hundred thousand gallons per second at low flood). However, only two of the original sixteen gates remain. Between 1952 and 1959, the river was drained in order to re-construct the present weir.
Every day, we crossed this bridge on our way to the city center and we would spot upwards to half-a-dozen fishermen trying their luck with the salmon. We never saw anyone catch a fish (the salmon seemed to be on to the trap).