The Galway Fisheries Watchtower Museum opened to the public in 2015 after a long restoration project brought about by the Galway Civic Trust. The building features a small museum and exhibition space with interesting artefacts, memorabilia and photographs from Galway’s rich history of river fishing along the River Corrib and has wonderful views of the River Corrib and The Claddagh. Known as the Fishery Watchtower and also as the Tower Station, it is the only building of its kind in the whole country. Dating from 1853 and built by the Ashworth family, it was originally planned as a draft netting station. Draft netting involved the process of stretching a net across the river with one end attached to the shore and the other pulled by a small boat.
The building was also used by fishery staff to as a watchtower to monitor illegal fishing activity along the river. Over the years it fell into disrepair and was at risk of demolition until the much-needed restoration project was funded. The Galway Fisheries Watchtower Museum has now become a major feature on the Galway tourist map and features five-year-old elvers and baby salmon amongst other creatures which make their home in the river. The people of Galway and visitors to the city can continue to enjoy its charm which contributes so much to the architectural and cultural landscape of the city.