Major fish kill on spawning tributary of Clare River

Inland Fisheries Ireland is currently investigating a major fish killing on the Yellow River, a tributary of the Sinking River near Dunmore, Co Galway, which flows into the Clare River. The stream in question is an important spawning and nursery habitat for young trout and salmon.

Staff were notified of the fish killing late last week and an immediate inspection revealed large numbers of dead fish in the river over almost one kilometre downstream. Dead crayfish were also found. Staff traced the source of the pollution to silage effluent leaking from a silage pit on a nearby farm. Samples and photographs were taken, and a prosecution will be taken in light of the severe nature of the pollution.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is again appealing to farmers to exercise vigilance when harvesting and making silage at this time of year. Water levels are low in many rivers, so any pollution has a much greater impact. It is vital to prevent any leakage from silage pits, and to ensure slurry is only spread in suitable conditions and well away from streams and drains.

Commenting on the incident, Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said, “Protection of fish stocks is vital to maintaining an extremely valuable natural resource for the benefit of local and tourist anglers alike.

“Recreational angling in Ireland is worth more than €836 million to the economy and supports over 11,000 jobs. Salmon and trout, in particular, depend on good water quality to survive, and IFI is committed to protecting water quality in our rivers and lakes. Members of the public can assist fisheries staff by reporting all instances of illegal fishing or pollution to IFI’s confidential 24 hour hotline number at 1890 347 424”.

Salmon and sea trout angling in Ireland is worth €210 million to the economy and supports 3,200 jobs. Angling in general is worth €836 million and supports more than 11,000 jobs. (Source: TDI Socioeconomic Study of Recreational Anglers, 2013. )

The Clare River is the main tributary of Lough Corrib and is one of the most important salmon fishing rivers in the west of Ireland, with six angling clubs and hundreds of local members, providing fishing from upstream of Milltown right down to Lough Corrib. It provides salmon fishing from March to September, and attracts many visitors and tourists especially in the summer months.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body opening under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and was established under the Fisheries Act on July 1st, 2010. Its principal is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. IFI promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling, and develops and advises the Minister on policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling.


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