Sean Kyne, TD, Minister with responsibility for the Inland Fisheries Sector this week announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland is to commence fish stock management operations on the Owenriff catchment, near Oughterard, to protect and restore trout stocks which have been impacted by recent introductions of pike to the catchment.
Minister Kyne said that the Owenriff catchment is one of the most important spawning and nursery tributaries of Lough Corrib, our most renowned wild trout fishery.
“Previous scientific studies have shown it contributed 15 per cent of the wild trout found in Lough Corrib, and each year thousands of wild trout and salmon migrate upstream into the Owenriff to spawn. I am committed to protecting and rehabilitating the system and welcome IFI’s stock management Plan which I have asked to be implemented immediately,” he added.
Inland Fisheries Ireland will be commencing a focused and intensive effort aimed at reducing the numbers of pike in the Owenriff catchment over the coming year. While pike cannot be completely eradicated, the project will reduce numbers to a level where they are not impacting significantly on salmonid stocks. It is expected that ongoing maintenance operations will be required in future years to help maintain the trout population.
Minister Kyne also emphasised that, in tandem with the stock management plan, Inland Fisheries Ireland is also preparing an Owenriff Fish Population Rehabilitation Plan which aims to ensure trout stocks and habitats are restored and protected, thereby providing the best opportunities for a successful trout population. The plan will be available shortly.
Survey results are currently being compiled and will be available through the www.fisheriesireland.ie website.
Further information on the project can be found in the FAQ (below ) and in the Stock Management Plan located here: http://www.fisheriesireland.ie/Press-releases/kyne-launches-fish-stock-management-plan-on-owenriff-catchment-for-immediate-implementation-by-ifi.html.