Displaying items by tag: Inland Fisheries Ireland
The reports were received from Cork Carp Anglers Club who recorded a number of dead fish at this iconic Cork carp fishery.
Initial investigations by IFI indicate the cause of death to be a fish health issue, with a bacterial or fungal infection suspected of causing the mortalities.
It is estimated that in the region of 200 carp have been infected in this outbreak.
A small number of live fish have been securely transported to a specialist fish health unit to identify the infectious agent.
All dead fish that have been collected are being held in cold storage at an IFI facility pending the outcome of tests to determine the exact cause of death.
Anglers are requested to suspend all fishing activity at the lake until further notice.
Any anglers who have been fishing the venue in the last month are advised to carry out appropriate disinfection of their landing nets, fish mats, footwear and other gear that may have become contaminated, to prevent the spread of the disease to other fisheries.
Operation Ephemera is specifically focused on anglers fishing for trout during the annual hatch of the mayfly, and takes its name from its species name, Ephemera danica.
Mayfly season is traditionally the busiest time of year on Ireland’s prime wild brown trout limestone lakes, when fish are feeding on the surface and are ‘easier’ to catch.
The campaign will focus on Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullen and Arrow, all in the west, and Loughs Sheelin, Owel, Ennell, Derravaragh and Ree in the Shannon catchment.
Anglers found flaunting the law will receive a fixed charge penalty notice, which attracts a fine of €150 which, if remaining unpaid after 30 days, will result in prosecution.
Compliance with other relevant angling regulations and rules, including relevant permit conditions which pertain on certain lakes, will also be enforced.
“Over recent years, we have been seeking the views of the angling public as to what they wanted IFI to do more of in terms of fisheries management in the coming years,” said Greg Forde, head of operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland.
“The theme that kept being repeated was that anglers wished to see more protection of the fisheries resource. Ultimately, there is a concern amongst anglers that not everyone on our lakes abide by the strict regulations that are in place to protect these extremely important wild brown trout and the mayfly period is when fish are most vulnerable.
“With Operation Ephemera, we are reminding anglers to familiarise themselves with the regulations pertaining to the lakes they are intending to fish and to abide by the law.
“We will also be highlighting the regulations and making leaflets available to anglers to help familiarise themselves with the rules.”
The campaign will be concentrated in May, but with hatches being late in some areas this year, this may extend into June.
It is appreciated that many anglers practice catch and release. But where trout are permitted to be retained, it is important that this is within the strict regulations for the respective lakes.
Anglers are also reminded that when fishing in a lake boat, all passengers must wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket.
Similar to last year’s operation, the bag nets will start at the shore and extend into the water approximately 25 meters. The sentinel cages (nets) will be anchored near shore and will not interfere with navigable waters.
All nets will be clearly marked with brightly coloured buoys with IFI identification so that any unintentional retrieval can be notified.
Deployment operations, which were set to begin on Thursday 12 April, are being carried out using the RIB Sea Breeze (Callsign EI-5724) and are subject to weather conditions. The nets will be checked daily, also weather dependent, and all sampling nets and buoys will be retrieved on Friday 8 June.
The offence related to a poor quality discharge from a wastewater treatment plant at Ardee, Co Louth.
The River Dee rises near Bailieboro in Co Cavan and flows through Co Meath and Co Louth, where it enters the Irish Sea at the village of Annagassan.
Michaela Kirrane, senior fisheries environmental officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), told Judge Coughlan that during a routine inspection of the river on the 25 May last year, it was noted that the river appeared to be in a poor condition downstream of the discharge point from Ardee Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A series of water samples were taken and analysis confirmed that the discharge from the treatment plant was having a deleterious impact on the quality of the River Dee, an important brown trout fishery.
Irish Water co-operated fully with IFI’s investigation and remediation works were carried out. Upgrade works are currently underway to increase capacity at the wastewater treatment plant.
Irish Water was fined €4,500 with costs and expenses awarded to IFI amounting to €4,381.61.
The offence related to the accidental discharge of lime from their water treatment facility at Roundwood, Co Wicklow.
Roisin O’Callaghan, fisheries environmental officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), told Judge Kennedy that, on 21 February 2017, IFI received a call that there had been an accidental spill of lime at the water treatment plant.
On investigation, O’Callaghan confirmed that the spill had resulted in a fish kill for approximately 500 metres downstream from the discharge.
A series of water samples were taken and analysis confirmed that the lime spill had altered the pH in the receiving water, resulting in the death of approximately 100 fish.
Irish Water co-operated fully with IFI’s investigation and initiated an immediate clean-up of the site.
Eoghan Cole BL, representing Irish Water, stated that following the clean-up, the Environmental Protection Agency had completed a dye survey on the drainage network to confirm that only clean surface water was discharging to the River Vartry.
Judge Kennedy commented on the significance of the River Vartry in supporting Atlantic salmon, sea trout, brown trout and lamprey.
Irish Water were fined €500 with costs and expenses amounting to €6,937.65.
#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland has published its 2017 fish stock survey for the Owenriff catchment as well as its rehabilitation plan for the system to promote the recovery of brown trout and salmon in its lakes and rivers.
The Fish Stock Survey — which was conducted in the summer of 2017 and forms the basis for the Rehabilitation Plan — deduces that the introduction of pike into the catchment has been the significant factor in the declining fish stocks.
“As there are little or no major anthropogenic pressures in the catchment to cause the decline in fish stocks, it is reasonable to infer that the introduction of pike and their subsequent range expansion in the Owenriff catchment (with impacts of competition for food and space and predation on resident and migratory fish) is the main factor causing the decline of brown trout and salmon in the Owenriff catchment. Research from Europe and North America supports this finding,” the reports states.
Anthropogenic pressures include human-induced factors such as urban growth, deleterious discharges, farming activities and introduction of alien species.
Although pike were captured for the first time by IFI staff in 2009 in two lakes in the catchment (Loughs Bofin and Agraffard) and efforts were made by IFI staff to remove the pike from the system, they did not show up in two catchment-wide surveys in 1997 and 2007 and were only officially recorded in a survey for the first time in 2015.
However, the latest report, from the 2017 survey, confirms that pike are present all over the Owenriff catchment “in areas where they can freely gain access and in some areas where they cannot naturally gain access.”
Welcoming the publication of the two reports, Minister Sean Kyne TD said: “We have acted swiftly since the interim results of this survey became known. In late January, I announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland is to commence fish stock management operations on the Owenriff catchment to protect and restore trout stocks which have been impacted by recent introductions of pike to the catchment.
“The consequences of not taking wider remedial action on the basis of these survey results would lead to further decline in ecological biodiversity in the catchment, so I very much welcome the publication by IFI of the Owenriff Fish Population Rehabilitation Plan 2018.”
The minister continued: “The purpose of the plan is to develop a fisheries rehabilitation project that can be undertaken on the catchment to promote the recovery of the brown trout (both resident and migratory Corrib) and salmon populations in both lakes and rivers. It will take time and will be costly, but we are already underway with this very constructive and positive roadmap.”
With stock management actions having already commenced, the success of the broader rehabilitation project will depend on applying the correct tools to rehabilitate the brown trout and salmon populations in the Owenriff catchment.
These include fisheries enhancement works in selected sub-catchments to favour brown trout and salmon; genetic restoration; removing the problem (pike control); reducing anthropogenic impacts in the catchment; public awareness (especially in relation to the impacts of the introductions of species not indigenous to an area); interagency co-ordination; climate change mitigation; and any other necessary measures.
The Owenriff catchment is located on the north-western end of the Lough Corrib catchment, and the main Owenriff River drains into Lough Corrib Upper downstream of Oughterard, Co Galway. The Lough Corrib catchment itself is the largest and most important wild salmonid catchment in Ireland, and Lough Corrib is considered the premier wild brown trout fishery in Ireland.
The Owenriff rehabilitation plan and 2017 fish stock survey can both be downloaded from the IFI website. Afloat.ie also has more on IFI's stock management plan for Ireland's trout waters in 2018.
The 2018 plan again includes operations on Loughs Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn, Cullin, Arrow and Sheelin for the conservation of the respective wild brown trout fisheries.
Minister Kyne said: “Management of predator species is an important element of ensuring the preservation of salmonid species in these seven lakes which have long been recognised by IFI as prime wild brown trout fisheries.
“I want to commend IFI and its board on its plan for 2018, set out with the inputs of local managers, which aims for the removal of almost 8,370 pike from the lakes, a significant increase on the objective of some 6,840 removals set for 2017.
A separate management plan was put in place in January for the Owenriff system following the introduction of pike to those waters, the minister said, adding that a rehabilitation plan for that system will be announced shortly.
Work on stock management operations is expected to commence immediately. Routine analysis of stomach contents will be undertaken for research purposes.
Stock management operations are carried out in accordance with IFI’s pike and trout management policies under strict standard operating procedures. S59 authorisations are required by clubs and organisations wishing to remove pike via angling competitions on managed trout fisheries.
IFI is currently reviewing its policy on the management of pike in designated wild brown trout fisheries, and the 2018 plan is based on a continuation of operations in line with existing policies.
Minister Kyne also emphasised that the management of the large limestone wild brown trout lakes has been set out in policy and that stock management is prioritised in line with the special designation of these lakes.
“I have directed my department, working in tandem with IFI, to consider how this designation can be given statutory status as a matter of priority,” he said.
Details of the 2018 Stock Management Plan can be downloaded below.
#Angling - As many as 500 farmed salmon could have entered a number of rivers in Galway and Mayo last autumn, according to a new report from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).
The report into the incident in the Western River Basin District also confirms that no reports of escapes in the relevant period were made by local salmon farm owners, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The reporting of escapes to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) are a condition of aquaculture licences.
IFI’s reports says that “up to 500 escaped farmed salmon may have entered western salmon rivers during the August/September period 2017.”
And it adds “that the presence of sexually mature farmed salmon in rivers poses a potential threat to local wild salmon populations from interbreeding and other ecological effects.”
In October 2017, the board of Inland Fisheries Ireland issued a statement noting that it :continues to have concerns regarding the impacts of fish farms on Ireland’s precious wild fish.
“The licencing regime and best management practice should provide assurance to the State that controls are in place that safeguard our heritage. This does not appear to be the case in this instance.
“Inland Fisheries Ireland supports sustainable fish farming but cautions against the renewal and/or award of licences where conditions are not being adhered to. The board recommends immediate strict enforcement and audit of existing licence conditions to ensure compliance and ultimately a sustainable resource for all.”
Speaking on the publication of the new report, IFI head of R&D Dr Cathal Gallagher said: “While a small number of farmed salmon spawning in a catchment may not have a detectable long-term effect on the wild salmon population, repeated escapes of large numbers of farmed fish have the potential to cause serious damage to vulnerable wild salmon populations.
“The large number of escaped farmed salmon entering into these rivers, with a high proportion of males likely to be sexually mature, presents a potential threat to local wild salmon populations.
“IFI will continue to monitor the situation and may need to conduct longer-term genetic studies on the impact of the presence of these farmed salmon.”
The full report is available to download below.
The programme which aims to promote, develop and improve angling in the Dublin area says it has seen significant demand for its services during 2017.
Young people from the areas of Tallaght, Whitechurch, Darndale and Blanchardstown, as well as those participating in inner city youth projects, took part in last year’s programme that saw them take fishing lessons, participate in fishing trips and competitions, and enjoy family fishing days at various community events.
This included two youth events organised in memory of the late Sean McMorrow, who was a member of the Inland Fisheries Trust and who donated funds towards the development of youth angling.
Environmental talks and lessons were also held with many national and secondary schools, with summer project and youth services taking part in the programme during the summer months.
The Dublin Angling Initiative caters for anyone interested in angling, from the complete novice to the more advanced angler, with exposure given to each of the different types of fishing.
Fishing presentations and tours provide an insight into fish, their habitat, conservation measures and education regarding local fishing areas.
The programme has seen thousands of young people participate in the programme since its inception over 20 years ago. The initiative has also been a catalyst for the founding of many fishing clubs by these young people, IFI says.
“The Dublin Angling Initiative offers a great opportunity to our young people to come outdoors and try and catch a fish,” added Brian Beckett, IFI director of the Eastern River Basin District. “We’re delighted to see so many young people out fishing during the summer months.
“Fishing is a hobby that can be enjoyed at any age or ability, in urban and rural settings and it has a wealth of benefits not least of which relate to overall health and well-being. The project provides an opportunity for those who may never have fished before to take up angling and our hope is that, for some, this will become a lifelong hobby.”
IFI chief executive Ciaran Byrne also commented on the importance of introducing young people to Ireland’s unique fisheries resource.
“Building awareness and understanding of the importance of protection and conservation of the resource is a key message of the Dublin Angling Initiative. We hope that these young people will bring this appreciation of the resource with them into later life.”
The Dublin Angling Initiative welcomes enquiries from all groups or individuals interested in its programmes and services. For further information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.
According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators.”
As an organisation, IFI carries out scientific fisheries research, monitoring and investigations which aim to manage, improve and protect the inland fisheries resource.
A board member of IFI, Dr Frances Lucy is also chair of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. She is head of the Department of Environmental Science and director of the Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability at the Institute of Technology, Sligo.
“My advice to young girls and women interested in science is this: follow your passion, let no-one discourage you,” she says.
“It is harder for women, though, because women face the challenge of trying to balance career, children and family. Never underestimate yourself.
“Science is a wonderful discipline and is very rewarding. It’s a career in its own right, but it also offers encouragement to others and makes an impact on science and on society.”
IFI staff member Dr Fiona Kelly is a senior research officer. Dr Kelly heads up a large team specialising in research on various freshwater fish species and has been interested in science since she was a child.
Growing up in Kildare and then Kilkenny, beside the Rivers Liffey and Barrow, her father nurtured her interest in nature, leading to her being an exhibitor at the annual Young Scientist Expo in Dublin’s RDS, before going on to earn a BSc (Hons) in zoology and a PhD in freshwater ecology at University College Dublin.
“As a career, science is extremely interesting and rewarding. The work we do in Inland Fisheries Ireland has great variety and diversity,” she explains. “It’s not just a desk job, you get to work outdoors on rivers, lakes and estuaries on a regular basis.
“For example, I am currently leading the team who carry out the fish monitoring for the Water Framework Directive, to assess the status of fish stocks across the country.”
Dr Kelly says Irish women scientists in the environmental and fisheries sector are well regarded.
“As an island nation, we have a different perspective, so we have much to offer. For instance, I’m on the EIFAAC Technical and Scientific Committee, a sub-committee working under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Irish scientists, male and female, are regular speakers at international conferences.
“It’s a varied and exciting career I would encourage any girls and women who are interested in science to pursue it as a career.”
Wise words of advice as we celebrate UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science.