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Lough Ree Fish Stock Assessment Report Launched By Inland Fisheries Ireland

7th April 2016
A Roach/Bream hybrid is released during the Lough Ree survey in spring 2014 A Roach/Bream hybrid is released during the Lough Ree survey in spring 2014 Credit: IFI

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a report on a scientific survey of adult fish stocks in Lough Ree. The report details the findings of a fish stock assessment of the lake undertaken in 2014 to establish the status quo of all fish stocks, with particular reference to the brown trout population.

The assessment was the first time such a large scale extensive survey was undertaken on the lake. As part of the survey, brown trout genetic samples were collected and will feed into the greater Mid Shannon Brown Trout Genetics Study, currently underway in a partnership project between IFI and Queen’s University Belfast. The survey also provided valuable ecological information in relation to the status of invasive species such as zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and the Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea).

The survey, which was carried out over a two-week period in spring 2014, recorded eight fish species and a number of coarse fish hybrids. Roach were the dominant species with good numbers of roach/bream hybrids also noted. Other fish species present were perch, bream, pike, brown trout, rudd, pollan and tench. Pollan are a listed protected fish species on Annex V of the EU Habitats Directive and Lough Ree is only one of five lakes throughout the country that they are found in.

Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “During the Lough Ree survey, eight fish species and a number of coarse fish hybrids were recorded. Almost 52 per cent of all fish noted during the survey were roach, 21 per cent roach/bream hybrids and 16 per cent were perch with significantly smaller numbers of bream, pike, trout, rudd and pollan making up the balance. The information provided from this survey will prove very useful in the context of conserving, managing and protecting such an important mixed stock fishery.”

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, commented: “Currently Lough Ree can be regarded as one of Ireland’s premier mixed fisheries. Mixed, in this instance, is a reference to three different fish stocks – cyprinid, pike and trout stocks. The status of all of these fish populations is such that, presently, each of them can provide quality angling on a seasonal basis.”

The Lough Ree survey report is available here

Published in Angling
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