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More Than 2,000 Trout Among Species Feared Lost in ‘Significant’ Fish Kill in Co Laois River

30th July 2022
Samples of dead fish found in the River Erkina near Rathdowney in Co Laois
Samples of dead fish found in the River Erkina near Rathdowney in Co Laois earlier this month Credit: IFI

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a "significant" fish kill on the River Erkina near Rathdowney in Co Laois earlier this month. 
 
Environmental and fisheries officers from the South-Eastern River Basin District were alerted to the incident by a member of the public on Wednesday 20 July.
 
The State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats estimates that there could be in excess of 2,000 trout killed in the incident, in addition to other species such as salmon parr, lamprey and crayfish.

IFI notes that fish species in the Erkina are very vulnerable currently due to higher water temperatures and lower water levels at this time of year. If there is less oxygen in the water, fish find it extremely difficult to survive as a result.

Local anglers have expressed their dismay, with Rory Maher of Rathdowney Angling Club telling the Leinster Express that the incident has ended their 2022 season and may already rule out fishing in 2023.

“It is not just fishing impacted, it’s all the wildlife on the river, like ducks, herons, egrets, kingfishers — the whole ecosystem has been affected,” the club’s secretary Maher said.

Investigations into this fish kill incident are ongoing and IFI says is not in a position to comment on the cause at this stage.

Published in Angling
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