Inland Fisheries Ireland is currently investigating a major fish kill 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 kill 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 over €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”.
For more information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.