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26 Sept 2022

New group formed to address 'significant barrier' to fish in County Limerick river

New group formed to address 'significant barrier' to fish in County Limerick river

Lisa Egan of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage with Daniel Purcell of the National Water Forum, at the public information meeting  | PICTURES: Brendan Gleeson

A PUBLIC information meeting took place earlier this week to make people more aware of the Annacotty Fish Passage Project and to highlight potential solutions to the problems that the weir is causing Ireland’s fish populations.

Almost 60 people, including stakeholders, representatives of community groups and public representatives, attended the event which was organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The weir at Annacotty has been classified as a “significant barrier” to fish, negatively impacting on survival rates for species such as wild Atlantic salmon, lamprey wild brown trout and eels. 

Those present received a presentation from Brian Coghlan, a Research Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland, who explained how the current weir acts as an artificial ‘barrier’ to certain fish species and the resulting problems for their life cycle.

Alan Cullagh, a Fisheries Development Inspector with Inland Fisheries Ireland, talked about how the problems could be overcome and what solutions were being used in Ireland and internationally to improve fish passage at barriers.

A panel discussion also took place at the event which was well-attended.

An Interagency Group for the Annacotty Fish Passage Project has been set-up which includes representatives from Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Limerick City and County Council, the Office of Public Works, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Local Authority Waters Programme and the ESB - click here for more details.

“The Annacotty Fish Passage Project is a very important project to improve access to fisheries habitat on the river Mulkear and it is heartening to see the public interest in this project," said Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development with Inland Fisheries Ireland.

"As we highlighted at our public information meeting, we are seeking the views of the public to help inform the most appropriate solution for improving fish passage at Annacotty. This along with environmental and technical assessments will enable us to put the preferred option forward for planning permission," she added.

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