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Dublin: 17°C Wednesday 29 June 2022

Over 1,200 dead fish found along important spawning river in Cork

Fisheries Ireland says a large discharge of raw slurry into the Owentaraglin River, a tributary of the Blackwater, is likely to have caused the fish kill.

Fish kill 2 Some of the dead fish. Source: Inland Fisheries Ireland

INLAND FISHERIES IRELAND is investigating after over 1,200 dead fish were found on a spawning tributary to one of our main salmon fishing rivers.

The fish kill is on the Owentaraglin River, a tributary of the Munster Blackwater River, in north-west Cork.

Fisheries officers discovered more than 1,200 fish mortalities over a 2km stretch of the river near the village of Kiskeam.

Fish kill 1 Source: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Raw slurry

Inland Fisheries Ireland says it is following a definite line of inquiry.

They say the cause of the fish kill is believed to be a large discharge of raw slurry into the waterway, which they describe as an important spawning river.

Fish species affected on the river include salmon, brown trout, eel and stickleback.

Significant numbers of gravid hen salmon were among the mortalities.

Fish kill3 One of the dead fish. Source: Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Significant damage

Aside from the large number of fish killed, there was significant damage to the spawning beds and wider aquatic habitat, which will have implications for the fish population in the area into the future, Inland Fisheries Ireland warned.

Spokesman Sean Long said:

It will take years for River Owentaraglin to recover to its former condition as a result of this pollution.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is reminding farmers of the importance of complying with EU Regulations on the storage or movement of slurry.

Recreational angling contributes €836 million to the Irish economy annually and supports upwards of 11,000 jobs, often in rural and peripheral communities.

Since 2010, Inland Fisheries Ireland has been responsible for the conservation, protection, management, marketing, development and improvement of our inland fisheries and sea angling resources.

Kiskeam Kiskeam is in north-west Cork. Source: Google Maps

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is asking the public to call its 24-hour confidential hotline to report suspected discharges into rivers: 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

Read: Over 700 fish found dead in tributary of River Lee after sewage spillage

Read: 3,700 fish found dead in river after suspected chemical discharge

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