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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Shutterstock/Martin Rudlof Photography
I’m not codding

High risk of fish kills in hot weather, says Inland Fisheries Ireland

Fish populations may come under ‘thermal stress’ as air and water temperatures soar and water levels drop.

INLAND FISHERIES IRELAND has warned that there is a high risk of fish kills as water temperatures rise due to the hot weather.

Possible heatwave conditions and temperatures well into the 20s are closing in with high heat expected in many parts of the country over the next few days.

Inland Fisheries Ireland said today that fish populations may come under “thermal stress” as air and water temperatures soar and water levels drop.

Oxygen levels in water decrease as the water heats up, which can put fish at risk of death as they struggle to breathe.

Dr Gregory Forde, Head of Operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Once the water temperature exceeds 20 degrees Celsius, fish species such as salmon and trout suffer ‘thermal stress’. During the current heat wave, air and water temperatures are approaching dangerous levels and fish kills may be unavoidable.

“In some instances, moving fish in and out of the water may also prove too stressful. That’s why we’re asking anglers practicing catch and release fishing to consider taking a break from fishing while high-temperature warnings are in place.

“We’re also asking anglers to voluntarily stop using ‘keep nets’, until conditions become more favourable.”

Forde added: “It is also a good time to remind all those using pesticides that these should be used only as a last resort, always in accordance with product instructions and always respecting statutory ‘no-use’ zones, being mindful at all times of proximity to water bodies such as ditches, streams, ponds, rivers, lakes and springs. Even a very small amount of pesticide can be highly toxic to the aquatic environment.”

To report sightings of fish suffering from thermal stress or fish kill incidents, members of the public are encouraged to call Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential 24-hour hotline number on 0818 34 74 24, which is open seven days a week.

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