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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Wild Atlantic salmon return to the Tolka River after 100 years

The return of the “King of Fish”, which only reproduces in clean water, to Dublin’s Tolka shows that efforts to reduce pollution in the waterway has been successful.

A Heron in the Tolka river in Dublin today where Salmon have returned to the once heavily polluted area.
A Heron in the Tolka river in Dublin today where Salmon have returned to the once heavily polluted area.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

WILD ATLANTIC SALMON have begun to reproduce once more in Dublin’s Tolka River after disappearing from the waters for at least a century.

Young Wild Atlantic salmon can only live in clean water, so the return of the fish shows that efforts to reduce pollution in the largely urbanised river have been successful. It also means that Dublin now has three waterways that are home to a wild salmon population.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland said today: “Up to the year 2000 Dublin and Reykjavik were the only two capital cities in Europe which had a wild Atlantic salmon stock in a river within city boundaries.

“Now Dublin can boast about having three salmon rivers within its boundaries – the Liffey, Dodder and now the Tolka. In environmental terms this is an important step forward”.

Inland Fisheries Ireland said that the return of spawning salmon to the Tolka were due to coordinated efforts by the Office of Public Works and Dublin, Meath and Fingal County Councils, which oversaw the modification of a significant number of man-made weirs to “open up” the system to migratory fish.

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