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Launch of Major Study on Lough Derg’s Native Fish

April 6th, 2017 | by

Lough Derg Anglers Association writes that many of the questions about the native fish stocks of Lough Derg will be addressed when the results of a major scientific study are revealed to anglers in the Lakeside Hotel in Killaloe on Wednesday, April 12th, at 7.30pm.

Nenagh’s Joe O’ Donoghue, the PRO of the Lough Derg Anglers Association, is urging all anglers to turn up to learn of the very interesting findings uncovered in the study, known as the Lough Derg Native Fish Biodiversity Project.

Mick Gough, the Killaloe based Chairman of the Association, said it is vital anglers turn up, as it is they who played the central role in the success of the project, by collecting fish samples for the scientists to study.

“The results of the project are extremely interesting, particularly for anglers, so we are urging members from all of the 13 clubs around the lake, or anyone with an interest in the conservation of our native fish, to come along to Killaloe on Wednesday night, April 12th, as there are some very interesting findings from the project,” said Joe O’ Donoghue, who pointed out that the study was initiated by anglers because of their concern over declining trout catches.

Huge trout of 17.4lb trout from Lough Derg

It has long been suspected that there are different species of trout in the lake, traits that in turn determine issues such as the food these fish feed on and the rivers they run to spawn. The findings of the study will ultimately determine the management of the trout in the catchment in order to conserve stocks and maximise the angling resource of the lake and its rivers as top class game fisheries.

So come along to the launch and find out if the Gillaroo trout, once plentiful in the lake, is still present. And find out why the silvery Croneen, that behave and look so like sea trout, never actually go to sea. Find out, too, why stream rehabilitation is more effective in preserving trout stocks than hatcheries.

The project has also produced some really interesting information on lamprey eels and pollan stocks – the latter once so plentiful in Derg that it was fished on a commercial basis.

Fran Igoe, a voluntary scientific advisor to the project for over a decade, praised anglers in helping to gather almost 2,000 fish samples for the scientists involved in the project. “This is a great example of a large scale community-led project involving citizen science in an effort to get quality information that can be used to support good planning and management,” says Dr Igoe, a freshwater biologist.

Dr Igoe will be present in the Lakeside Hotel on Wednesday, April 12th, to explain many of the findings of the project, as will Dr Paulo Prodohl, who with his team in the Department of Biology of Queens University in Belfast, conducted genetic analysis of the trout, while the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, carried out stable isotope analysis to determine the diet of the fish.

Among those invited to attend the event are representatives of Inland Fisheries Ireland and the ESB, who provided juvenile trout samples from streams and rivers for the project, and the Lough Derg Sub Aqua Group and the Lough Derg Science Group, who also helped with the study.

“This is going to be a very special night for anglers who want to see the future of Lough Derg as a top class angling resource preserved for future generations,” said Joe O’Donoghue.


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