There are two species of stickleback found in fresh water in Ireland – the three-spined stickleback and the nine-spined sickleback. The three-spined is much commoner and the number of spines along the back is the best way of telling them apart because there is considerable variation in the colour and markings. However three-spined sticklebacks often have four spines and the nine-spined (which is sometimes called the ten-spined) can have anything between eight and twelve. They are very small fish and are the commonest quarry of the child with the pinkeen net. They can live in salt or brackish water as well as in ponds, marshes, ditches, rivers and lakes…..

Irish Examiner 24/10/2014 Read the article ‘Nature table: STICKLEBACKS