Enda Fields from Emy and District Anglers reports that Mark Boydan from the StreamScapes Project (Coomhole Salmon Trust Ltd located in Bantry Co Cork) visited Emyvale river Wednesday evening Sept 17th. With him, were two very knowledgeable aquatic bug & wildlife ladies in Stephanie and Jessica. We all gathered on a small stretch of the mountain river (close to Emyvale Enterprise Centre). Using various sampling methods and smalll nets trays/containers  etc a brief  insight into ‘what lies beneath’ the surface water film was seen by all.

Monaghan County Council Environmental officers Bernie and Aileen were on hand to explain water quality and other important issues in relation to increasing awareness on the river ecology and best practice on maintaining our river catchments.

During our sampling on the river we came across cray fish, caddis flies, mayfly, stone fly, sticklebacks and small brown trout were observed under the main bridge (in deeper water) feeding but could not be caught on this occasion. I must remember to bring my fly rod the next time !

We all headed back to Emyvale Leisure Centre for some lovely  tea, biscuits and scones ( courtesy of Monica, Karen and Caoimhe ).  A further discussion took place looking at our  river workshop finds. It appears that there is plenty of food in this part of the river and that the river water quality at this location at this  point in time sampled ( i.e 7.30pm on 17/9/14 ) was in very good condition scoring an impressive Q4 (highest is Q5).

Maps shown by Bernie indicates that the water quality at sampling stations coming from the Bragan source direction is very good but further downstream from around the parishfield onwards is not so good and this areas requires further investigation and monitoring. We can all play our part and some household best practice ideas were suggested ( see image). It was also noted by some of  the workshop participants that in recent weeks/months  along the mountain river / mill race/ Emy Lough a kingfisher, some dippers,  minks and otters  (see image) aswell as other wildlife were seen.

Hopefully, sampling water quality survey maps showing biological and phosphorus data will be conducted  as soon as possible on the Mill race as this beautiful small stream is a nursery for wild brown trout and other wildlife etc and this also flows in to Emy Lough (caters for Glaslough/Tyholland Group water public scheme – A very  important water source. Algae blooms have been observed over the years on Emy suggesting ‘that all is not well’ and the resource is under stress and pressures. Emy  Lough then flows out via a sluice gate to rejoin the Ulster Blackwater catchment indicating that the Mill race/Emy Lough is as an equally important source that needs constant monitoring.

The workshop and discussion was a real learning curve and eye opener. Hopefully  more workshops/local river community type projects may come to fruition in the near future on the mountain river/mill race/Emy Lough catchment and that the water quality will improve further to aid a return to a lot higher wild brown trout numbers and other wildlife habitat species.

Many thanks to everyone who organised and took part in what was a great workshop.

Attendees at the Water Management Wokshops in Emyvale
Attendees at the Water Management Wokshop in Emyvale
Kick Sampling Produced Some Great Results
Kick Sampling Produced Some Great Results
Attendees Enjoying the Evening on the River
Attendees Enjoying the Evening on the River