Environmental and fisheries consultant Ken Whelan informs us of The Freshwater Detective courses which will take place in Clonmel and Limerick

Ken Whelan - Freshwater Detective 2015 2The island of Ireland possesses an aquatic heritage which is unique in Europe. Packed into a land area of just 84,000 km2 is a vast array of loughs, rivers and streams. Some of the bolder strewn, brassy river channels flash by for all to see; some are hidden from view and furtively skirt unnoticed along the edges of the hedgerows. Still others flow largely beneath our feet, only appearing above ground for tantalisingly short periods. Our lakes are shallow, often wind swept and amongst the most highly productive still-waters in the world. Easily damaged by over-enrichment, they demand careful and thoughtful stewardship. During our course we will examine this unique resource: its sources and origin, its contribution to biological diversity and its importance for the landscape and for humans. The course will teach the students the basics of becoming a Freshwater Detective and how, using the presence or absence of specific insects or fish, to read a river corridor or lake shore. This in turn will ensure that students can become guardians of this unique Irish resource.

The course will comprise two Friday evenings (18.00 – 21.00) and two Saturdays (09.00 – 16.00) and include interactive talks with slides, video clips and 2 field classes,

No previous knowledge is required.

Key Programme details

Duration: Nov 6/7 & 20/21 LIT Clonmel Nov 27/28 & Dec 4/5 LIT Moylish

Cost : €175

Delivery: The programme will be delivered over two weekends. The programme will include a mixture of class time and field trips for observation and exami-nation.

How to Apply

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Phone: 0504 28112

Web: www.lit.ie/Flexiblelearning

Entry Requirements

An interest in learning and understanding our fresh-water resources!

Ken Whelan - Freshwater Detective 2015 1

Day 1 – 1800 to 21.00

Part 1: The Physical structure and functioning of Irish lakes and rivers

Glacial history

Geology and Topography

The sources of water and the water cycle

Part 2: Invertebrate and plant life in our rivers and lakes

An introduction to the ecology of freshwater

Life in rivers and streams

Day 2 – 09.00 to 10.00

Part 2 – (Cont): The main invertebrate and plant groups

Skills of the Freshwater Detective

“Life in Freshwater” Field class and lunch – 10.00 to 1400

Day 2 – 1400 to 1600

Part 3: Using animals and plants to assess water quality

The Biological index of water quality

River corridors – their conservation and management

Day 3 – 18.00 to 21.00

Part 4: Fish life in our rivers and lakes

Getting to know the freshwater fish of Ireland

The biology of resident and migratory stocks

Day 4 – 0900 – 10.00

Part 4 – (Cont):

How fish populations work

Invasive species or new neighbours?

“Testing for Pollution and Reading River Corridors” Field class and lunch – 10.00 to 1400

Day 4 – 1400 to 1600

Part 5: Threats and opportunities

Pollution and degradation of habitat

Managing pollution sources in rivers and lakes at local and international

The national water resource and its wise use

Programme Tutor: Professor Ken Whelan

Ken Whelan works as an environmental and fisheries con-sultant – http://www.kenwhelan.info/. He is also an Ad-junct Professor in UCD’s School of Biology and Environ-mental Science. Ken was, until recently, Chairman of the Biodiversity Forum but is best known for his work on the Atlantic salmon. He has also produced, presented and scripted many films and videos on various aspects of Irish fisheries, wildlife and angling. He is also an author and has written extensively both for scientific journals and in the popular press. He is a regular radio contributor to the Mooney Goes Wild programme. Ken is currently working on a new film on Atlantic salmon, which was co-produced by the late Eamon de Buitlear2

1 http://www.medlarpress.com/8166-Fishing-Books-Nomads-of-the-Tides_by_McCully–Whelan.html

2 http://www.atlanticsalmonlostatsea.net/the-film.htm)