A new scientific paper entitled ‘The spawning location of vulnerable ferox trout (Salmo trutta L.) in the Lough Corrib and Lough Mask catchments, Western Ireland’ has been published in the Journal of Fish Biology by scientists from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.
Ferox trout are large, long-lived, fish eating trout normally found in deep lakes; they are believed to be genetically distinct from normal brown trout, having evolved after the last Ice Age 12,000 years ago. Ferox are highly prized by trophy anglers and Lough Corrib and Lough Mask have recorded the great majority of Irish specimen ferox trout since angling records began in the 1950’s. Little was known about the spawning location of ferox trout compared to normal brown trout, and a radio tracking study was initiated in both catchments in 2005. Local anglers and IFI staff helped catch large ferox trout on both lakes in order to insert radio tags. The fish were released after tagging and then tracked with help from the Irish Air Corps helicopter unit and by walking spawning streams with a radio tracking antenna to determine in which streams ferox spawned.
Results from radio tracking showed that the majority (92%) of ferox trout tagged in Lough Corrib spawned in a single spawning stream, the Cong river, while the majority (76%) of ferox trout tagged in Lough Mask spawned in the Cong canal and Cong river. These results indicate that these streams are most likely the principle spawning locations of ferox trout in both lakes.
The published article can be accessed via this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14593