Significant fish kill investigated in North Clare

A significant fish-kill reported in North Clare in recent days is being investigated by several agencies.

According to locals, hundreds of dead fish have been seen in the Ballymacraven and Inagh Rivers. It’s feared that the cause of the fish-kill, about which locals have their own suspicions, could impact life on the river for some time to come.

One local man said: “I observed upwards of 100 fish, eels, trout, salmon, rudd from the confluence with the Inagh river below the falls Hotel right up to the water treatment plant on the Kilfenora road.

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Dead fish have been seen on the shoreline, in pools and floating downriver. It’s estimated that 1,000s of fish may have been killed.

An Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) inspector spent the day at the scene on Monday.

IFI says it is continuing to investigate a serious incident near Ennistymon in Co Clare in which up to 2,000 fish have died.

“The fish kill occurred on the Ballymacraven River in Co. Clare and spread for 2.6 kilometres in length to where the Ballymacraven River meets the Inagh River. Species of fish discovered dead include a large number of eel, along with salmon, trout, rudd and flounder, of all ages.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland first became aware of an ecological issue in recent days when a member of the public informed staff of a rusty red colour on the river.

The IFI spokesperson added: “Water sampling work was subsequently undertaken to assess the quality of the water. IFI is not in a position to confirm the specific cause of this fish kill at this early stage, but our investigations are continuing.

IFI, the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats, reminds the public they can report instances of fish kills, pollution or illegal fishing nationwide by calling its confidential 24/7 number, 0818 34 74 24.”

Photo: Inland Fisheries Ireland

Uisce Éireann has confirmed they are currently investigating reports of an incident which occurred last week in a local watercourse at Ennistymon.

“We are liaising with Inland Fisheries Ireland as part of this process. The processes and outputs from the Ennistymon water treatment plant are being closely monitored as part of this,” the spokesperson said.

Clare County Council says it will work with Uisce Éireann to investigate this incident.

A spokesperson for the Environment Protection Agency said: “The EPA were notified of discolouration in the Ballymacraven river downstream of the Water Treatment Plant at Ennistymon on Wednesday 3rd May.

Inland Fisheries Ireland  reported on Thursday 4th May that an estimated 1,000 juvenile eels were killed as part of the incident. The EPA and Inland Fisheries Ireland are currently investigating the cause of this incident.”

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