Inland Fisheries Ireland Warns Of Impact Of Heat On Fish

The weather can cause potential mortalities due to reduced oxygen levels in lakes, rivers and streams.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is warning people about the impact the hot weather can have on fish.

They are asking the public to report any sightings of fish in distress, or that have died, over the bank holiday weekend - and during the current hot spell.

The weather can cause potential mortalities due to reduced oxygen levels in lakes, rivers and streams at this time.

Commenting on the issue Barry Fox Head of Operations at IFI said:

“During this sunny and dry weather, air and water temperatures are approaching dangerous and potentially lethal levels for salmonids in parts of the country. The risk to fish mortality may be unavoidable due to low oxygen levels and ‘thermal stress.’

“Once the water temperature exceeds the 20C threshold during daylight, fish species such as salmon and trout, will suffer thermal stress. Our fisheries staff are continuously monitoring inland waters for any signs of fish experiencing thermal stress.

“Fish need cold, clean water and high water levels to survive and thrive. IFI is mandated, as a State conservation agency, to protect the welfare of fish. Anyone who encounters distressed fish, or fish kills, illegal fishing and pollution, can contact our confidential 24/7 number on 0818 34 74 24.”

Boat owners are also being asked to help stop invasive species spread in rivers, lakes and canals by carefully checking, cleaning and drying their boats and equipment when travelling from one waterway to another over the bank holiday weekend.

Users of the River Shannon and its tributaries are being asked to adopt preventative measures to halt the proliferation of non-native species that can foul, and cling to, craft when in waterways where invasive species are present.

Barry Fox of IFI added:

“We are appealing to users to be proactive in reducing the advance of invasive species in our inland Irish waters. This will greatly contribute to slowing the spread of very harmful organisms such as the bloody red Shrimp, Zebra mussel and the Quagga mussel, which was first detected on the Shannon’s lakes in 2021.

“We are asking boat owners and anglers not to move any watercraft between waterbodies due to the risks involved in carrying invasive species with them. However, if they must do so, then we urge them to make time to disinfect their boats and fishing equipment afterwards as per Check, Clean, Dry guidelines”.

These recommended methods of sanitisation include:

  • Checking craft, equipment, and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material, removing anything found and leaving it at the site;
  • Cleaning equipment, clothing and footwear, using hot water, as soon as possible, paying attention to ropes, bilges, trailers, the inside of boats, and areas that are damp and hard to access; 
  • Drying all parts of the boat/craft and trailer before leaving the site, and allowing to air dry for at least 48 hours.

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