Thursday, 17 November 2016

Sea Trout and Salmon Farming: New Study Demonstrates negative effects of warming waters.

Infestation of sea trout Salmo trutta L. by salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis is associated with increased mortality risk and possible sub-lethal effects. Separating anthropogenic causes of infestation from background ecological variability has proved difficult. A unique 25 yr dataset was collated comprising lice counts from >20 000 sea trout sampled from 94 separate river and lake systems in Ireland and Scotland at varying distances from marine salmon farms. Statistical models were developed to explore the potential effects of distance to a salmon farm, rainfall and ambient temperature on sea trout lice infestation and body condition (weight at length). These models indicated that sea trout captured closer to salmon farms had significantly higher levels of lice infestation, and that this effect was exacerbated in warmer years. Sea trout sampled closer to salmon farms also had significantly reduced weight at length (impaired condition), with the strongest impact in dry years. The study dataset covers a broad geographic area over multiple years, and accounts for variability in temperature and rainfall. Our results imply a rather general impact of salmon farming on lice infestation and body condition of sea trout. This finding has implications for current lice control management strategies, coastal zone planning, recovery of sea trout stocks in aquaculture areas and the scale of aquaculture free zones. 

Click Here for Full Study: Interesting Study Fish Farming Areas

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Regulations 2017: Public Consultation

The Tagging Regulations are open for public consultation over the next 30 days in relation to the 2017 season. There appears to be a quite sizeable reduction in surpluses available on the majority of rivers. This has become apparent over the last number of years with dwindling commercial and rod catches.

Tagging Regulations for 2017

Thursday, 10 November 2016

River Water Quality Continues To Decline: Salmon at increased risk

Outlook Progress with Water Framework Targets (EPA: 2016)
"The slow progress in improving the ecological status of surface waters means that new approaches are needed. The target of 13.6% improvement in ecological status for surface waters from the 2009 baseline by 2015 included in the first cycle RBMPs has not been achieved (EPA, 2015b, 2016a). Instead, the overall situation has not changed during the first river basin planning cycle. A radically different approach is required to target management measures to where they are needed. There is an opportunity to improve implementation under the new water governance structures recently put in place and by using the integrated catchment management approach supported by better evidence and science."

Monday, 3 October 2016

Important Study needs Your Support and Help

Salmon Watch Ireland actively promotes the following study being carried out by UCD. The project is currently being undertaken at the School of Biology and Environmental Science and concerning the migration of fish in Ireland’s rivers. 
The project is part of a PhD program undertaken by Siobhan Atkinson
The project is called 'Reconnect', and the overall goal of the project is to develop a validated methodology for prioritising a selection of barriers for modification or removal to improve hydro-morphology and connectivity in Irish rivers. An important first step in the project is to build a map of the location of barriers, both natural (waterfalls) and man-made (bridge aprons, weirs, sluices, culverts) in Ireland's rivers. 

These structures can cause problems for fish and invertebrate migration, and the movement of natural river material.
As you can imagine, locating and mapping river barriers is a big job. To help map barriers and to help create awareness of their impact we've introduced an app from the UK called 'River Obstacles' that can be used to record barriers. We are trying to encourage professionals in the field and members of the public to use the app to record any barriers they encounter when they are out and about. The records that are uploaded via the app can be viewed on a map of Ireland with details, a photograph and GPS co-ordinates
( The app is free to download and very easy to use. One simply takes a photograph of the obstacle and notes some details. The app uses the GPS facility built into a smartphone to map the location.

Here are the links to our Facebook page and website if you are interested:
Salmon Watch Ireland believes that migration barriers are a major obstacle to the rehabilitation of our rivers and asks our supporters to please help Siobhan in this most interesting study.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Salmon Statistics Report Northern Ireland:Salmon survival on Northern Ireland's Rivers

Very informative information from Northern Ireland. The salmon smolt productivity on the River Bush is interesting in that it fluctuates from year to year indicating juvenile mortality can be high in certain years. Please take the time to look at full report as it is important. 

Please click on Link: Salmon Report Northern Ireland

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Fish Counter Data 2015: Very Interesting Data

Salmon Watch Ireland welcomes the publication of data in the public domain for 2015. The counter data demonstrates the low numbers of salmon and sea trout returning to Ireland's rivers in 2015.
It appears that a significant increase in 2016 may have occurred and hopefully represents a change in the negative trend noted in recent years.
The report may be accessed at