Warning of ‘thermal stress’ impact on Dublin fish

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is asking the public to report any sightings of fish in distress across Dublin waterways, or where fish have died over the bank holiday weekend – and during the continued hot spell.

The IFI is hugely concerned about potential mortalities due to reduced oxygen levels in lakes, rivers and streams at this time. And Dublin’s rivers, tributaries and canals are full of fish.

The River Liffey is a good host to wild brown and rainbow trout. The River Dodder also has a good stock of brown trout, complemented by stocking. In addition, the Dodder has a small stock of sea trout with fishing popular between Old Bawn in Tallaght and Ballsbridge.

The River Tolka estuary provides a natural link for species such as salmon, sea trout and eels migrating between freshwater and the ocean. Both the Grand and Royal Canal have a healthy stock of coarse fish, including pike, bream, perch and eels and possibly roach and gudgeons.

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 in Dublin waters 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.”

Separately,theIFI is asking boat owners 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 hot spell. This appeal went out to anglers, boat owners, cruisers, sailing, and recreational waterways users on kayaks, canoes or jet skis.

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