Environmental
conditions may be to blame for fish kill

A brown trout. Most of the dead fish found recently in the Camlin River belonged to this species.
A combination of low water levels and high water temperature may be the cause of a fish kill on the Camlin River earlier this month which resulted in over 2,000 fish mortalities, writes Patrick Conboy.

A combination of low water levels and high water temperature may be the cause of a fish kill on the Camlin River earlier this month which resulted in over 2,000 fish mortalities, writes Patrick Conboy.

“It’s an event which may have resulted from the warm summer we experienced,” said Amanda Mooney of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). “We have recorded water temperatures as high as 25 degrees Celsius in recent times and this, combined with lower water levels due to less rainfall, has led to a reduced flow on the river, which may also have resulted in less oxygen being dissolved in the water.”

Most of the fish affected were brown trout, a species which requires large amounts of oxygen, but specimens of roach, pike, eel, and white-clawed crayfish were also recorded by officials.

Michael Galvin of the Camlin and District Angling Club added that the Camlin River provides a large percentage of the fish found in Lough Ree and adjoining sections of the Shannon. “It’s a massively important river in that regard,” he explained. “The Camlin is a nursery for young fish, which stay in the river for two or three years before moving on.”

IFI are continuing investigations into the incident which occured over a six kilometre stretch of the river from Cartron Bridge to the Camlin’s confluence with the Shannon. While refusing to deny that pollution may have played a role in the kill, the organisation said tests carried out on water samples from the Camlin revealed no harmful levels of effluent.

According to IFI, live fish have since been noted within the affected area.