Invasive management

 

THE ASIAN CLAM (Corbicula fluminea) is a most unwelcome addition to the fauna of Irish rivers and lakes. This bivalve mollusc is one of the most notorious aquatic invasive species in the world and was first recorded in the River Barrow near St Mullins, Co Carlow, in April 2010.

Subsequent studies by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) under the EU Life+ funded Caisie project have revealed it is firmly established in the lower Barrow and the Nore downstream of Inistioge.

In one section of the Barrow it has achieved a density of 10,000 per square metre. Considering that each clam can produce up to 70,000 juveniles each year, the potential for enormous expansion is apparent. Populations have since been recorded in the Shannon at Carrick-on-Shannon and Lough Derg.

The introduction of the clam to uninfested waterways represents a major threat to Ireland’s habitats, native species and internationally renowned fisheries. The ecology of invaded watercourses can become dramatically altered and may become unsuitable for water-based recreational pursuits.

In order to limit further spread of this invasive species, IFI is urging all water users, particularly anglers and boaters, to implement strict biosecurity measures including disinfecting equipment exposed to waterways when moving from one area to another.

Dr Joe Caffrey, senior scientist with IFI, said: “It is imperative that every effort is made to limit the expansion and spread of this highly adept invasive species outside of its current range.” Further information is available at caisie.ieand fisheriesireland.ie.

* Good water levels on the Drowes brought a great run of salmon with almost 100 accounted for across all sections of the river. Catch of the week was undoubtedly Darren Haire’s 7.7kg (17lb) beauty from the Sea Pool. For bookings, see the website

drowessalmonfishery.comor 071-984 1055 (8am-12noon).

* On the Galway Weir a drop in water levels saw two gates open. Grilse are starting to enter the fishery and fishing has picked up considerably with 49 salmon landed last week, the best so far this season. Fly-fishing and shrimp are the most successful methods, with spinning also taking a few fish.

“As long as we avoid a prolonged wet spell then fishing prospects are very good for the coming few weeks,” fisheries inspector, Kevin Crowley said.

* At the Nasco meeting in Edinburgh earlier this month, Niall Greene, chair of Salmon Watch Ireland, was elected co-chair of the ngo group at Nasco for a three-year period. The meeting also confirmed that Ireland will host the 2013 conference.

* Provisional details of a media angling outing to Carton House Estate were announced last Wednesday.

* RNLI Arklow Lifeboat fundraisers are setting off on Friday to visit every lifeboat station in Ireland over the weekend. Vartry Motors KIA is providing two Sportage Jeeps to make the trip. Donations accepted at lifeboat station 0402-32850 or online mycharityie

* Royal Enfield AC held their annual Two-Day International Festival recently on stretches of the Royal Canal at Ferns Lock. The event was well attended with 60 home-based and UK anglers. Total prizemoney reached €4,600.

Results: Seniors – 1, P Bartley (Dublin); 2, J Stirrat (UK); 3, F Holding (UK). Juniors – 1, L Sutton; 2, C Byrne; 3, J Smith.