Success in our campaign on the River Shannon

ESB finally commence elver trapping at Ardnacrusha in response to our complaints and exposure of management failures. We would like to confirm that, in response to our campaign on facebook page and our websites, ESB have finally commenced operating the elver trap at Ardnacrusha this week. However, the fact that – in response to our investigation – that ESB finally got the trap working by the second week of May does not mitigate the fact that a substantial part of the 2014 elver run has now been missed. This undermines the credibility of Ardnacrusha as a national elver monitoring site, and also represents a lost opportunity in relation to intercepting the record elver run this year for the purposes of restocking.

Ardnacrusha Elvers
Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station on the Lower River Shannon

We will visit the traps at Ardnacrusha and Parteen again next week and provide a review of same. It is noted that the trap at Ardnacrusha, even now that it is operational, is still not without potential to implement significant improvements. The ESB have not confirmed if the other elver trap on the River Shannon is being operated yet.

This undermines the credibility of Ardnacrusha as a national elver monitoring site, and also represents a lost opportunity in relation to intercepting the record elver run this year for the purposes of restocking

Our investigation this year was undertaken in response to the reported conspicuously low elver catches on the River Shannon during 2012 and 2013, despite record juvenile catches being recorded on other European rivers during these years. The fact that the ESB did not have an operating trap at Ardnacrusha (or Parteen) by May 2014 confirms our view that poor management contributed significantly to the poor catches at this site in recent years.

The absence of an operating trap during April and early May this year is a significant breach of ESB’s requirements under both Council Regulation No 1100/2007 and the Shannon Fisheries Act, 1935, in our opinion. To this end we are currently planning to submit a complaint to EIFAAC/ICES WGEEL and the EU Commission regarding this matter.