Instead of opening up migration pathways for eels (and lampreys) in Ireland, our state agency Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) are, themselves, a major threat to eel and lamprey populations. In 2013 IFI installed this crump weir on the lower reaches of the River Maigue, Co Limerick. They knew at the time that this would be a barrier to eels and lampreys, and provided the following false statement on their website: “There is also provision for passage of lamprey and elvers on either side of the weir along either side of the river“. (see : http://mulkearlife.com/mulkearlife-visits-new-fish-counter-on-the-maigue-river/). However, there is no such provision.
This new barrier to migration also does not count salmon. No counts from this site are available and, with reference to algae covered electrodes and missing cameras, it is highly unlikely that this weir achieves anything apart from blocking the upstream migration of European eels, River Lampreys and Brook lampreys. We have raised this issue before in relation to a similar counter on the River Maine. For further information please see the following links:
The problem as we see it is that “fisheries” and protecting the ecology and biodiversity of rivers are quite different things, and Inland Fisheries Ireland – as an agency – falls well short in providing the level of protection needed for Ireland’s rivers. Even if these counters produced data on salmon runs, setting targets for killing an annex II listed fish species is hardly conservation.