Ireland’s Eel Management Plan – a poor deal for eels. Action 3a: Castletown Weir 2015. This is the new rock ramp fish pass at Castletown Weir on the River Nore. This provides a local improvement for salmon and trout – but this pass is no better for eels than what was there already. However, this was listed as a specific action (Action 3a) of Ireland’s Eel Management Plan but it provides no benefit for eels. This is a salmonid pass – not an eel pass.
Castletown weir is located at the top of the Nore catchment with migration barriers downstream (e.g. Bennettsbridge weir). But somewhere along the line that fact that this pass was to be for eels was forgotten and the jump/ledge at the top ensures that eels still have to crawl around this weir as they always did. This is a salmonid pass and is no better for eels than the original weir. This pass also can’t be used by brook lampreys, even though the River Nore is an SAC for this species. There are still migration barriers downstream (e.g. Bennettsbridge weir, Kilkenny weirs etc.) and upstream (Delour basin) from here and this pass is just of local benefit to salmonids also.
The fact that this fish pass was presented in the SSCE Reports as an eel project is of great concern and shows the poor attitude to eels in Ireland. The money that was spent here on this pass should have been spent on improving passage for eels. It was the only proposed eel pass to be built in Ireland in 2015. We believe that this is a very serious matter and requires investigation. The money spent here needs to be returned and actually spent on an eel passage improvement project.