Elver run at Ardnacrusha, June 2016

Critically endangered juvenile #eels trying to find a way upstream at Ardnacrusha hydro station on the Lower River Shannon, June 2016. Elvers can’t find this trap/pass. The spillway beside this trap is far more attractive and mass unseen elver mortalities occur in the tailrace of this power station each year. The trap here is technically operational – unlike 2014 – but it is clear that there is poor attraction (water source) for elvers and this trap has a very low efficiency.

Just 11.42kgs of elvers were trapped and transported by ESB at Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station in 2015. The low catches here are totally down to the poor efforts being made to operate the trap here. The existing trap is not a fit-for-purpose trap in a large tailrace anyway, but it is not being run as it was designed to be used. Elvers can’t find this trap and would not climb up it easily if they did. Is it not clear to everyone that there is a problem here? Why is this being allowed to continue year after year in Ireland? This is the Lower River Shannon. It is just nonsense to say that there were just 11.42kgs of elvers here in 2015.

There is an abundance of elvers in this tailrace but they are not being trapped effectively here. Instead they are climbing up walls and spillways, entering cooling water outflows, going up onto ledges and under rock fill and platforms, dying and being preyed on. The trap and transport programme for elvers provided by the ESB is just not adequate. I am campaigning for new elver traps to be installed for next season.