Ardnacrusha elver trap upgrades commence

We had a very productive meeting at Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station today discussing issues in relation to the upgraded elver trap. The trap is now operational but significant work is also being progressed. The completed trap will have much increased attraction flow, a walkway for maintenance and predator netting – these items will be installed soon. Work will also commence shortly on an additional trap on the right bank. Experimental lights have also been installed to try to deter elvers from climbing the leaking spillway – which can’t be sealed. The leaks on the fish pass wall have been sealed. Elver handling/husbandry will also be reviewed. 

Upgraded elver trap, April 2014. Only the climbing media has been upgraded. The agreed works include increasing water supply to trap, and the provision of predator protection.

Overall good effort is being made here by ESB and this will be an effective trap, when all the agreed upgrades are completed. It was also agreed that two other traps will be installed. Efficiency assessments using elver mark-recapture (and other methods) will hopefully be completed in due course. It took years of campaigning – but progress is finally being made.

During our site visit there were dead eels visible in the tailrace. These eels had been killed passing though the turbines. See video below of our site visit and the turbine-killed eels we found.

As evidenced by the turbine passage mortalities present in the tailrace today this s just the first small step in addressing the problems facing this critically endangered species on the River Shannon.