Turbine-killed eel floats past angler playing salmon

The link below is to a video by Paul Hanley which shows a turbine-killed silver #eel floating past when he was playing a (hatchery origin) salmon. He was fishing on the River Lee below Inniscarra hydroelectric dam, Co Cork, during September 2017. Thousands of eels are likely to be killed at this site each year in what is a largely unreported problem. However, this is an problem that is affecting the survival of the critically endangered European Eel as a species.
Silver commence their spawning migration in the Autumn but the run are generally low in September. The fact that an eel was recorded like this gives an indication of the scale of the problem, and the carnage which occurs here during the winter months when silver eel migration peaks. The salmon angling season closes at the end of September in Ireland so there is nobody on the river to make videos like the one below. The eel is at 4:45 if it does not automatically go that position on your device.

There are two two hydroelectric stations on the River Lee; at Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid. Inniscarra hydroelectric dam (19 MW) is the first dam upstream and was built in the 1950s. There are no bypasses to allow critically endangered eels (and salmon smolts) downstream. The elver trap at Innniscarra is also totally inadequate as it is located too far downstream from the dam. However, eels can also find their way upstream into the reservoirs by using the fish lock.

Also see this post entitled ‘Monitoring silver eel turbine passage mortalities on the Lower Shannon‘ which provides more information on the impact of ESB hydroelectric stations on the critically endangered European eel.

  • PS: The salmon run in the River Lee above Inniscarra dam has, like all other ESB management rivers, collapsed. The salmon run below the dam is supported by releasing smolts reared in the salmon hatchery located at Carrigadrohid.