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Transitional Waters

Fish Stock Survey of Lickeen Lough, September 2022

Lickeen Lough is situated in the Inagh catchment, approximately 3km north-east of Ennistymon, Co. Clare (Plate 1.1 and Figure 1.1). It has a surface area of 84ha, a mean depth of >4m, a maximum depth of 20m and is characterised as typology class 8 (as designated by the EPA for the Water Framework Directive), i.e., deep (>4m), greater than 50ha and moderately alkaline (20-100mg/l CaCO3).

Historically, Lickeen Lough held a stock of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) (O’ Reilly, 2007); however, the population is now extinct. A substantial fish kill (effecting brown trout (Salmo trutta), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), perch (Perca fluviatilis) and other species) occurred in the lake in June 1998, which may have contributed to their demise. Wild brown trout up to 2.3kg (5lbs) have been taken from the lake by anglers. Until recently the lake was stocked with rainbow trout by a local angling cooperative. The lake is subject to water abstraction, supplying drinking water to Ennistymon (EPA, 2023).

Lickeen Lough was previously surveyed in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 as part of the WFD surveillance monitoring programme (Kelly and Connor, 2007 and Kelly et al., 2011, 2014 and 2017). During the 2016 survey rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) were found to be the dominant species present in the lake. Brown trout and eels (Anguilla anguilla) were also captured during the survey.

Extensive algal blooms were visible on the lake during previous surveys in 2010 and 2016 (Kelly et al., 2011 and 2017).

This report summarises the results of the 2022 fish stock survey carried out on the lake using Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fish in lakes monitoring protocol. The protocol is WFD compliant and provides insight into fish stock status in the lake.

Topics: Lake Surveys 2022 , |