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Transitional Waters

Fish Stock Survey of Lough Sheelin, July 2021

he fish population in Lough Sheelin has been surveyed regularly since 1978 by Inland Fisheries Ireland using a gill netting technique that was developed in the late 1970s to assess trout stocks (trout > 19.8cm in length) on selected lake fisheries. Other fish species are also captured as a by-catch during these surveys. This work has proved to be an effective tool in illustrating the fluctuations in fish stocks over time and providing insight into impact of management interventions. It was estimated that the standing crop of brown trout (>19.8cm) in Lough Sheelin varied between 100,000 and 120,000 fish in the early 1980s and has since decreased substantially. Roach, a non-native invasive species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50 of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 [SI. 477] was introduced into the lake during the 1970s and their population has fluctuated dramatically since that time.

More recently the lake has been surveyed on four occasions since 2008. During the 2017 survey, perch were found to be the dominant species present in the lake. Brown trout, roach, pike and eels were also captured during the survey. Lough Sheelin currently holds stocks of brown trout, pike, perch, roach, bream, roach hybrids, tench, 3-spined stickleback, 9-spined stickleback and eels. The pike population is subject to ongoing management intervention aimed at controlling its population within the lake.

This report summarises the results of the 2021 fish stock survey carried out on the lake using Inland Fisheries Ireland’s fish in lakes monitoring protocol. The protocol is WFD compliant and also provides insight into fish stock status in the lake

Topics: Lake Surveys 2021 |