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Understanding Brown Trout – Genes, Ecology and Citizen Science


One day conference hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland

17th October 2017, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath


Overview of the project

The wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) displays a remarkable level of variation in its external appearance, behaviour, ecology, biology and many other aspects of its life-history.  The realisation that much of this variation has a genetic basis, has led scientists to study the genetic make-up of brown trout in the recognition that there is enormous genetic diversity within and among brown trout populations, which is of great importance for both management and conservation of the species.

In 2014, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) began a three-year research programme to examine the genetic diversity of brown trout in selected Dublin Rivers, the Moy Catchment, Co. Mayo and the Middle Shannon and Lough Ree catchments.  Anglers provided adult trout scale samples from main channels and lakes and Inland Fisheries Ireland staff collected samples from juvenile trout in each catchment.  The genetic analysis has now been completed by QUB and the project outputs are providing IFI with valuable information on how genetic diversity is distributed among trout populations within these catchments.  The information will assist IFI in making the correct and most cost effective fisheries management and conservation decisions.

The conference aims to present information from this project.  Information from other IFI commissioned genetic studies of brown trout, in other catchments across Ireland will also be presented (e.g. Loughs Corrib, Sheelin, Ennell, etc.).  Speakers will include Professor Paulo Prodohl (QUB), Dr. Martin O’ Grady (retired IFI) and Dr. Karen Delanty (IFI).

A European and international perspective on the genetics of trout (brown trout and sea trout) will also be included on the day.  Experts in the field such as Professor Andy Ferguson (retired QUB) and Dr. Nigel Milner (Bangor University) have confirmed their attendance.  An international speaker (TBC) will also give a keynote presentation.

The project had a number of objectives some of which included;

  1. To investigate if there are there a number of discrete genetic stocks of brown trout in each of the study catchments.
  2. If discrete genetic stocks are present in each river/lake/catchment, how important is each group to the fishery.


Registration fee will be €50. This will cover attendance, tea/coffee break and a hot lunch. 


Further details along with the Conference programme and registration  will be available by mid August. (Places are limited so please book early)


Please contact for further details.


Venue Details

Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone Co. Westmeath

Conference Programme


(will be available end of August 2017)

Room Rates

There are a number of rooms available for delegates at the conference rate of €85 B & B per single room per night and €50 B & B per person sharing per night. Please mention the Inland Fisheries Ireland Conference when making a booking.



Registration fee is €50, this includes conference attendance, morning tea/coffee and a sit down lunch.

For online registration click here  (will be available end of August 2017)


Main Contributors to the project:

Inland Fisheries Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast

Inland Fisheries Ireland wish to acknowledge and thank the following contributors to the projects, both for financial support and in the collection of sample material.

Dublin Rivers Project

Ballymore Eustace Trout & Salmon Anglers Ass.

Clane Trout and Salmon Anglers Ass.

Dodder Anglers Ass.

Dublin City Council

Dublin Trout Anglers

Intel  Ireland Ltd.

Kilbride Anglers Ass.

Leixlip and District Anglers  Ass.

North Dublin Trout & Salmon Anglers Ass.

Peter Brown

Tolka Trout Anglers Ass.


Mid Shannon Project (L. Ree Catchment)

Ballykeeran/Kileenmore Anglers

Ballinlough Anglers

Camlin Anglers

Castlecoote Anglers

Coosan Anglers

Lough Derravaragh Anglers

Lough Ennell Trout Preservation Ass.

Lough Glore Anglers Ass.

Lough O’Flynn & District Anglers

Lough Owel Anglers

Lough Ree Angling Federation

Lough Sheelin Trout Preservation Ass.

Suck Valley Angling Hub


Moy Catchment Project

Lough Conn and Cullin Anglers Ass.

Judd Ruane


Lough Derg Biodiversity Group

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