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Transitional Waters

Fish Stock Survey of Kylemore Lough, August 2022

Kylemore Lough is the largest of the three lakes, situated in the Dawros catchment in Co. Galway, approximately 5km north-east of Letterfrack, Co. Galway (Plate 1.1, Figure 1.1). It has a surface area of 134ha, a mean depth of >4m, a maximum depth of 30m and falls into typology class 4 (as designated by the EPA for the Water Framework Directive), i.e. deep (>4m), greater than 50ha and low alkalinity (<20mg/l CaCO3).

The lake has a stock of brown trout (Salmo trutta), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and gets a run of salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta) from June to the end of the angling season (O’ Reilly, 2007).

Kylemore Lough is situated within the Twelve Bens/Garraun Complex Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This is an extensive site located in the north-west of Connemara and is dominated by mountainous terrain. Geologically, the site can be divided into two distinct sections; the Twelve Bens which are composed of quartzite and schists in the valleys and the mountains to the north of Kylemore which are composed of gneiss, sandstones and mudstones (NPWS, 2015). The main soil type within the site is peat. Eight of the habitat types listed in the SAC are found in Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive. The SAC also contains the following species listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive – freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), Atlantic salmon, otter (Lutra lutra) and the plant, slender naiad (Najas flexilis) (NPWS, 2015).

The lake has been surveyed on four occasions since 2007 (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019) as part of the WFD surveillance monitoring programme (Kelly and Connor, 2007 and Kelly et al., 2011, 2014 and 2017 and Corcoran et al. 2020). Brown trout were the dominant species present on the lake in all survey years. Sea trout, Arctic char, salmon, minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus) and eels (Anguilla anguilla) were also captured during all surveys. No salmon were recorded during the 2010 survey.

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 , |