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Transitional Waters

Fish Stock Survey of Lough Leane, August/September 2021

Lough Leane contains a variety of fish species, including brown trout, sea trout, ferox trout, salmon, perch, flounder, eel, rudd, tench and Arctic char. A landlocked sub-species of the twaite shad known as the Killarney shad (Alosa fallax killarnensis) is also present and is unique to this lake. The Killarney shad is listed in Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive.

Lough Leane is famous for its free rising trout and good salmon fishing, with hundreds of spring salmon and grilse being caught on the troll every year. Brown trout in the lake average 0.23kg; however, a specimen ferox trout was caught in 2005 weighing nearly 8kg.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (previously the Central Fisheries Board) has undertaken several fish stock surveys on Lough Leane. Two surveys were undertaken in 2001 and 2003 to assess the status of the Killarney shad population . The Killarney shad population size at the time was estimated to be in excess of 20,000 individuals of 1+ and older fish. A small number of Arctic char were also recorded during the 2003 survey. In 2002, the Irish Char Conservation Group carried out fish surveys on all three Killarney Lakes and brown trout were recorded in all. Muckross (Middle) lake was the only lake in which Arctic char were captured, with the population in Lough Leane believed to be extinct due to the eutrophication of the lake. Lough Leane has been surveyed on four occasions since 2008.

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 |