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Two Galway projects awarded funding to protect Salmon and Trout habitats

BRIAN KELLY Sep 7, 2021

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The Atlantic salmon holds an important position in the cultural heritage of Ireland. In recent years numbers have dropped, and there is widespread concern for the future of the species.

Two projects in Galway which aim to protect trout and salmon rivers habitats have been awarded more than €110,00 in funding.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is funding a total of €770,000 in 17 projects in eleven counties under the ‘Habitats and Conservation Scheme 2021’.

In the Corrib Catchment area, €82,000 has been allocated for enhancement works on drained channels of the Cloondahamper and Sinking Rivers on the Clare River, to improve the available habitat for salmon and sea trout at all life stages.

Another €30,000 will go towards creating a river management plan for the Dawros Catchment in Connemara.

This will have specific goals of identifying and prioritising rehabilitation measures which will benefit salmon and sea trout habitat and conservation.

Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan said that this projects are a strong example of “proactive conservation” of animals’ habitats.

“The scheme will support angling clubs, commercial fishermen and fishery owners in improving habitats, water quality and fish passage at a local grassroots level.”

“The works and studies supported by the scheme will also result in wider benefits for the environment,” Minister Ryan added.

The funding comes from two separate programmes run by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Salmon and Sea Trout Rehabilitation, Conservation and Protection Fund and the Midland Fisheries Fund.

Eligible angling clubs, commercial fishermen and fishery owners were invited to apply for financial assistance to support fisheries conservation projects in their local areas.

Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development with Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Protecting and conserving fish species, like Atlantic Salmon and Sea Trout, is critical to the overall health of our eco-system.

She added that there are multiple threats to native fish, including invasive species, climate change, and water pollution, all of which are having a “damaging impact” on habitats.

Funding for the two schemes comes from the sale of licences and permits for angling and commercial fishing.