By Kieran O’Mahony
HUNDREDS, and possibly thousands of fish have been found dead in the River Bandon, after a major fish kill was detected last week.
The kill has been described as a ‘big blow’ for the population of salmon in the river.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is currently investigating the incident which happened on a tributary river, south of Dunmanway, near Curraghlicky Lake.
It is believed the species affected include brown trout, juvenile salmon and bream.
Speaking to The Southern Star this week, environmental officer and secretary of the Bandon Angling Association (BAA), Jason Nash said that they are not privy to what actually caused the fish kill.
‘All we do know is that the investigations are still ongoing and a lot of juvenile salmon, brown trout and bream were killed. From a salmon perspective, and according to surveys from 2016, it’s one of the more productive tributaries flowing into the Bandon River for salmon spawning,’ said Jason. ‘It’s just a bit of a kick in the teeth really for salmon in Bandon River, as there are plenty of pressures on them from various different aspects and environment, and a savage fish kill like that is not good.’
He said he is confident that IFI officers will come to some sort of conclusion and actually pinpoint the source of the kill.
‘They have taken their water samples and they’re doing their aerial surveys to find out the cause of it. We also don’t know the breakdown of the different components of fish that were killed. It’s a big blow for the population of salmon in the river, as it will take time to re-habilitate.’
Jason also highlighted the work of the Bandon Rivers Trust, which was formed last year to conserve and re-habilitate and improve the rivers, streams, watercourses and water impoundments of the Bandon catchment.
‘It will be carrying out projects in the future and that area could be potentially one to be looked at,’ said Jason.
IFI officers attended the site last Monday week following a report from a local angler. Initial investigations indicate a significant algal bloom as the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile, Cork County Council has taken water samples from the lake and river and is liaising with the IFI in their investigation.
Members of the public can report instances of illegal fishing, water pollution or invasive species by calling Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.
At the time of going to press no further updates were available from the IFI who said the investigation is ongoing.