Croom festival highlights plight of Maigue crayfish

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Kayaking on the Maigue during the Croom festival.
Kayaking on the Maigue during the Croom festival.

THE plight of Crayfish in the River Maigue in Croom was highlighted during a recent festival in the County Limerick village.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), used the hugely successful Festival of the Maigue, held in Croom Town Park, to make people more aware that crayfish plague has infected stretches of the river. This deadly water mould threatens to wipe out the indigenous white-clawed crayfish.

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Also during the festival, IFI  had displays of live fish from the river while biodiversity expert Geoff Hunt invited young and old to peer through his microscope at the multitude of bugs and larvae he had to show. Everything on display had been collected in the Maigue.

The Festival of the Maigue was organised by the Maigue Rivers Trust and took place in conjunction with the annual Family Fun Day in Croom.

The Trust was officially founded in 2016 and consists of volunteers who aim to improve the biodiversity of the river, encourage community participation in conservation attempts and promote the development of leisure activities along the river.

To get proceedings underway, a variety concert titled ‘The Music and Magic of the Maigue’ took place in Croom Civic Centre featuring traditional music, poetry and dance with a distinct Maigue theme.

The following morning two groups of 25 people were taken upstream in order to kayak back to Croom. The kayaking event had taken place last year as well and was so successful that tickets sold out within days of going online. The stretch paddled is very beautiful with a few tricky bits to make it more exciting for thrill-seeking water sport enthusiasts.

Back in the park, aspiring anglers were drawn to free demonstrations on fly-tying as well as fly-casting lessons. A mini fly-casting competition was also held under supervision of renowned angler Dave Buston of the Maigue Rivers Trust.