Limerick boat and jet-ski owners and asked to sanitise before moving

BOAT OWNERS, anglers, and other water-pursuit enthusiasts who moor up at the marina in Limerick City, Killaloe, and other points on the River Shannon are being asked to carefully clean their boats as the season begins, to avoid spreading invasive species that cling to hulls.

And, Inland Fisheries Ireland is asking the public to report any sightings of fish in distress, or that have died, during the current hot spell.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is concerned about potential mortalities due to reduced oxygen levels in lakes, rivers, and streams at this time.

Commenting on the issue, Barry Fox, Head of Operations at IFI, said: “During this sunny and dry weather, air and water temperatures are approaching dangerous and potentially lethal levels.”

“Once the water temperature exceeds the 20C threshold during daylight, fish species such as salmon and trout will suffer thermal stress. Our fisheries staff are continuously monitoring inland waters for any signs of fish experiencing thermal stress.

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“Fish need cold, clean water and high water levels to survive and thrive. IFI is mandated, as a State conservation agency, to protect the welfare of fish. Anyone who encounters distressed fish, or fish kills, illegal fishing and pollution, can contact our confidential 24/7 number on 0818 34 74 24.”

Meanwhile, IFI is asking boat owners to help stop invasive species spread in rivers, lakes, and canals by carefully checking, cleaning, and drying their boats and equipment when travelling from one waterway to another.

In particular, IFI is asking users of the River Shannon and its tributaries to adopt preventative measures to halt the proliferation of non-native species that can foul and cling to craft when in waterways where invasive species are present.

Anglers, boat owners, cruisers, sailing, and recreational waterways users on kayaks, canoes, or jet skis are being asked to implement preventative biosecurity measures in line with Check, Clean, Dry protocols.

Mr Fox added: “This will greatly contribute to slowing the spread of very harmful organisms such as the bloody red Shrimp, Zebra mussel, and the Quagga mussel, which was first detected on the Shannon’s lakes in 2021.

“We are asking boat owners and anglers not to move any watercraft between waterbodies due to the risks involved in carrying invasive species with them. However, if they must do so, we urge them to make time to disinfect their boats and fishing equipment afterwards as per Check, Clean, Dry guidelines.”