Inland Fisheries Ireland has designated the River Erriff, a premier salmon and sea trout fishery, as the National Salmonid Index Catchment. Fish migrating upstream must pass through counting and trapping facilities located at Aasleagh Falls where the Errif flows into Killary Harbour.
Since 1985, salmon and sea trout smolts and kelts migrating downstream pass through a trap located below Tawnyard Lough. Facilities at the station are used for scientific research and monitoring on salmonoid populations and their migratory behaviour.
In the mid 1970s, an estimated 1.7 million salmon returned to Ireland compared to roughly 250,000 today. Salmon are a key indicator species and marker for the health and aquatic environment.
Visiting the research station, Sean Canney, minister with responsibility for the inland fisheries resource said that while salmon were present in more than 140 rivers in Ireland, the numbers of salmon returning to Irish rivers and river internationally, were declining.
“International Year of the Salmon (2019) offers an opportunity to start an important conversation around how we can protect, conserve and restore salmon populations in Irish and international waters and how we can inspire action.”
International Year of the Salmon Programme in Ireland
- Wild Salmon Showcase at Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and Galway Atlantaquaria (Summer 2019)
- Salmon Pins Programme (June 2019)
- Citizen Science Salmon Project (Ongoing): Anglers who are willing to become citizen scientists are taking part in the National Salmon Scale Project
- Young Persons Day on the Blackwater Salmon Fishery (22/6 )
- Salmon’s Wake, The Ilen Project (1/7)
- National Catch & Release Weekend (Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th July) #cprsavesfish
- Fishy Fun at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (20/7)
- The Salmon of Colour (June – October 2019): Colouring competition in the National Museum of Ireland
- International Marine Biology Symposium with focus on Salmon (25 – 29/8)
- IYS at the National Ploughing Championships (17– 19/9)
- Salmon Schools Workshop at the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (October 2019)