THOUSANDS OF SALMON COULD DIE AS WATER LEVELS DROP AT WEIR
Fermoy salmon anglers fear that there will a repeat of summer 2003 when thousands of the species died below the weir, writes Brian Moore.
“The fact now is they are many hundreds of salmon are building up below the viaduct right down to the Cloundulane weir and even below it. The weather conditions are very similar to that of 2003 when the complaint was made to the EU. We anticipate a similar crisis this autumn unless there is a lot of rain and the river level rises,” Chris O’Donovan of the Fermoy Trout Anglers told The Avondhu.
WANTED TO AVOID
A spokesperson for Inland Fisheries Ireland said that this situation was just what the proposed rock ramp would solve.
“This is a huge concern for the Inland Fisheries Ireland and this situation is exactly what we wanted to avoid,” Susan Campion, business development manager at Inland Fisheries Ireland, told The Avondhu.
“The rock ramp is the solution to the problem but the town council who own the weir have elected to repair the weir. The question is when?
"Right now the water levels have trapped hundreds of fish below the weir, the council would need to start work now while the water levels are low to ensure that these fish can get up the river.
"If nothing is done then there will be a repeat of 2003 with hundreds of fish dying below the weir. It is with in the remit of Inland Fisheries Ireland to prosecute Fermoy Town Council and the minister can direct the council to remove the blockage on the weir to save the fish,” Susan Campion concluded.
SEND IN BULLDOZERS
“Minister Lenihan will send in the bulldozers to destroy the weir if this happens. We have vested interest in water levels above the weir as we have the highly successful wheelie boat operating upstream.
"At present the levels are, indeed, very low and we have problems getting wheelchair bound persons on board, the minister says the removal of Fermoy weir would drop water levels by five inches , if this was to happen then the wheelie boat would become obsolete,” Chris O’Donovan continued.
“Speaking with Mr Ned O’ Keeffe TD, I have learned that the town council have earmarked February of next year to start remedial work on the weir, but this will be too late again if we have a recurrence of 2003. Just send in a small digger and take out the fallen old concrete wall on the base of the fish pass and the crisis will be diverted. There are local contractors who could do with the work,” Mr O’Donovan concluded.
Thursday 2nd September 6:48pm