More photos from our ongoing fisheries surveys

Our fisheries surveys continued this week, and we undertook electrical fishing assessments in a number of river catchments in the Midlands. Fish species we recorded included Brown trout Salmo trutta, Dace Leuciscus leuciscus, Roach Rutilus rutilus, Perch Perca fluviatilis, Gudgeon Gobio gobio, Pike Esox lucius, Three-spined Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus, Nine-spined stickleback Pungitius pungitius, Stone loach Barbatula barbatula and Minnow Phoxinus phoxinus.

We are the most capable and experienced electrofishing survey team currently operating in the Island of Ireland

Can you identify all the fish in the photos below? Click on any of the photos below to activate the HD photo gallery. All of these photos were taken during September 2014.

We also recorded some juvenile salmon Salmo salar, but they were quite scare in the streams we surveyed in Counties Kildare, Offaly, and Westmeath this week. We did not record any European eels Anguilla anguilla, and this species is scare in many Midland’s rivers – with the benefits of the current upturn in elver runs not apparent yet. Electrical fishing surveys have to be completed by the end of September, so we have a busy few weeks ahead as we are working hard to get all this season’s work done for a number of clients.

Juvenile lampreys (called ammocoetes) burrow into sediments and require a different survey approach than other fish. Here an enclosed quadrate on the Slate River is being fished with a variable electrical current to encourage the ammocoetes to leave their burrows.
Fisheries survey 2014
This would the more typical stream back pack electrofishing approach, where the operators move steadily though a much larger section and capture mobile fish (i.e. juvenile salmon, trout, roach, minnows etc.). We also can catch eels using this approach, when they are there. This method is called semi-quantitative electrical fishing where we compare abundance indices (fish/time and fish/area) between sites. No fish are harmed during this work, and they are examined after submersion in an anaesthetic.

In Ireland, electrical fishing (or electrofishing) is licensed by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources under Section 14 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act (1959). Electrofishing in the Loughs Agency area (Foyle/Mourne catchment) is authorised under Sections 69/70 of the Foyle Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) (1952). We also work in the rest of Northern Ireland where permits are obtained from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland and are issued under Section 14 of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) (1966). We regularly hold permits from all of these agencies and we are the most capable and experienced electrofishing (and aquatic ecology survey team) currently operating in the Island of Ireland.

We also have  a a number of similar recent posts which can be accessed at the links below:-

ECOFACT is Ireland’s leading provider of fisheries and aquatic ecology surveys in Ireland. We can be contacted +353 61 419477 or though the contact form which can be accessed here.

Also make sure to visit our main website which can be accessed here.

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