Fissta continue to campaign against state mismanagement of our wild salmon

We need to change the management of Parteen fish pass

We need to change the management of Parteen fish pass

We want the fish pass at Parteen weir to be opened immediately and left open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Passage of ‘wild’ fish upstream has to be given absolute priority over brood stock collection. This has to be done immediately and would cost nothing. We have argued this previously here.

We will never have a self-sustaining run of salmon in the Shannon with this kind of management

We have this ridiculous situation where we have a reasonably good fish pass at Parteen which is kept closed until September – because it is less work for ESB staff and they don’t have to look after brood stock for more than a couple of months. From September onwards the fish pass remains blocked but the entrance to the outflow from the raceway is opened. Salmon are forced to enter into a small pipe which leads to a raceway where they are held. Salmon don’t like this, and many almost certainly turn back. The ones that enter this pipe and end up in the raceway get stressed. They can be seen bashing themselves off the walls and inlet pipe trying to get out again. They are then subjected to excessive handing, with “wild” fish trucked upstream. Hatchery fish also try to get out of the raceway, suffer injuries and often contract diseases. The wild fish are held in the same raceway so can also acquire infections. Many of the wild salmon are from the Mulkear or Lower River Shannon and just overshot their destination and are subjected to this treatment. These fish along with the kelts then die in front of the Shannon dams. We will never have a self-sustaining run of salmon in the Shannon with this kind of management.

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Salmon that enter the raceway become stressed and try to jump out of the pipe at the head of the spillway. This is no way to treat “wild” salmon destined for the middle and upper Shannon. Many of these fish are actually from the Lower River Shannon SAC but are trucked upstream after handling and then can’t get back down and die in front of the Shannon dams.

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This is no way to treat a recovering salmon population. But the pipe into the raceway is closed until September with no way upstream whatsoever.

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We will never have a self-sustaining run of salmon in the Shannon with this kind of management

salmon trapped at parteen
The ‘wild’ salmon which are trucked upstream then die – along with the kelts – in front of the Shannon dams. We will never have a self sustaining run of salmon in the Shannon with this kind of management.

Parteen weir, River Shannon
Many salmon never find the fish pass anyway as they are attracted to the spillway instead. But there is no way upstream whatsoever for salmon migrating during the spring and summer.

The ESB’s River Shannon Salmon Management Programme have been an abject failure – by any analysis. There are now less salmon passing though Killaloe on the River Shannon than through the industrialised River Seine in Paris – some 250 km inland on one of Europe’s most polluted and modified rivers and above a major hydroelectric scheme. This is a startling example of the failure of fisheries management programmes on the River Shannon, and highlights the need for real change.

It is a national disgrace that salmon escapement through the Shannon dams has fallen so low

For further reading see these post.

Why are there no salmon in the upper Shannon? : Management of Parteen fish pass
It is a national disgrace that salmon escapement through the Shannon dams has fallen so low – less than 1,000 last year on a river with a conservation escapement target of 45,000 per annum. This is especially poignant when measured by successes on other European Rivers with many more problems than the River Shannon. There can and should be salmon in the upper Shannon. A change in the management of the fish pass at Parteen weir would be a first step towards this and this can be done tomorrow with no cost involved.

Sent from the desk of
Noel Carr Secretary FISSTA
Federation of Irish Salmon & Seatrout Anglers.
Address: Teelin Rd. Carrick. Co. Donegal Office Tel: 00353 749730300
Mobile. 00353872352001
Email. Dgl1@indigo.ie