This is the stretch of the upper River Shannon above Lough Allen. This is a clean upland catchment with considerable salmon production potential. If this river flowed directly into the sea – rather than Lough Allen – it would be capable of supporting an annual run of thousands of salmon. If salmon were restored to the upper River Shannon this would be a fishery of note.
The Suck, Inny, Brosna, Little Brosna, Boyle, Nenagh could also all in their own right be salmon fisheries. Based on the habitat available there should be tens of thousands of salmon passing though Killaloe each year on their way to these rivers; with major salmon fisheries on the main channel at areas like Meelick, Jamestown, Tarmonbarry and Battlebridge. Forget Greenways – imagine what having salmon running up to all of these areas would be worth to the local economies. Add traditional sustainable eel fishing to this and we will create potentially hundreds of rural jobs.
When you look at the upper Shannon in detail you can see that the habitats are still there to support a significant and self-replicating salmon run to the area.
It is time to address the issues in the lower reaches of the river and get the salmon back here for the centenary of the Shannon scheme. Why not? who benefits from the Shannon scheme at the moment apart from a few overpaid ESB staff? There is scope for new fish passes, bypasses and sustainable water management.
Join me on Saturday, World Fish Migration Day 2018, at Ormston House, Limerick, to discuss how we can Restore the River Shannon.
There can be salmon in the upper River Shannon again. Having no salmon in the upper River Shannon is just a decision that ESB have made to favour hydroelectricity generation over biodiversity. So what do you want – highly paid jobs for the privileged few or thousands of salmon returning to rivers like the Boyle, Inny and upper Shannon at Dowra and the associated economic benefits of this?