This newspaper cutting from July 1962 claimed that the new fish pass at Ardnacrusha – which had just been installed – was a success. Of course we now all know that this pass did not solve the fish passage problems, and indeed has been a failure. None of the mitigation provided for the Shannon scheme has worked. There is a long history of covering this up with PR spin however.
Salmon runs on the River Shannon have long collapsed with the river currently meeting <5% of its annual conservation escapement target. This is lowest level of any river in Ireland and is all down to the impact of the ESB hydroelectric scheme. Even though it is now 2020 we still don’t have any fish pass to allow salmon smolts, kelts and silver eels to pass downstream. We also have no effective upstream fish pass – with upstream passage for salmon at Parteen Regulating Weir also blocked to allow ESB to continue to collect broodstock for their failed hatchery programme.