Atlantic Salmon are the most iconic of the Maigue fish. Salmon spend one more years feeding at sea before returning to spawn in the rivers where they were born. Young salmon grow to juveniles for a year or more before migrating to sea again as smolts. Salmon returning to their home river after two or more years at sea mostly return in spring or early summer and are bigger than salmon that return in mid-summer and autumn; these latter are known as grilse or peel. The majority of salmon returning to the Maigue are spring salmon. Most of the salmon die after spawning but a number may return to the sea (as kelts) in spring and may return to spawn a second or even a third time. Most of these are hen..
Brown trout are Ireland’s only native species of trout. Brown trout live in all catchments in Ireland, provided the water quality is suitable and there are spawning areas. Like salmon, trout require very good water quality. They are present in the main Maigue channel and tributaries but are absent or scarce in much of the Maigue headwaters and in some of the tributaries, probably because of poor water quality there. So called “slob trout”, or brown trout that live in the brackish tidal waters of estuaries, can be found downstream of Adare. Brown trout do not naturally occur in any of the lakes in the catchment because none have feeder streams with suitable spawning habitat for brown trout or salmon. Bleach Lough Anglers stock their lake with Brown trout and with rainbow trout, a non-native..
European eels, like salmon, are migratory fish. Eels were one abundant in the rivers of the Maigue catchment but are less so today. The Civil Survey of the mid 17th century mentions the presence of up to 8 eel weirs on the Camogue between the Maigue confluence and Dunkip. Young eels grow to adults in rivers and lakes and then migrate to spawn in the Sargasso sea off the east coast of the U.S., a distance of over 5,000 km. The European eel is classified as critically endangered in Ireland and other European counties, and is the most threatened native fish..
Lampreys are primitive eel-like fish. Two species are found in the Maigue catchment: brook lamprey and river lamprey. Sea lamprey, which spawns in the lower Shannon and Mulkear river, have not been recorded from the Maigue system. Sea lamprey and river lamprey are parasites of fish to which they attach by means of a sucker-like mouth. Brook lampreys, the smallest of the three lampreys, are..
Northern pike, a large predatory fish, are found in the lakes of the catchment (L. Gur, Dromore Lough, Bleach Lough and L. Nagirra, and there are reports of them occurring in the slower reaches of the R. Camogue. The 17th century Civil Survey refers to a weir at Mainistir where eels and pike were trapped. Pike are regarded as an introduced species, and this is one of the earliest references to their occurrence in..
Rudd is a native fish species that is common in all of the lakes in the catchment. They are one of the principal prey of pike. They have distinctive golden scales and red..
These are small fish that are common in the Maigue catchment. Collectively they may be known as (pinkeens”). Minnows and stoneloach are introduced species. Minnows and sticklebacks often form small shoals. They are frequent prey of larger fish such as trout and perch...
Dace are a non-native and invasive species first recorded in the R. Maigue near Adare Manor by electro-fishing in 2004. Dace are also found in the Lower Shannon and Mulkear. They were not recorded in a survey of the catchment upstream of Adare in 2013. This suggests that dace have not spread to other parts of the Maigue catchment, but further surveys are needed to confirm..
Cray are not fish, but freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters. White–clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes), Ireland’s only native crayfish, are widely distributed in the main channel of the Maigue and in the larger tributaries. Crayfish are an important food item for fish, especially trout and eels. White-clawed crayfish are protected in Ireland under the Wildlife..
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