Understanding Brown Trout - Genes, Ecology and Citizen Science

One day conference hosted by Inland Fisheries Ireland

17th October 2017, Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.


Overview of the project

The wild brown trout (Salmo trutta) displays a remarkable level of variation in its external appearance, behaviour, ecology, biology and many other aspects of its life-history. The realisation that much of this variation has a genetic basis, has led scientists to study the genetic make-up of brown trout in the recognition that there is enormous genetic diversity within and among brown trout populations, which is of great importance for both management and conservation of the species.

In 2014, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) began a three-year research programme to examine the genetic diversity of brown trout in selected Dublin Rivers, the Moy Catchment, Co. Mayo and the Middle Shannon and Lough Ree catchments. Anglers provided adult trout scale samples from main channels and lakes and Inland Fisheries Ireland staff collected samples from juvenile trout in each catchment. The genetic analysis has now been completed by QUB and the project outputs are providing Inland Fisheries Ireland with valuable information on how genetic diversity is distributed among trout populations within these catchments. The information will assist Inland Fisheries Ireland in making the correct and most cost effective fisheries management and conservation decisions.

The conference aims to present information from this project. Information from other Inland Fisheries Ireland commissioned genetic studies of brown trout, in other catchments across Ireland will also be presented (e.g. Corrib, Sheelin, Ennell, etc.). Speakers will include Professor Paulo Prodohl (QUB), Dr. Martin O’ Grady (retired IFI) and Dr. Karen Delanty (IFI).

A European and North American perspective on the genetics of trout (brown trout and sea trout) will also be included on the day. Experts in the field such as Professor Andy Ferguson (retired QUB) and Dr. Nigel Milner (Bangor University) have confirmed their attendance.  Professor Thomas Quinn from the University of Washington has also confirmed his participation.

The project had a number of objectives, some of which included;

  1. To investigate if there are a number of discrete genetic stocks of brown trout in each of the study catchments.
  2. If discrete genetic stocks are present in each river/lake/catchment, how important is each group to the fishery.

Registration fee will be €50. This will cover attendance, tea/coffee break and a hot lunch.

Further details along with the conference programme and registration details are available at: Understanding Brown Trout – Genes, Ecology and Citizen Science

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details.