Q: What’s happening in Lough Corrib and Lough Mask with ferox trout?
Ferox trout are large lake trout known to be genetically separate from the normal brown trout stock. These fish have being heavily exploited by angling in the recent past and little is known of their biology or spawning locations in major Irish lakes. A radio telemetry project began in 2005 to tag Ferox trout in Lough Corrib in an attempt to determine spawning locations with a view to protecting the stock for the long term. Over the three year period, 2005-2007, eighty Ferox trout were tagged in Lough Corrib. By radio tracking at spawning time, it was found that 82% of tagged trout were recorded in the Cong River. This tributary of Lough Corrib has been shown to be the primary spawning location for Ferox trout in the Corrib catchment. As a result of the findings of this study, a conservation bye-law was introduced in 2008 on the Cong River and Cong Canal to protect the spawning ferox trout population.
The study moved to the Lough Mask catchment in 2008 when 32 ferox trout were radio-tagged to determine spawning locations. A further 35 ferox trout were tagged in 2009 and 24 in 2010. The Cong canal, which connects Lough Mask and Lough Corrib, has been shown to be the primary spawning location of ferox trout from Lough Mask. Ferox were also recorded spawning in the Glensaul and Carhernagower rivers. Radio tracking with the assistance of the Air Corps greatly improved the detection of radio tagged fish. A three year battery life for tags will allow detection of tagged fish until 2012. A proposed outcome of the research project is to introduce conservation measures to protect ferox trout on the principle spawning streams of Lough Mask.
For further information please contact:
Dr. Patrick Gargan
Tel: +353 (0)1 884 2600