Fish kill confirmed on River Ilen in Skibbereen, West Cork- Media Statement

Public Notice

Fish kill confirmed on River Ilen in Skibbereen, West Cork

Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state agency responsible for the protection, management and conservation of the Irish inland fisheries resource, is investigating a major fish kill on the Ilen River in Skibbereen, West Cork.

Fisheries Officers were alerted to the incident by a call from a member of the public early on the morning of Wednesday, July 21st 2021.

Officers estimate that there were around 2,000 fish mortalities across several species including sea trout, salmon, eel and flounder.

Fish Kill Skibereen

Assistant Inspector with Inland Fisheries Ireland, John Twomey, pictured with fish samples at the scene of a recent fish kill along the River Ilen in Skibbereen in West Cork. 

Fish mortalities were detected over a 2 kilometre stretch of the River Ilen, downstream from the centre of Skibbereen town. Water and fish samples were taken from the scene by Inland Fisheries Ireland Officers and removed for scientific analysis at an independent laboratory.

Investigations are ongoing and Inland Fisheries Ireland is not in a position to comment on the cause of the fish kill at this stage, pending further analysis of samples taken.

Fish samples at River Ilen on 21.07.21 002

Fish samples, including an adult salmon fish in the centre, pictured at the scene of a recent fish kill along the River Ilen in Skibbereen in West Cork

The River Ilen provides an important habitat for sea trout and salmon and is one of the prime angling rivers in the South-West of the country.

To report fish kills, members of the public are encouraged to call Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24, which is open 24 hours a day.


For media information

Sarah Bohan/ Sadhbh O’Neill


Inland Fisheries Ireland


T: 087 65 39936 / 087 1019998

About Inland Fisheries Ireland (

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.