The aim of the AARC project in Ireland was to help increase our understanding of the factors causing declines in the salmon population of the River Shannon and how they might be addressed by using new developments from in restoration ecology. AARC aimed to examine the status of salmon production in the Shannon by coordinating national authorities and scientific institutions and to use genetic knowledge as a basis for the rehabilitation of salmon in the Upper Shannon.
For the AARC project, Inland Fisheries Ireland worked in partnership with University College Cork, the Electricity Supply Board and the Marine Institute. The work included:
- Electrofishing surveys to identify and protect residual wild and feral salmon populations
- Assessment of suitable salmon nursery habitat
- PIT tagging experiment to track migrating salmon smolts
- Collection of genetic material to assess candidate populations to provide restoration stock
- Hatchery programme to collect broodstock and raise for reintroduction
- Experimental work using artificial redds containing salmon eggs to reintroduce salmon at sites with suitable nursery habitat