Tag Archives: anguilla anguilla

Wind and eels

Interesting BBC story about a possible cause for the decline in the number of eels.

Two brief notes about eels

Fr Oliver Kennedy, of the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Cooperative Society, which ran the eel fishery [PDF], has died at the age of 83.

The ESB eel-catching apparatus at Killaloe Bridge is being renewed (and not, as I feared, removed). Eels are caught now only to be transported around Ardnacrusha. Read about the fishery here and, at greater length, here.

Killaloe eel fishery

Text of aD in Limerick Leader seen on 5 April 2012

Conservation of Silver Eels on the River Shannon

Expressions of interest are invited from all interested parties to assess eligibility for a competitive tender process to award Silver Eel Operations contract on the River Shannon at ESB Eel Weir Killaloe, Co Clare.

To be eligible for consideration interested parties must have:

  • the appropriate eel fishing experience ;
  • knowledge of the River Shannon and Killaloe region as applicable;
  • suitable certified equipment;
  • appropriate insurances;
  • tax certificates, if appropriate;
  • Training records
  • other documentation as may be deemed necessary by ESB.

To register your interest, please contact:

ESB Fisheries Conservation,
Ardnacrusha Generating Station,
Limerick, Co.Clare

before 16.00hrs on Friday 13th April 2012.

Phone: 061 350598/350538; Fax 061 344560
Email: tom.obrien1@esb.ie

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More on the eel fishery here.

Anguilla anguilla: the ESB eel fishery

This photo shows an eel spear from the National Folklife Collection‘s overflow material, stored in the former “reformatory” at Daingean, on the Grand Canal in Co Offaly. There were many spears there, with different designs from different rivers. This one, to judge from the label underneath it, came from the extraordinarily prolific and observant Dr A E J Went.

If you look at pretty well any Irish river on the 1840s Ordnance Survey map (here’s the Shannon at Killaloe; switch to Historic 6″ if necessary), or indeed on the 1900s map (same URL but switch to Historic 25″), you’ll find evidence of eel weirs. Ireland’s shortest canal was built to allow the eel-boats of Anthony Mackey’s fleet to reach the trains at Banagher.

But the European eel is a “critically endangered species” and all eel fishing has been banned in Ireland. As far as I know, though, the Lough Neagh fishery, in Northern Ireland, continues.

The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is in charge of the eel fishery on the River Shannon. It has nets and a storage unit (packing station) at Killaloe and, until recently, it also had nets at Clonlara on the headrace supplying the power station at Ardnacrusha; the Clonlara nets have just been removed. This page is about the Clonlara and Killaloe operations, but includes a look at an eel survey conducted for the ESB in 2008, before eel fishing was banned in Ireland. The aim now is to make it easy for eels to reach the sea to reproduce, and that sometimes involves “trap and transport”: catching the eels and moving them past obstacles, whether on their way to the sea or, for the young glass eels, on their way upriver.

The photos on this page are a tribute to what was an important activity on the Shannon. I hope that the European eel stocks can recover.