An investigation is underway into what is being described as a “major fish kill” on the Ilen River in Skibbereen, West Cork.
Officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state agency responsible for the protection, management and conservation of the Irish inland fisheries resource, estimate that there were around 2,000 fish mortalities across several species including sea trout, salmon, eel and flounder.
Fisheries officers were alerted to the incident by a call from a member of the public early yesterday morning.
The fish mortalities were detected over a 2 kilometre stretch of the River Ilen, downstream from the centre of Skibbereen town.
A spokesperson for Inland Fisheries Ireland said that 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,” the spokesperson added.
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.
Members of the public are encouraged to call Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline number on 1890 34 74 24 to report any fish kills.
The hotline operates 24 hours a day.