Second meeting regarding Asian Clams

The follow up meeting scheduled for yesterday Friday 19th took place in St. May’s Hall at 11.30am. All the agencies that attended the meeting on Monday last were again present. Such was the urgency and importance placed of this meeting that CEO, Dr Ciarán Byrne, Inland Fisheries Ireland, chaired the meeting. The agencies in attendance were Lanesboro Tourism Co-Op, County Councillors from both Longford and Roscommon, representatives of Longford and Roscommon county councils, Inland Fisheries, ESB, Bord na Mona, National Parks and Wildlife, Waterways Ireland, James Bannon TD and the EPA.


Dr. Joe Caffrey and River Basin Director, Amanda Mooney outlined the devastation of finding out that clams were present in the hot water stretch. The damage that can be done by the clams is horrendous hence the urgency and also the swift response by all other agencies. They felt it was right and proper to take the action they did in closing down the fishing and ringing the alarm bells as soon as the clam was discovered.


They said that it was now very important to make an assessment of the entire area to see exactly how much, if any, of the clams were in the bay and lake area. They felt that the hot water stretch area had the vast majority of the clams and that they were confident that with swift and correct action the potential devastation could be erased. With the water emitting being in the region of 24° they wanted to investigate as to whether the water temperature could be a cause for the hot water stretch being an ideal spawning ground. This would all be part of the scientific study that would have to be undertaken to find the correct solution for the eradication of the clams. However, they did say that there would not be a total eradiation but they expected that they could take out up to 90% of the clams and they remaining would be subject to ongoing monitoring


The scientific survey targeting qualitative and quantitative work would take about one week to complete. It is very important that the work is done in such a manner not to allow further spread down into the lake and other river tributaries. Disinfection stations would be set up along the fishing area so that when fishing resumes there would be a pre and after disinfection programme in place. The biosecurity measures will ensure fishing into the future.


The ownership of this problem is belonging to everyone. We must ensure that there is no fishing taking place on this stretch during the close down period so as to avoid the further spread though equipment and gear to other rivers and lakes.


Such is the importance of this Asian Clam threat to the area that following on from the visit of MEP Mairead Mc Guinness last week the Joe Mc Hugh Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources seen it necessary at the request of Gerald Farrell to come to Lanesboro on Friday evening last


The following is an agreed statement from the agency meeting:


Statement of Agency Meeting, Asian Clam, Lanesboro. Friday 19th September.


Inland Fisheries Ireland is working closely with all the relevant agencies, NPWS, Waterways Ireland, ESB, Bord Na Mona, OPW, Roscommon and Longford County Councils and the local community and angling groups to put immediate measures in place to re-open the Lanesboro fishery to angling.


Disinfection stations will be provided by Inland Fisheries Ireland, funded by the ESB, and managed within the local community over the next two weeks. This will, combined with a responsible attitude by all water users, facilitate the resumption of angling activity in the community.


The agencies unanimously agreed that a detailed scientific survey will be carried out within the next 7-10 days. This will accumulate quantitative data and the extent of the distribution of this invasive species to augment the knowledge from the preliminary assessments.


There was an immediate commitment by the agencies to contribute to this survey cost and operational requirements.


The outcome of this detailed survey will inform decisions on the collaborative actions required for the medium and long term interventions and strategies.


Continued awareness and responsible behaviour by all water users is paramount to ensuring the work of the agencies involved has the best chance for success and the prevention of any further spread.


In that regards all of the agencies appeal to the respective stakeholders to continue to observe bio-security measures, seek advice on any planned activity and assist in the efforts to manage a very difficult situation.


An earlier meeting of the wider stakeholder groups was facilitated by IFI at the request of the local community group and the agencies commitment to work together was outlined at that stage.


Inland Fisheries Ireland would also like to advise water users that they can report a sighting of any invasive species to the 24 hour hotline on 1890 34 74 24.


For Media Enquiries contact:

Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Tel: 087-2690183Email:





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