As part of the Corrib Brown Trout Enhancement plan, the Cahermorris River was selected for development. The plan focused on 2 main areas of Habitat management.
- Riparian Zone Management
- In-stream Enhancement
The project was managed by IFI in conjunction with The Corrib Federation, Clydagh foundation, Local angling clubs, the Office of Public (OPW), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), landowners and contractors.
The Cahermorris Projects aims are to focus on improve water quality, improving food supply and enhance the juvenile salmonid population in the selected channel.
This development also comes under the Environmental River Enhancement Programme run by the Office of Public Works and as such gives significant savings on the overall cost of the project to the stakeholders.
The project identified a need to stabilise the riparian zone through fencing, closing livestock access to the river and rebuilding the river bank. 280 meters of fencing was erected and a water supply provided for the livestock. The advantages of protecting the riparian zone are numerous, such as preventing overgrazing, providing shading and a special niche habitat for a host of invertebrates.
The in-stream work involved the building of deflectors at selected locations. The creating of deflectors is a tool that manages water flow at times of low water level providing rich source of oxygenated water even in times of drought.
Random boulders were placed through the channel creating back eddies and providing resting and hiding areas for juvenile fish population. Random boulders also provide a niche for a whole range of macro-invertebrates.
The Cahermorris channel was also found to be lacking in adequate amounts of spawning gravel. The introduction of approx. 40ton of gravel which was placed in selected locations through the channel to provide suitable habitat to promote spawning.
It is expected that this development works will enable the river to produce an increase in salmonid stocks in order for it to reach its fullest potential. In the long term this can only benefit Lough Corrib.