In this time of recession, we all tend to be busy keeping our “heads above water” but the fish are working to keep their “heads below water”. We had the biggest flood since Hurricane Charlie and drought this summer with the usual hopelessly low water conditions. It is an urgent situation that we now complete the initiative set out in the River Basin Management Plan for the Vartry and not wait until 2015 when it must be complete. It states “Establish Minimum Instream Flow Conditions and requirements for compensation releases to allow flow variations”. Nothing will be done if we are not proactive on this. Recession is a good time to push the authorities to set this Compensatory Flows (according to the EU law), since pressures of development are lessened.
At our first meeting in the fall, we discussed the “Scientific Approach” which was to find a way to equate “flow and level” to “oxygen and temperature” and the necessity of scientific help to develop this equation for the River Vartry. The Central Fisheries Board have been of great help to the River and us by encouraging John Clarke of UCD to make his MSc thesis on the Vartry River. We have been very lucky to have John doing this important work which hopefully will form the backbone of future work to insure that more water flows in the Vartry. John has taken measurements over the past months and is now formalising his results. Once he has published, we will hopefully be able to provide access to the complete study for everyone.
Thanks John from all of us.