Inland Fisheries to test for virus that caused major fish kill at the Lough

Inland Fisheries to test for virus that caused major fish kill at the Lough

Inland Fisheries is to carry out testing on carp at the Lough in Cork city in the coming months to see if there are any remaining traces of the virus that caused a major fish kill at the amenity last year.

However, it is unlikely that any additional fish will be reintroduced to the Lough as it is still deemed too risky.

A massive fish kill at the Lough shocked regular users of the beloved amenity.

An outbreak of carp edema virus (CEV) virtually wiped out the entire carp population in what was once considered to be one of the country's top carp fisheries. More than 800 fish were killed over several weeks, with fisheries officers removing an estimated 3.8 tonnes of dead fish from the water.

Strict biosecurity measures and angling restrictions were introduced at the Lough and at other watercourses in a bid to contain the outbreak following confirmation that the virus was also present in a private fishery in Cobh.

It is believed the virus was introduced to the Lough via contaminated fishing gear. However, overpopulation also contributed to the rapid spread of the virus.

Officials in the parks and recreation department at Cork City Council say that the water quality is being monitored weekly and that it remains good: "Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to carry out sample tests on the remaining Carp stock to establish if the stock are carriers of the CEV virus.

Inland Fisheries to test for virus that caused major fish kill at the Lough

"This will be arranged in the coming months. In the meantime, the current stock numbers will increase naturally. There will be no short-term reintroduction of fish as this is seen as being too risky."

Former Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn urged city officials to escalate their efforts to restore the Lough to its former glory: “Sample testing should be carried out sooner rather than later but the recreational use of the Lough for anglers and other users must be balanced."

Mr Finn said that additional measures are needed to improve the amenity: "Generally, the Lough needs some upgrading and I am hopeful physical activity infrastructure can be added along the outside perimeter, the play area can be uplifted and some of the grassed area improved. It is a fantastic, well-used facility that should be enhanced rather than compromised by urban growth."

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