• Salmonid carrying capacity of streams in the Connemara region, a resource appraisal

      Fahy, E.; Nixon, J. J.; Murphy, M.; Dempster, S. (Department of Fisheries and Forestry, 1984)
      Standing crops of salmonids in the Connemara region are described from 80 site fishings made between March 1982 and May of the following year. Trout were more widely distributed than salmon, being able to exploit isolated water bodies as resident populations. High salmonid densities were associated with salmon which during the dry summer months were caught in large numbers on riffles. The smallest streams in the region supported only trout presumably because there was insufficient depth of water to permit the entry of salmon. Trout biomass and density within the region were distributed within the lower range reported from a number of countries in which brown trout are endemic and naturalised. Low saimonid densities at 16% of sites were in some cases associated with the rooting of angiosperms, and possibly oligotrophic conditions resulting from geological structure. Length at age of salmon and trout was similar to measurements recorded in Britain. The streams were important only for the first year of the trout life cycle. Because trout move downstream as they grow, occupying lakes during the later parr phase, and the entire streambed area in Connemara is one fortieth of the lake area, space is unlikely to be a critical constraint on the later parr phase. The condition of the stream substratum may be a factor in the production of sea trout; where loose gravels do not occur in shallow nursery streams, the catchments tend towards producing "brown" or "resident" rather than sea trout.