• Exploitation and Survival of River Shannon Reared Salmon

      O'Maoileidigh, N; Browne, J; McDermott, T; Cullen, A; Bond, N; McEvoy, B; O'Farrell, M; O'Connor, W (Department of the Marine, 1994)
      Following the construction of the River Shannon hydroelectric scheme the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) have maintained a juvenile salmon restocking programme. Tagging of smolts with coded wire tags (microtags) was initiated in 1980 to examine the migration and survival of these stocked fish. In 1991, an estimated 292,000 hatchery reared salmon smolts (micro tagged and adipose finclipped) migrated from the River Shannon, County Limerick. This allowed an assessment to be made of the contribution of these fish to the high seas fisheries at West Greenland and Faroes, and also to homewater net and rod fisheries. Over 12,000 grilse from this release programme were estimated to have been taken by commercial nets with 525 taken on rods and 3,147 surviving to spawn. The return rate of 2 sea winter fish was much lower with 150 taken by commercial nets, 93 taken by rods and 202 estimated to have spawned. The Greenland fishery took approximately 107 potential 2 sea winter fish which is a high proportion of the overall 2 sea winter stock. Tag returns from groups of smolts released by helicopter proved to be highest. Groups released above the dams and which had to navigate through these installations also showed comparatively good returns. Early presmolt and smolt releases (i.e. December and February) did not give as good return rate in comparison to the other release groups.