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The Kells Blackwater Trust

A short up date on the Kells Blackwater Trust. The trust was set up in March 2013 and is made up of Navan Anglers, Kilbride Anglers and Kells Anglers. It was set up to act as a lever to get funding to improve the whole system as fish use the whole system. The spawning streams that the Trust have targeted are ones that do not flow into club waters. ie. channels that no one is watching out for. But are still important for adult stocks of salmon and trout. In less then two years the Trust has carried out two projects and a maintenance project. All funded by the forward thinking Salmon Stamp Fund, run by IfI. The first one was on the Bawn Stream. This was a follow on of a project from 2012,in which four clubs pooled 300 euros to work on 700m of channel. This worked out very well with 11 salmon redds and 23 trout redds,in 2012. In 2013 there was 96 trout redds and 1 salmon redd. Which each redd cost o.90 cent after two years. The cost per redd will keep going down, year on year. After ten years the cost per redd will be nearly nothing. In total 3000m of stream works was carried out with 5700 euro being awarded.
The 2014 job was the Lislea Stream. 800m of pools, gravel shoals, bank protection, drinkers and fencing. 14960 euro was awarded. In about five weeks spawning fish will start appearing here.
The maintenance programme was tossing calcfied gravel on the Martry River. The gravel here had been introduced four years ago and had become encrusted to about 30mm. This solid layer covers the gravel and covers all the little gaps, leaving it useless for spawning. And very poor for fly life and for fry (fry and insects use the little gaps to hide in). The Trust got a very powerful leaf blower for this job. Again funded by SSF. to the tune of 720 euro. The Yellow River also suffers from this problem.
The trout gene survey is now in the last phase. The scale samples were sent to Belfast last week. During the catchment wide salmon fry counts, 550 trout scale samples were collected by IFI. The rest, around 280 were caught by anglers. The survey is costing £7500. This is been funded from a fire wood raffle, donations from contractors involved with stream works, the eastern basin water management plan and the central plank of this fund is from Tara Mines.
So far all this work has cost the 416 euros each.

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