Operation to rescue fish as dredging begins at Courtown Harbour
Officials from Inland Fisheries have sprung into action to rescue fish from Courtown harbour and the Ounavarra river in advance of draining works, which will begin later this week.
'We take the fish out with hand nets,' said Alan Cullagh from Inland Fisheries. 'And we either place them upstream or back into the sea.'
The Ounavarra river is being diverted at a point upstream and is flowing directly out to sea at Courtown beach.
Alan explained that fish in the river that are getting caught downstream of the barrier are being put back in upstream above the diversion.
Alan said the contractor should begin the draining of the harbour today (Tuesday), or tomorrow (Wednesday), but that the drop in the water level will be controlled to make sure they can rescue any fish caught in the harbour. 'We will release these fish back out to sea,' he added.
The species rescued so far include young brown trout, sea trout and small salmon, all of which are no bigger than 7-inches, as Alan said they were hatched last year and are preparing to head out to sea.