Lough Owel holds the largest population of White Clawed Crayfish in Ireland.

Training day at Lough Owel on dealing with crayfish plague

Lake users have been invited to a free training event on crayfish plague and biosecurity measures at Lough Owel Angling Centre.

As well as being a popular fishing and amenity site, Lough Owel holds the largest population of White Clawed Crayfish in the country.

It is one of the most (if not the most) important sites for the species remaining in the world, but White Clawed Crayfish populations are threatened by crayfish plague.

What is crayfish plague? And What can we do about it?

For answers to those and more questions, lake users and all those with an interest in the subject are invited to a free training day on Saturday October 14.

The training is at Lough Owel Angling Centre, Tullaghan from 10.30am to 3pm.

Aquatic ecologists Ross Macklin and Bill Brazer, both keen anglers, have lined up an informative day.

It will include:

• An Introduction to Crayfish and Crayfish Plague

• Implications of the disease spread and its effect on native crayfish, fish and lake ecology

• Biosecurity protocols for lake users

• Practical site visit to lake shore to see crayfish.

Lunch will be provided and those who attend the training day will receive biosecurity certification.

The event is supported by the Local Biodiversity Action Fund from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, Westmeath County Council, the Local Authority Waters Programme, and Inland Fisheries Ireland.

To book your place contact the heritage officer at Westmeath County Council: heritage@westmeathcoco.ie 044- 933 2098 or 087 6074496.