ESB investigating deaths of hundreds of thousands of elvers at Ballyshannon hydro station

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ESB are working with other agencies on a full investigation into the deaths of hundreds of thousands of elvers at a trap that was supposed to help the critically endangered species migrate past the hydroelectric power station in Ballyshannon.

ESB said an incident took place over the Easter weekend at the station, Cathaleen’s Fall, that resulted in 112kg of juvenile eels, called elvers, being killed.

An ESB spokesperson said, “It would appear that an exceptional number of elvers entered one trap overnight at the very start of the season, exceeding the trap tank storage capacity.” The spokesperson said two elver traps were operational at the time.

ESB is working with the Northern Ireland Department of Culture Arts and Leisure and Inland Fisheries Ireland in carrying out the investigation.

The spokesperson also said that as of May 7th, 461kg of live, healthy elvers have been trapped and successfully moved north, a significant increase on previous runs. In the 2013/2014 season ESB released 39.3 tonnes of mature outward migrating silver eel with a further 64.2 tonnes migrating to the sea.


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