June 20, 2024

River Nore crayfish could be wiped out by lethal plague


AN OUTBREAK of the crayfish plague has been confirmed in the River Nore, affecting the native Irish White-Clawed Crayfish.

The crayfish plague is a lethal fungal disease that can wipe out the native stock. It has a 100% mortality rate when contracted and is very easily spread.

The outbreak in the River Nore in Kilkenny is the fourth case reported so far in Irish waters in 2019. In 2017 there were large outbreaks in the Nore’s sister rivers, the Barrow and the Suir.

Ireland represents one of the last remaining strongholds for the species. Irish White-Clawed Crayfish are considered a vital part of healthy ecosystems where they occur.

People using the rivers are asked to use the ‘clean-check-dry’ protocol with your gear by cleaning it in hot water, disinfecting and then drying thoroughly in strong sunshine before moving between water systems.

Anyone who comes across the crayfish, or sees them acting strangely such as being seen in the open in daylight, is asked to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Waterways Ireland or Inland Fisheries Ireland.

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