Belfast Telegraph

Concern over thousands of escaped trout

An estimated 387,000 trout escaped from the farm (stock photo)
An estimated 387,000 trout escaped from the farm (stock photo)

By Staff Reporter

Almost 400,000 rainbow trout escaped from a commercial fish farm in Co Tyrone into a river, the Loughs Agency has said.

An estimated 387,000 trout escaped from a premises at Newtownstewart into the River Strule last August following serious flooding in the area.

The escape led to concerns about the impact on fish in several valuable salmon and trout rivers.

It included the risk that farmed fish could out-compete wild fish for space and food.

The agency asked Professor Ken Whelan, one of Ireland's foremost fisheries scientists, to conduct a review into the escape of the fish.

It is now believed that while some of the rainbow trout have moved downstream, many of them remain concentrated in the lower Strule, the lower Derg and upper Mourne rivers.

The Loughs Agency has asked anglers who catch rainbow trout that are over 30cm in length to contact the agency directly on 02871 342100 to arrange for collection.

Belfast Telegraph


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