This is the majestic Mulkear River. Home to a wide variety of fish species, the Mulkear catchment drains an area of 650 square kilometres spanning counties Limerick and Tipperary. The EU funded MulkearLIFE project has been ongoing since late 2009. In 2014 it is drawing to a close. The project’s main objective is to restore and enhance habitat for:
And the European Otter
For salmon, this is done through instream works – enhancing the complexity of the river and removing barriers to passage for the fish.
For sea lamprey, it involved installing tiles on the weirs of the river so that the lamprey could migrate upstream, as well as monitoring and tracking the fish. Their numbers have grown significantly over the past few years.
For otters, it involved the installation of artificial holts, carrying out habitat enhancement works as well as conducting otter surveys throughout the catchment.
MulkearLIFE also undertakes significant riparian management work in cooperation with local farmers to keep riverbanks free from non-native invasive plants such as Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
An important part of MulkearLIFE’s work is to raise public awareness of the importance of rivers and the habitats they support. This work is undertaken through community outreach work in schools, as well as holding seminars, training events and local events.