unspecified

Crayfish Plague – Emergency Containment Measures – River Suir & River Deel

ATTENTION: CRAYFISH PLAGUE –EMERGENCY CONTAINMENT MEASURES

In response to a recent outbreak of Crayfish Plague in the River Suir and River Deel, emergency disease containment measures are needed to help prevent its spread.

Crayfish Plague is a disease that kills our native White-clawed Crayfish. All crayfish that become infected will die. Crayfish Plague is easily transmitted in water or via contaminated equipment (for example on canoes, waders or nets).

Ireland holds the largest population of the White-clawed Crayfish that remains in Europe.

HELP PROTECT OUR NATIVE CRAYFISH FROM THIS DISEASE

All water users are asked to operate a temporary ban on moving water sports and angling equipment out of the River Suir and the River Deel catchment – commencing immediately.

Water sports and angling equipment currently in use in the Suir catchment may continue to be used there; but boats or angling equipment should not be transferred out of the catchment.

Limit your activity to the river section where you normally operate, avoid moving around the catchment and follow biosecurity protocols – Check, Clean, Dry.

Source – Inter Agency response from National Parks and Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, Limerick County Council, Cork County Council, Tipperary County Council, Tipperary Sports Partnership, Waterford City and County Council, Marine Institute, Local Authority Water and Communities Office, Waterways Ireland and National Biodiversity Data Centre

Press Release – Water users asked to take measures to prevent spread of Crayfish plague on River Suir

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs press release issued: Thursday, 18th May 2017

Water users urged to take precautions to limit an outbreak of Crayfish Plague on River Suirdownstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir.

 

All water users are being urged to take precautions after confirmation of an outbreak of Crayfish Plague on a stretch of the River Suir downstream of Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir. It comes after large numbers of dead freshwater crayfish were reported on the river earlier this month. DNA analysis has now confirmed that the cause of death was crayfish plague.

The kill has only impacted White-clawed Crayfish and other freshwater animals are not affected. This is a characteristic feature of the disease which only infects species of crayfish but causes 100% mortality. All agencies including the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Tipperary County Council will be working to contain the outbreak to this stretch of the River Suir. Given the experience of outbreaks elsewhere, a total kill of the population is expected which will have major consequences for the ecology of the river. Crayfish are very common in the Suir and are important in maintaining its ecology.

Protected White-clawed crayfish (D. Gerke)
Dead White-clawed crayfish in the River Suir (B. Nelson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyone using the river is being urged to observe the ‘Check, Clean and Dry’ protocol once they leave the river and before using it again. This means that all wet gear (boats, clothing and equipment) should be checked for any silt or mud, plant material or animals before being cleaned and finally dried. Disinfectant or hot water (over 40 degrees Celsius) should be used to clean all equipment and this should be followed by a 24 hour drying period.

 

The drying period is especially important in ensuring that all equipment is clear of infectious organism, including the removal of any water inside the boat. The crayfish plague organism can be carried on wet equipment to new sites and containment of the outbreak is essential to prevent spread to other unaffected populations in Ireland.

 

This is the second confirmed outbreak of the disease in Ireland following one in County Cavan in 2015. There is no indication of how the disease reached the Suir although a link to the Cavan outbreak is considered unlikely as the disease there appears to have run its course. This outbreak on the River Suir is of great concern as the stretch of river affected is popular with anglers and canoeists.

The White-clawed Crayfish is a globally threatened species and Ireland holds one of the largest surviving population. It is the only freshwater crayfish species found in Ireland and is present in lakes, rivers and streams over much of the island. Throughout its European range, this species has been decimated by the impact of Crayfish Plague which spread to Europe with the introduction of North American species of crayfish. Until 2015, Ireland was considered free of the disease and it remains the only European country without any established non-native crayfish species.

If Crayfish Plague becomes established there is a high probability that the White-clawed

Crayfish, which is currently protected under Irish Law and the EU Habitats Directive, will be eliminated from much of Ireland. If non-native crayfish are found to be established in Ireland, this could have a severe impact on habitats as they can destabilise canal and river banks by burrowing. It could also impact other freshwater species, such as salmon and trout fisheries. At this time however, there is no evidence that non-native freshwater crayfish have been introduced in this country.

The public are asked to follow the ‘Check, Clean and Dry’ protocol when using the river and to alert the authorities of any mass mortality of crayfish as well as sightings of unusual crayfish (e.g. red claws, large size).  by emailing Colette O’Flynn (coflynn@biodiversityireland.ie)  at the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford.

For further media information:

Brian Nelson – T: 087 967 9937; E: brian.nelson@ahg.gov.ie

Ciaran O’Keeffe T: 087 2646416) E:  ciaran.okeeffe@ahg.gov.ie

Notes to Editors:

  • Anyone who sees any dead or dying crayfish should report this to National Parks and Wildlife Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Tipperary County Council or Colette O’Flynn at the National Biodiversity Data Centre, Waterford (email: coflynn@biodiversityireland.ie)
  • Members of the public who suspect they have seen a non-native species of crayfish are asked to take a picture of it showing the underside of the claws and submit this through this web page http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/record/invasivesor direct to Colette O’Flynn (email: coflynn@biodiversityireland.ie) Phone: 051 306248
  • White-clawed Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes: This occurs throughout Ireland mainly but not exclusively in areas of limestone geology. It lives in a very broad range of freshwater from tiny streams and ditches to many small, medium and large lakes. The species is a generalist feeder and it in turn is a significant prey item of the Otter.
  • Crayfish Plague is caused by a fungus-like organism Aphanomyces astaci which is of North American origin but now occurs throughout Europe. The Crayfish Plague organism (technically an Oomycete and often called water moulds) normally grows on the outer shell of crayfish and as North American crayfish are generally immune to it, as they can prevent any infection reaching their body tissues. However, when the water mould infects White-clawed and other European crayfish, it rapidly, and fatally, spreads into the body tissues. Infected animals become distressed and behave abnormally and may survive several weeks before dying.
  • Non-indigenous Crayfish: These are any species which are not native to the country. Many crayfish species have been moved within Europe and into Europe from North America and Australia. The most significant of these is the North American Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus which is one of the main carriers of Crayfish Plague. This species is much larger than the White-clawed Crayfish and with distinctive red coloration on the underside of the claws.

CaraFocus National Newsletter

Inclusion and accessibility are going to be key focuses of Canoeing Ireland in the coming year. After attending the National Conference for Inclusion 2016 last week the staff at Canoeing Ireland were impressed by all of the speakers and the challenges many of them have overcome to participate in a wide range of activities. We look forward to being able to provide opportunities to many more participants in canoe sport in 2017. Check out the CaraFocus Newsletter for inspiration and information on what is possible in adventure sports for all participants.

carafocus-snip

carafocus-newsletter

 

Level 3 Flatwater Racing Skills

Level 3 Flatwater Racing Skills

General aims

  • The Level 3 Flatwater Racing Skills Award aims to enable participants to
    • To prepare the candidate for sprint and marathon racing competition and prepare for high performance racing on flat water or rivers where there are obstacles.
    • Controlling the speed of the boat whilst paddling over a race distance.
    • Foster further participation in sprint and marathon competitions.

 

Requirements

 

  • Candidates must hold a minimum of Level 2 Skills Award.
  • Candidates must have competed in a minimum of 3 sprint or marathon races.

 

Equipment

 

  • The assessment should be taken in a single racing boat which has sufficient buoyancy to remain afloat in a capsize
  • BOAT – Single K1/C1 Racing boat
  • PADDLES – for canoe: Flat paddle / for kayak: Wing paddle.

 

Skills

 

·         Sprint 50m from a standing start, increasing speed throughout

  • Demonstrate positive balance and trim over 100m
  • Demonstrate balance by various exercises
  • Paddle 1000m in a straight line, turn and paddle back
  • Demonstrate the ability to wash-hang
  • Turning, demonstrate the ability to turn 180 degrees using the rudder
  • Demonstrate ability to start a simple race of 4 boats

 

Safety

  • Capsize and swim to the bank with all equipment
  • Assist a swimmer to the bank
  • Assist in retrieving a swimmer’s boat

 

Theory

Demonstrate a basic level of the following physiological principles as they affect novice competitors[1]

  • Components of fitness
  • Principles of Training
  • Energy Systems
  • Warm-up / Cool Down
  • Injury prevention and recovery
  • Nutrition and the use of complementary performance enhancing supplements for paddlesport
  • Strength Training and Conditioning

Assessment

  • All techniques, skills and rescues must be demonstrated to an assessor’s satisfaction in order to achieve this award.
  • No part of an assessment can be taken in a swimming pool. All assessment criteria must be demonstrated outdoors on water of Grade 1 difficulty.
  • Generally, required assessment rescues will be kept until the end of an assessment.

Assessment Guidelines

  • It is recommended that a Level 3 Flat-water Racing Skills Award is assessed by a coach other than the coach who normally trains the candidate leading to assessment
  • The Level 3 Flatwater Racing Skills Award can only be assessed by a currently registered Canoeing Ireland Level 2 Flatwater Coach.
  • The assessment will be carried out with a maximum of four candidates to one assessor.
  • Generally guidelines will be given, should a candidate fail an assessment, as to the areas that they need to improve on.

Notes for Level 3 Flatwater Racing Skills Awards

 

Safety Rules of Canoeing

  1. You must be able to swim.
  2. You must always wear a buoyancy aid.
  3. You must always ensure that there is adequate kayak buoyancy.
  4. You must never canoe alone.

 

Entry and Exit

Can be carried out with or without the use of paddles, depending on what is most appropriate to the situation.

If a spray deck is used it must be fitted

Balance Exercises

The following are examples of exercises to demonstrate balance and should be carried out without capsizing

  • Paddle with the feet in the water.
  • Throw the paddle in front of the kayak: kayak and paddle with the hands to the paddle, continue paddling and repeat at least three times.
  • Paddle with the paddle upside down.
  • Paddle with the hands – forward, backwards and sideways.
  • Paddle with straight arms.
  • Paddle with closed eyes.

TURNING

  • The turn should demonstrate good use of the rudder.
  • The turn should be completed without breaking the normal forward stroke in a turn with a radius of about 20m.

 

Starter Duties

  • Identify the best place for the starter to be positioned and have a good mark to decide on false starts.
  • Line up 4 paddlers at the start of a race.
  • Take responsibility for decisions about false starts.
  • Able to give right orders to start the race as indicated by the assessor.

WASH-hanging

  • The candidate should maintain paddling rhythm
  • The candidate should maintain the appropriate distance from the other boat
  • Wash-hanging should take place on both sides of the boat

[1] Novice Competitor A paddler who is at a minimum Level 2 performance standard and is beginning to participate in competition.

 

Level 3 Instructor Course 8/9th October + 5/6th November

Brian Keogh and Shane McElligott are running a level 3 kayak instructor training course over two weekends in Wicklow.

Weekend one will be on the 8/9th October and weekend 2 will be on the 5/6th November. The course will be based in Glendalough Hostel and will cost €350.

Anyone who might be interested can contact Shane 087-9433440, Brian 087-8307214.

Great Day yesterday for Irish Paddlers

Great Day yesterday for Irish Paddlers at the Olympic Qualifiers Canoeing Irelands Micheal Fitzsimmons into final K1M1000. Jenny Egan into final K1W 200 and 500. Tom Brennan into final K1200. Pat O leary in B final Paracanoe.
All competing for the last 2 European slots at the Rio Olympics.
Live link from Www.planetcanoe.com