Catchment News

Become a Freshwater Detective this autumn…

Ireland has a rich abundance of rivers and lakes. This independently run course will examine this unique resource: its sources and origin, its contribution to biological diversity and its importance for the landscape and for humans. The course will teach students the basics of becoming a Freshwater Detective and how, using the presence or absence of specific insects or fish, to read a river corridor or lake shore and to detect the presence of key predators such as otter and mink.

The Freshwater Detective in the East – UCD

The course will comprise six talks and three field visits.

UCD Belfield:  6 Mondays 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Classroom: Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, Nov 7, 14

X3 Field Trips: Oct 15, 22, Nov 5

FEE: €195

For more details see Page 124 of UCD’s Adult Education Brochure.  

The Freshwater Detective  Goes West

Working closely with Delphi Resort, Ken Whelan has devised a truly unique, field –based, Freshwater Detective course. Radiating out from Aasleagh Lodge, on the beautiful River Erriff,  Ken will guide you on a fascinating freshwater trek to learn the skills of a Freshwater Detective. Walks will include along the banks and shores of a range of pristine waters, following otter and mink trails, and trying to catch a glimpse of the many bird predators such as herons, mergansers and the elusive kingfisher, which inhabit this wild, unspoilt and remote area.

You will visit rivers which are home to 10,000 year old populations of silvery sea trout and the majestic, wild Atlantic salmon. Learn how a range of predators interact with these and other fish species such as the ubiquitous native brown trout and the rare Irish arctic char.

Ken will teach you how to identify the insects and other invertebrates in the rivers and streams.

Your adventure will include visits not alone to remote tributaries of the Erriff such as the Glenlaur Stream and Tawnyard Lough, but also neighbouring catchments such as the Carrowniskey River, a gem of a tiny sea trout and salmon river, bursting with life and flowing over a bed of ancient sandstone.

2 Day Course Only (excludes accommodation) – €220 per person                                         

2 Day Course Package with Accommodation   – €299 per person sharing

For more details see: 





Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our waterbodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.


Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.