Crayfish background For those who aren’t already aware of their…
Crayfish Plague spreading in our river catchments
Crayfish Plague is now confirmed to be in the River Nore catchment at Kilkenny City. It has previously been found in the Barrow and Suir catchments along with a further five catchments across the country.
The disease can wipe out the population of our native White Clawed Crayfish (a protected species) very quickly once a stream or river is contaminated with it.
The disease organism (a water-mould) is microscopic and invisible to the naked eye and is only viable in water.
Crayfish affected with the disease have a 100% mortality rate.
All river water users should take measures to ensure that they do not unknowingly spread the plague to other rivers and streams. It is transferred by using equipment (angling equipment, water-sampling equipment, boats, wetsuits etc.) in a plague infested area and then moving that equipment to an uninfected area while still wet.
The single most effective action to reduce the spread of the disease is to use the Check, Clean, Dry protocol. This should be done routinely after entering a stream or river.
CHECK, CLEAN and allow all equipment to thoroughly DRY-out, then dry for a further 48 hours.
If drying out equipment is not feasible, then equipment should be
Power Steam washed at a suitably high temperature (at least above 65 degrees).
Disinfected using an approved disinfectant such as Milton (follow product label), Virkon Aquatic (3mg/L), Proxitane (30mg/L) or an iodine-based product for 15 minutes. Items difficult to soak can be sprayed or wiped down with disinfectant. Engine coolant water or residual water in boats/kayaks should be drained and where possible flushed out with disinfectant.
Please be aware of the locations of the plague and avoid entering water unless necessary. If you do enter water, please ensure that you take the correct action to prevent the spread of the disease.
Further information is available from the National Biodiversity Data Centre www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/invasive-species/crayfish-plague/