Mount Eagle mudslide threatens fish stocks and water supply

A newly discovered landslide on Mount Eagle, close to Brosna, could affect fish stocks and the local water supply if further slippage occurs.

There is also a residential property in the path of the landslide.

It is believed that the peat slide has already had a serious impact on fish in the watercourse downstream and may cause further damage to fish populations in the Clydagh river. This river also supplies water to the Brosna and Abbeyfeale area, and further slippage could lead to peat deposits in the water.

The landslide was discovered almost two weeks ago, and there are fears, given the winter months and increased rain, that the landslide could continue downhill. Though currently in a remote area not close to any homes, it is feared, given the extent of the erosion, that there may be more serious consequences.

The landslide is being investigated by Kerry County Council.

Coillte, which owns forestry on both sides of the landslide, has also been on site to assess the damage. In a statement, the council said it is not currently aware of any impacts on public property, roadways or water supplies but continues to monitor the situation and liaise with any relevant authorities as the matter is investigated.

PRO for Mountcollins/ Brosna Anglers Association, Brendan Danaher, who has visited the site, said he was ‘shocked’ by the extent of the landslide.

Inland Fisheries Island has been notified of the situation and has also visited the location. Mr Danaher said that the affects of this could be very serious.

“Any landslide of peat and debris from Mt Eagle into the river Clydagh would pose a serious threat to the drinking water supply to thousands of people. It would also destroy the spawning habitat for salmon and sea-trout on the Clydagh which is an integral part of the Feale catchment,” he said.

Mr Danaher believes that the planting of Sitka Spruce on peat land close to salmonid fisheries may be a ‘recipe for disaster’. He said the current landslide could adversely affect fish stocks, particularly as it is the onset of the salmon and trout spawning season.

“If peat from a landslide on Mt Eagle enters The Clydagh river it will destroy all macroinvertebrates which are the food chain for salmon, sea-trout, smelt and parr. These rivers are highly sensitive ecosystems and increases in sediment or other polluting matter poses a huge threat.”

It is understood that the landslide is on a private forestry plantation but Coillte has said it is examining the situation at Mount Eagle.

“Coillte is aware of a landslide that has occurred on a private forestry plantation adjacent to a Coillte site at Mount Eagle. We are currently looking into the potential impact this landslide has had on our property. Our local Management and Environment teams have been on site, but it is too early to provide a definitive conclusion as to how the landslide was initiated,” they said in a statement. – News