In August, Baronscourt Estate hosted a film crew from the forthcoming film “Atlantic Salmon – Lost at Sea!” to its fishery. The Top Stream and the famous Snaa were filmed. They were lucky enough to film a fantasitic 8lb salmon being caught by local angler Jackie Fergie in the neck of the Snaa pool. It was one of those days when things went right. On Jackie’s fourth cast in the Snaa there was the great excitement of a big tug and the line went taught. The lovely fish was photographed and then returned to the water to continue its journey up to its breeding ground. We very much hope that this will make the final edit!
The film takes the viewer on an epic journey through the mysterious underwater world of the King of Fish. This is a quest to solve the mystery of the salmon’s life at sea and answer the question: why are salmon dying in greater numbers than ever before in their ocean environment and not returning to their native rivers.
Rivers are literally the beginning and the end of the wild Atlantic salmon’s journey. And Ireland is at the heart of any Salmon story. The rivers, carefully selected to be featured in “Lost At Sea” best illustrate our story. Like the salmon, they span many countries, represent varied habitats, and are of historic importance. They are the living laboratories where scientific work to solve this mystery is being done. We meet many fascinating guardians of the salmon—scientists, anglers, river managers and villagers whose stories we will witness. Stretching across the vast expanse of the Atlantic salmon’s range, these rivers are wild, rugged, exciting and beautiful.
The website for the film is www.atlanticsalmonlostatsea.net.
James Barry is currently undertaking his PHD thesis on the European eels, part of the field work for this project will be conducted on the lakes at Baronscourt.
James describes his project:
“There is now a large body of evidence from across the Europe that European eels are declining rapidly and in some places are now below a sustainable threshold. In the last 30 years, European eel (Anguilla anguilla) recruitment has decreased by 90% and current population levels are deemed to be outside safe biological limits in many parts of the species range. This has prompted significant research on all life stages of the European eel. The reasons for the decline are not clear because the species range is so vast and their life cycle incorporates two trans-Atlantic migrations.This study will examine in detail the population structure and seasonal movements of European eels within Baronscourt lakes. This unique study site will enable in-depth monitoring of eel population patterns within the lakes. The number of mature silver eels leaving Baronscourt lakes will also be monitored, this will enable us to investigate condition of eels leaving the system before they make their trans Atlantic migration to spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea. Evidence gained from this project will be used to set meaningful targets and highlight appropriate management options to aid in achieving EU targets of long term recovery of the European eel”.