BlackWater River Trust - History

The Blackwater River Trust (BRT) was formed in 2006 and was formerly known as the Blackwater Salmon Development Group (BSDG). BSDG originated in 1980 through the efforts of a group of riparian owners anxious to have a co-ordinated body which would conserve and promote salmon angling in the Munster Blackwater.

BSDG's first project was the repair and restoration of the Counter at Careysville at a cost of £3,000 pounds. Original members in 1980 included John Ronan, Simon Hirsch, Michael Byrne, Dr Paddy O'Keefe, Edward Hallinan, Brian Murphy O'Connor, Lismore Estates (Paul Burton), Michael Twohig and Anthony Seda.

BSDG worked in close association with the Southern Regional Fisheries Board whose Chief Executives were Micheal O'Cinneide and Brian Sheerin.

BSDG co-funded an extensive repair and renovation of spawning beds and habitat on the upper reaches of the Blackwater in 1989/1990. Over £300,000 was raised for in-stream and bank-protection work carried out by Southern Regional Fisheries Board staff.

BSDG also contributed to the "Life" EEC programme undertaken by IRD Duhallow covering a two-year biodiversity programme in the upper tributaries of the Blackwater, Allow and Dualla. Species studied in this project included Salmon, Pearl Mussels, Kingfishers and Otters. The total cost of the Life Programme was €2 million.

BSDG and now Blackwater River Trust is an active lobbyist on behalf of riparian owners for the development and viability of salmon stocks in the Munster Blackwater.


Aerial view of the Lower Blackwater

Projects addressed include:

  • Elimination of Drift Nets at sea achieved by ministerial order in 2006.
  • Elimination or introduction of effective fish passes at major weirs at Clondulane, Fermoy and Rosnalee Banteer.
  • Introduction of fish counters.
  • Pollution and water quality. Close liaison with Fishery Board officers and the Environmental Protection Agency in monitoring agricultural, industrial and local authority effluent which has the potential to pollute the Blackwater and its tributaries.
  • Introduction of Private Water Keepers to assist Fishery Board Protection officers.
  • Blackwater River Trust, representing all Riparian owners on the Munster Blackwater, has now formed an effective online website in conjunction with FishPal, which will promote angling tourism in the entire region. It has sponsored this project in initiating it and in supplying the web pages concerned with the Munster Blackwater and its angling, and also the pages requiring local knowledge such as travel information, other fishing, and things to do when not fishing etc.