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Posted: 15 Nov 2012

Intel supports 20 years of research on a tributary of the River Liffey by UCD researchers

The Rye Water, a salmon spawning tributary of the River Liffey, is one of the few rivers in Ireland that has been monitored for a variety of aquatic life and water quality over a long term period.

This is due to the commitment of Intel Ireland which has supported studies and data collection by UCD scientists on the river for the past 20 years.

Salmon fry spawned in the Rye Water
Salmon fry spawned in the Rye Water

In 1994, Intel Ireland financed habitat enhancement works by the Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Office of Public Works along a 2.5km stretch of the river which flows along the border of the company’s 360 acre Leixlip campus.

The enhancement works involved considerable physical alteration of the river bed and banks to increase water depth, improve spawning gravels, and create a more natural sinuous flow with adequate pool depth for older fish. Thirty two new pools were constructed and eight existing pools were enlarged.

The works improved the habitat for brown trout (Salmo trutta) and salmon (Salmo salar) which both require clean water to thrive, together with loose gravel beds in fast flowing, shallow rivers and streams in order to lay their eggs and reproduce successfully.

Intel Ireland recently commissioned UCD researchers Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn and Dr Jan Robert Baars of the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, and Aquens (Aquatic Environmental Services Ltd), a UCD campus company, to a compile the 20 years of findings into a special publication entitled: The Remarkable Rye Water.

Rye Water brown trout
Rye Water brown trout

According to the publication, which was officially launched by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD on 18 Oct 2012, the Rye Water today supports a healthy stock of brown trout and salmon, and it is considered very productive with a good variety of aquatic and riparian wildlife, including kingfishers and otters.

“Our vision for the future of the Rye Water is that it attains its full potential as a nursery water for endangered Atlantic Salmon, a refuge for other protected species and a trout fishery, as well as a habitat for a wide diversity of other aquatic organisms,” says Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn.

“The Rye River is an important and beautiful natural feature of our Intel campus and we are strongly committed to its preservation and enhancement,” says Intel Ireland’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Brendan Cannon.

“By commissioning this special publication we hope to create a timeless and unique resource to be shared by many and to highlight the years of detailed monitoring and assessment which have helped us to understand this unique amenity.”
The studies have contributed to three PhD theses and the training of over 100 students in field study skills.

The Remarkable Rye Water, Celebrating 20 years of commitment to the Rye Water and its valley, is dedicated to UCD Professor John Bracken who was instrumental in initiating the monitoring and rehabilitation works on the Rye Water. John participated in the electrofishing operations on the river right up to the summer before his death in 2006.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Intel supports 20 years of research on a tributary of the River Liffey by UCD researchers
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