Corrib Lake and catchment – Some of its Services & Natural Capital
• Lough Corrib is Ireland’s second largest lake. It is a massive area, covering 5% of Ireland’s land mass.
• The Corrib catchment drains a total area of 3,112km2.
• This unique, picturesque region is quite hidden from the public eye, unless you are directly involved, for example the angling community.
• The Lake stretches around 55km from Menlough near Galway city as far north as Ashford Castle in Cong, Co Mayo and north west into the most northern point of the lake in Maum and Cornamona, Connemara.
• The lake is a SAC, Special Area of Conservation and a very important area for Irelands western countryside and biodiversity. It allows plants, animals and humans to flourish and thrive.
• The lake’s surface waters provide a crucial water source for Galway city before it enters the River Corrib and into Galway Bay.
• We have a major responsibility to protect this natural resource and its catchment. This partnership will attempt to that exactly from a ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ approach from all stakeholders in the region.
What is a catchment? Cad is Abhanntrach ann?
A catchment is any area of land that drains water into a lake, river or ocean. When talking about the catchment of the Corrib, we are dealing with one of the biggest in the country. The Corrib drains it water from as far north as Claremorris, co Mayo, down south as far as Galway City, west into the mountains and gateway of Connemara, Moycullen and Oughterard and east into the low lying agricultural grasslands, bogs and wetlands of Claregalway, Corofin and as far east as Mountbellew. The catchment is about 77,000 hectares in size, so this project covers all communities within this region.
• The shallow, lime rich waters of the southern lake are important habitats for a number of species.
• Several of the lakes and watercourses are included in the SAC, as they are important spawning streams for the Atlantic Salmon. These rivers are the Clare, Abbert, Grange as well as Cong, Cornamona and Owenriff in the west.
• Other species that the lake provides habitats for are Freshwater Pearl Mussel, White-clawed Crayfish, Sea Lamprey, Brook Lamprey, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Otter and Breeding Curlew.
• The lake hosts a wide range of unique habitats including Limestone Pavement, Old Oak Woodlands, Bog Woodland, raised bog and pastoral grassland.
The combination of all these factors adds to the uniqueness of what we call the Corrib countryside.