Brown trout can successfully co-exist in lakes with pike, is one of the findings from a new report by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI),entitled ‘Pike in Ireland’.

Pike species in Irish waters may have changed their diet preferences according to the study that looks at new research carried out on Lough Conn, County Mayo and Lough Derravaragh, County Westmeath in 2016 and provides an insight into the dietary habits of pike.

Previous dietary research carried out in the 1960s and 1970s in Lough Derravaragh and Lough Sheelin (located across Westmeath, Meath and Cavan) indicated that pike preferred to eat brown trout and perch. However, this latest research reveals that pike appear to have changed their prey preference and now predominately eat roach.

The research examines whether pike and brown trout can co-exist in the same habitat. Using statistical models, it found that pike and brown trout could live together within relatively large deep lakes with strong stream connectivity however in small, low-complex systems pike introductions could potentially have a devastating impact on resident brown trout populations.

Dr Cathal Gallagher Head of Research at Inland Fisheries Ireland told Midwest News that the research was initiated to answer some on-going questions relating to the dietary preference of pike and the pike-brown trout interactions in lakes across Ireland.

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