Two of the country’s most famous rivers have been closed to fishing as water temperatures reach levels similar to indoor swimming pools.

The move comes as weeks without rain and prolonged warm weather also raises concerns about drinking-water shortages, wildfires and stunted grass, as well as crop growth for farmers.

According to today's Irish Independent, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) took the step of halting fishing in the River Moy and the Salmon Weir in Galway after water temperatures rose higher than 20 degrees.

That is far above the comfort zone for salmon and trout and can lead to thermal stress and death.

The move came as Uisce Éireann extended night-time water restrictions to several parts of Tipperary and farming bodies expressed fears over dried-out fields.

Parts of counties Kerry, Galway, Cork and Clare are also on reduced night-time flows as reservoirs run low and river levels drop. The water utility has also issued appeals to customers in Kilkenny, Westmeath, Wexford and Mayo to conserve water as supplies there come under strain.

Some rain is forecast for this weekend but there are warnings it will not sufficiently dampen a parched countryside where tinder-like conditions in forests, beaches and mountainsides prompted a major fire safety warning.

This came as Galway fire brigade battled to control a major gorse fire in the Rahoon-Boleybeg area and required units from Galway city and Athenry to prevent the blaze from spreading.

Barry Fox is Head of operations at Inland Fisheries Ireland.

He told Midwest Radio's Alannah Nolan what the high temperatures mean for the fish that live in them...


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