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Government Dept. Jan Feb March April May June July August September October November December
                           
DCAL I.F.                          
Course Fish     Pike   Roach Bream              
Game Fish                     Trout Salmon  
Salmon/Smolts       Smolts   Salmon Salmon Salmon Salmon Salmon Spawning Spawning  
Eels                           
                           
NIEA                          
Birds Wildfowl   Bird Nesting               Wildfowl Wildfowl  
Invertebrates                          
                           
Waterways Ireland                          
                           
DARD                          
Farming             Farming Access            
Rivers Agency                          
                           
Range 0                          
Water level Control   Requirement to keep lough within legal limits all year.              
                           
Range 1              
Low level Protection   "-Indicates low level requirement for farmers to graze"              
    "-indicates minmum level to support watercraft"              
    "-Indicates protection required for aquatic Invertebrates"      
Range 2  
Normal Range   "-Indicates median levels to protect nesting birds"  
   
Range 3   
Stable Levels   "-Indicates stable water levels (i.e. fish spawning)"  
   
Range 4  
Short period specific   "-Higher level for short specific period to support Trout and Salmon running rivers(WFD)European: Vurnerable(Red List)"  
    "-Indicates sporadic higher levels required for wildfowl feeding(natural winter flooding)"  
    "-Full moon water flow requirements of strong flow & "dam spill" for running smolt & salmon(WFD)European: Vurnerable(Red List)"  
    "-Indicates support for eels returning and elvers entering system"      
 
Range 0  
This indicates the primary task of Rivers Agency/ESB to attempt to keep within the legal limts agreed on the lough when the dam was built.  
 
Range 1   
This range indicates the lower level extremes that will increase difficulties for the Flora/Fauna and Community participation.  
Lough Erne contains many endangered Invertebrate Species that need protection.(e.g. Mayflys(Ephemeroptera) which have endangered species in lough erne.)  
 
Range 2  
This is a requirement to protect predator access to bird nesting & flooding of nest sites.  
 
Range 3  
This comes about as once fish spawn the eggs need to be kept wet. This has important economic benefits to tourism/fishing/environment and is included in WFD.  
 
Range 4  
Indicates short periods that require specific goals. The Salmonid migration is a legal requirement covered in WFD and we must support that activity.  
 
It is noted that excesses in weather will disrupt the best laid plans and require appropiate attention.  
However the current low levels in winter and high levels in summer with sometimes negative support for salmonids invite european legal issues from the WFD and Red List species.
 
Erne Rivers Trust Perspective  
From Erne Rivers Trust perspective we would like the lough to try and keep to a fixed stable level for most of the year.  
Our suggestion at this stage is aim somewhere in the middle of the defined range keeping the stones on shores 75% covered.  
This will provide a healthy biodiverse invertebrate habitat with some shore protection from the erosion of waves and boat wash by the higher stones and banks.  
As the evapouration rate slows with colder weather we would expect to see a little more variation in levels during the winter.  
Until further study invertebrate work is carried out we would ask that the stone shores are not dried out as this directly affects endangered invertebrate species.  
We can only emphasize the need for montoring and research on the relationship of levels to that of the Flora and Fauna.  
The unique situation of Lough Erne gives us the ability to use the flow controls to enhance the major fishing competitions.   
By manufacturing flow for the "Classic" this will favour course fishing while reducing flow for the major predator competition should increase catches.  
A number of the events are related more to moon phases and temperature rather than months of the year and this will change dates annually.