Compared to the rest of Europe Ireland has relatively few species of freshwater fish. This is primarily due to the isolation of Ireland’s rivers and lakes during the last ice age.
It has been argued that the only true native freshwater species are arctic char, pollan, eel, brown trout, and salmon. Most of the coarse species were introduced by man in the Middle Ages. More recent introductions include roach and dace in the 50’s and 60’s. Fish stocking and introductions (legal and illegal) have extended the range of many coarse species and now roach and bream are found all over the country. Rudd is quite widespread but tench and carp have a more patchy distribution.
Of the 20 freshwater species known to inhabit this island the ISFC only recognises 11. Two hybrids are also recognised, although three are know to occur. Char, pollan and lamprey are so rarely caught (and to some degree under threat) that they are excluded and the other species are of little angling value as they are so small (e.g. minnow, gudgeon, stickleback, stoneloach).
Currently salmon and pike are Ireland’s biggest freshwater fish. The salmon record is virtually unassailable but the pike record will regularly be broken if anglers’ tales are to be believed
To table below list the The Irish Specimen Fish Committee up-to-date list (last revised 04/2013) of eligible Freshwater Species, specimen weight for that species, and Irish Record Weight of that species.
The Irish Record Weight and Specimen Weight is presented in different units, both imperial measures (lbs) and metric system (kg), dependant on the value on which it was reported. To aid in the conversion between both systems, please use the weight conversion calculator provided (see right sidebar)
|Species||Irish Record Weight||Specimen Weight||Length based Specimen||Species Identification reuirements|
|Bream (Abramis brama)||6.07 kg||3.402 kg||7.5 lbs|
|Carp (Cyprinus carpio)||14.24 kg||5.9 kg||13 lbs|
|Dace (Leuciscus leucisus)||1 lb||2 ozs||0.3 kg||0.66 lbs||Scales and Photos|
|Eel (Anguilla anguilla)||6 lbs||15 ozs||suspended from listings|
|Gudgeon (Gobio gobio)||0.035 kg||0.0772||≥14cm Fork Length||Photo on measuring mat|
|Perch (Perca fluviatilis)||5 lbs||8 ozs||1.2 kg||2.646 lbs|
|Pike (Esox lucius) (Lake)||42 lbs||12 ozs||13.608 kg||30 lbs||≥115cm Fork Length|
|Pike (Esox lucius) (River)||42 lbs||9.072 kg||20 lbs||≥100cm Fork Length|
|Roach (Rutilus rutilus)||1.425 kg||0.907 kg||2 lbs||Scales* and Photos|
|Roach/Bream Hybrid||7 lbs||1.6 kg||3.528 lbs||Scales* and Photos|
|Roach/Rudd Hybrid||2.1 kg||0.9 kg||1.98 lbs||Scales* and Photos|
|Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)||-||-||0.9 kg||1.98 lbs||Scales* and Photos|
|Rudd/Bream Hybrid||7 lbs||10 ozs||1.2 kg||2.64 lbs||Scales* and Photos|
|Tench (Tinca tinca)||8.15 lbs||2.722 kg||6 lbs||≥52cm Fork Length|
|Salmon (Salmo salar)||57 lbs||9.072 kg||20 lbs||≥90cm Fork Length||Scales|
|Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (Lake)||26 lbs||2 ozs||4.536 kg||10 lbs||≥75cm Fork Length||Scales|
|Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) (River)||20 lbs||2.268 kg||5 lbs||≥57cm Fork Length||Scales|
|Sea Trout (Salmo trutta)||16 lbs||6 ozs||2.722 kg||6 lbs||≥64cm Fork Length||Scales|
|Slob Trout (Salmo trutta)||-||-||4.536 kg||10 lbs||Scales|
* for genetic profiling