Small-scale hydropower schemes are becoming more common on rivers in the Foyle and Carlingford catchments. Loughs Agency believes that baseline fishery data must be provided to assess any proposed scheme properly (unless it’s located above an impassable fish barrier). Loughs Agency is responsible for the conservation and protection of inland fisheries in the Foyle and Carlingford areas. While specifications on screen sizes and fish pass design are set out in the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966 (DAERA) within Northern Ireland, Loughs Agency has the power to enforce aspects of the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966 within its jurisdiction.
Some of the most difficult issues arise from the cumulative effects of multiple schemes and a lack of comprehensive ecological impact assessments. In an effort to address such issues, Loughs Agency has adopted guidelines on the installation of hydro schemes. These have been accepted and approved by the FCILC Board.