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Something Fishy

Archive 2

On Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 we went on a field trip to the Blue Bridge, under which flows the 2nd longest river in Ireland, the river Barrow. The river Barrow is one of the three sister rivers, the other two being the Nore and the Suir. They are called the sisters because they meet up and enter the sea at Waterford Harbour.

We left school at 1 o' clock, drove to the bridge and walked down to the river. The men from Inland Fisheries Ireland, John and Michael, met us there. We had met them before when they visited our school to tell us about the project and about invasive species.

Michael told us about the biotic index which originated in Germany. A biotic index is used to determine the water quality by using insects found in the river. We were also reminded about invasive weeds and shown some examples of them, including the giant hogweed, a dangerous weed that can give you a severe rash if you touch it. The men pointed one out in the bank the far side of the river.

Michael told us about the different parts of the fish and which fins are used for which job. The adipose fin is useless (like an appendix in a human) so if the fisheries board want to count fish the counters can cut them off to identify those that have been counted already. This does not hurt the fish at all.

Michael and John then showed us 'electric fishing'. This uses electro-magnetism to draw the fish towards the net. It is very important to follow the safety rules for electric fishing. The men had to check their equipment carefully and we had to make sure not to step in the water. We all cheered when the first fish was caught! The men put the caught fish into a deep blue rubber bucket filled with water. There were young salmon and a trout. We were allowed put our hands in and feel the fish. John explained that your hand should be wet when touching a fish to avoid giving the fish a friction burn.

Michael took kick samples from the river and both men pointed out the different insects in the samples. There were stoneflies and caddisflies among others. We concluded that the water quality was very good.

Before we went back up to the bridge we had a stone skimming contest between 5th and 6th class and John set up two more competitions to see who could hit a standing stone and a particular weed. It was great fun. The trip was very educational and great craic. We would definitely do it again if we had the chance. We all got a ruler each at the end of the trip.

Having a quick close-up look.

Test your knowledge. Click here for the questions.

Try out this cloze test.

Fishy Jokes

What sits at the bottom of the sea and smokes?
Answer: A Nervous Wreck.

Where do fish keep their money?
In a river bank.

Why was the lobster red?
Because the sea

Have a go at this crossword.

Thank you to Inland Fisheries Ireland for allowing us to take part in this project. The following are some of the pamphlets we used. We also used the interactive website Click here to go to this website.

How we Got Involved
Our teacher got a phone call from the Michael Kennedy of Inland Fisheries Ireland to ask if we would like to take part in the project. He came to the school with the information and we started using the 'Something Fishy' website and doing the worksheets. We enjoyed playing the many different games on the website. We learned about the water cycle, the life cycle of the salmon and the food pyramid and how looking after our environment helps us all. Then Michael and John came to talk to us in the classroom. They also gave each of us a booklet called 'A Fun Introduction to Ireland's Freshwater Biodiversity.


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