Kerry Blackwater

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Bridge over the Blackwater

The Blackwater River or the Kerry Blackwater is a river ten miles long in County Kerry; not to be confused with the much longer Munster Blackwater, which also rises in County Kerry.


The Kerry Blackwater has its source in Lough Brin from here flows ten miles to the sea.[1] It enters the sea at Kenmare Bay on the southern side of the Iveragh Peninsula.[2]

The river has a drainage basin with an area of 34 square miles.


The fishing in the Kerry Blackwater is managed by IFI Macroom and the river receives a run of around 1,500 salmon and grilse each year. It also receives a good run pf sea trout which pass through the river on their way to Logh Brin and its headwaters. Access for anglers to the river is said to be "excellent". Two boats are available for angling use on Lough Brin.[1]

Natural history and conservation

A Special Area of Conservation, protects most of the basin of the Blackwater River. This is one of the areas in which the rare Kerry slug is known to occur. Other rare species which are protected by the SAC include the otter, freshwater pearl mussel, lesser horseshoe bat and Atlantic salmon. The area is of international importance for the lesser horseshoe bat, with one roost site having 150 bats counted there in 1996. The site is also recognised as being of cpnservation importance for birds, notably the peregrine falcon, merlin, red-billed chough and hen harrier. It is also home to populations of Hesperocodon hederaceus which is scarce in Ireland.[3]

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