No. 21 of 2011
Continuation of Jute Matting Trials
Grand Canal and Barrow Navigation
Waterways Ireland wish to advise all masters and users of craft on
the Grand Canal and Barrow Navigation that a series of trials which commenced in November 2010 are to be continued into the 2011 boating season.
The trials involve the use of jute matting to control and eradicate aquatic invasive species. The approach involves the use of jute matting to exclude light from accessing native and invasive aquatic plant species in targeted sections of these waterways. By blocking life-giving light from the plants, their capacity to grow and proliferate is significantly diminished. Results using light excluding jute matting to control an aggressive invasive aquatic plant (Lagarosiphon major – Curly leaved waterweed) in Lough Corrib have been very positive and no re-growth of this weed has been observed in treated areas (see Novel Approaches to Controlling Invasive Species in Ireland). Jute is comprised of a natural and biodegradable fibre and the matting is laid on the canal bed in 100 m long x 5 m wide strips. The material saturates readily on coming into contact with water and sinks to the canal bed. There it is secured in place by scuba divers using pins and weights.
It is anticipated that the matting will remove vegetation in targeted areas, thus eliminating potential obstructions to boat traffic and to other water-based usage of the canals network. The jute is placed in a manner that, in most instances, it will remove vegetation from the central channel area. Where certain high risk invasive species are present (as is the case with Crassula helmsii – New Zealand pigmyweed adjacent to the Lullymore briquette factory) it is necessary to temporarily cover the full canal width with jute.
Matting has been laid in a number of trial locations as indicated below:
Trial Location 1: Limerick Bridge – Naas Corbally Branch.
Trial Location 2: – Grand Canal Main Line at Lullymore briquette factory. Between the Bord na Mona Access Bridge to the Lullymore Site – downstream to the end of the Lullymore Site (Upstream of Hartley Bridge.)
Trial Location 3: – Meeting of the Old Barrow Line and the New Barrow line downstream of Roberstown
Trial Location 4: – Grand Canal – Barrow line downstream of the 21st Lock.
Bank-side signage with advisory notices will be placed at the various sites to notify boaters and users of the canal of the trial areas and how to proceed at the various locations.
Waterways Ireland thanks its customers for their co-operation in this matter and any inconvenience caused is regretted.
Lt Cdr (rtd)
Inspector of Navigation
Tel: 00 353 (0)90 6494232