There are growing concerns over the water quality in Corbet Lough after a grant application was rejected.
Large amount of phosphorous are present in the lough. Such nutrient-rich issues have the potential to threaten fish stocks.
Treatment that would reduce the levels by 50% to 70% and would last 10 years has been recommended but, at an estimated cost of up to £30,000, Banbridge Angling Club sought the help of a £25,000 grant to complete the treatment over the next 12 months.
The NGO Challenge Fund, however, was heavily oversubscribed and the application was rejected.
There is a glimmer of hope in that a meeting with the NIEA is scheduled for this month while a government application for a multi-million pound project to address water quality north and south of the border also offers a possible solution.
Banbridge District Council has assisted the Angling Club is their pursuit of funding and is to pass on the baton to the ABC Council to seek help for the Lough, which Councillor Seamus Doyle stresses is “one of the Council’s biggest assets.”
It was also noted at a recent Leisure and Development Committee meeting that angling attracts people from all areas and so Corbet Lough, home to Banbridge Angling Club, must be given due attention.
The problems in the lough were detected as the Council carried out an extensive study into the water qualiy which was undertaken by Dr Paul Johnston, Fisheries Consultant, along with Professor Brian Rippery from the University of Ulster.