MINUTES OF EVIDENCE.
I do not think from my experience that by Wne a well-drained district the water comes off
e quickly than from an undrained district.
You mp°ver can pass doAvn a river any more water than falls on the catchment area in the shape of rain.
You may have a large boggy area, and if saturated with water it "will give off the rainfall, but when that area is drained it" is no longer saturated, no longer waterlogged, and the rain that falls upon it takes •some little time to percolate into the channels that vou have made, and I don't think it makes a bit of difference in the long run in the intensity of the goods?
But the suggestion made from the fishery point of view is that granting all this rainfall has to "be carried off, it can be carried off with very different velocities.
It may rest here and there for a while, and in other places may be rushed off at once by means of drains, and you accumulate all this water at some particular place, just as we have it at Claregalway, I do not believe that in the old times they ever had floods in the Claregalway the same as now.
They cut these arterial drains, as you will see on the maps, and the water rushes off and accumulates below.
From The evidence we have heard the people of the district wish that it Avould rush off rapidly ?—
When I say rush off I mean tho upper waters rush off and accumulate doAvn below.
the outfalls of these rivers sufficiently clear to enable the water that comes from above to pass into the lake ?—I
think so, as far as the & u vVipe these away ; wipe the weirs away; return the river to a state of nature, so that you could only fish in_ it with rods, or drawing the river with nets ?—We
might catch with nets.
Rods are not exactly a state of nature.
But what would be the effect on the salmon in the river.
I am not speaking of it from your point of view—I am speaking of it as a salmon river; what would be the effect of it?—It
would be possible to catch with nets if you allowed us nets.
I am not asking you to catch any salmon.
I am asking you what would be the effect on the salmon themselves?—They
would all go up the river.
Some of them would go down again, and I daresay we should have an immense invasion of seals, otters, and various other enemies of the fish.
They would get them instead of the Billingsgate market.
Would not the salmon have an unobstructed course up to the spawning beds?—Yes.
And would they not be dependent in the state of nature on the flooding that came down the river for going up; I am coming to your point of uni¬ formity of flow ?—On
the water that came down.
There would be dry weather, when the river would be low.
At other times the river would be in flood, and during that latter period the salmon would go up ?—Yes.
They would go up and down with the water.
What would become of them I cannot say— fall a prey to their natural enemies or get into a con¬ gested state up there.
But what I mean is, it is not necessary for the salmon to have a uniform flow.
You want the uniform flow so that you can catch the salmon?—I
did not speak of uniformity in that way.
If you get heavy floods in the upper rivers sometimes the beds are absolutely washed away and you get no breeding beds, and the breeding power is destroyed.
If you get a scarcity then you have no feeding power for the fish.
The fish depend entirely on the water.
If there is no water there is no means of feeding them, and if you get too much water the young fry might be washed away.
That is all I meant by the rise and fall.
There is another point which has a bearing not merely on the salmon but on the interests of the people.
In 1902, in consequence of the swallow holes the river bed was absolutely dry for weeks from above Corbally to Kil-troge, a distance of over eight miles.
The people living along the banks of the dried up river had to carry water for man and beast from Annagh, Clare¬ galway, and Cregg, five or six miles away, and the people very much welcomed our efforts at the time to build these walls to keep the water out of the swallow holes, because it meant keeping the water in for them.
Horses and cattle also suffered in many cases.
Large herds of cattle were driven along the roads daily for miles to get water on account of the action of the swallow holes.
That is the Claregalway river.
In the higher parts of it, of course?—Not
the very higher parts.
The lower part rather (indicates locality on map).
There comes in again the question of uniformity.
In fact the water swallowed here came down here again (indicates) ?—Part
of it, and part of it goes into the bay.
represent the Moycullen drainage area ?—Only
that I take it on myself to come here.
I am not appointed by anybody, but the people around me have asked me to come.
Where is this particular district ?—Here
to th| west of Lough Corrib (indicates on map), 6120.
the public road to Oughterard ?—Yes.
is the state of the drainage at present ?—Very
The lake is ^fCioo^r" lan *am* ^at ia not Pr»PerIy aone.
That is this one here (indicates on map).
It goes mto the Corrib here, and is occasionally cleaned t'n v
^fc *s no^ c^eane(i oul; ProPerV) anc* there are •still obstructions, put doAvn near myself, that prevent the flow of water.
Captain tho Hon.
John Campbell examined.
Who are the people who should do it?—It
is Hon-«'°lm part of the Corrib.
put down these stone obstructions?—A
predecessor of mine on the farm which I have now got, and there is a place here (in-dicates on map) where a farmer put stones on both sides and made a bridge across.
That bridge was washed away, and I have never replaced it.
The stones are still there on each side of the canal and obstruct the flow of the water considerably.
Was he trying to catch eels?—He
-built a bridge to get across to land on the other side.
maintenance rate do you pay?—It
is paid not by me but by my father, the landlord of the property.
He pays the Corrib drainage.
I am not quite certain what it is.
It is about %8 a year, or something like that.
I am not