The Lough Melvin catchment drains an area of approximately 26,000 ha, 42% of which lies within Northern Ireland. The lake has a surface area of over 2,000 ha being the 10th largest lake in Ireland and is situated within the counties of Leitrim (ROI) and Fermanagh (NI). The main catchment landuses are extensive agriculture, housing and plantation forestry.
Lough Melvin is a mesotrophic (low-medium nutrient status) lake which has been designated as a candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the E.U. Habitats Directive. It supports unique fish populations; three sub-species of brown trout; Atlantic Salmon and; a unique Arctic Char population. Significant vegetation communities also occur within the catchment area including Molinia meadows and sessile oak woodlands.
The health of Lough Melvin and its ecological communities is particularly vulnerable to catchment pressures and landscape uses. The most significant threat is nutrient enrichment and reduced biodiversity through trophic change.
Lough Melvin Programme
The aim of the Lough Melvin Nutrient Reduction Programme was to develop a Catchment Management Plan (CMP) for Lough Melvin that will promote good ecological status and address the primary catchment threats and consequent loss of biological integrity.
View the Lough Melvin Catchment Management Plan