The worsening condition of Lough Carra was highlighted in last night’s Eco Eye programme on RTE.
Lough Carra is the largest marl lake in Ireland and its habitat and ecology make it unique not only in Ireland but in Europe.
The lake is considered a Priority Area for Action and Special Area of Conservation but pollution issues could see the limestone lake completely destroyed within two decades.
Local anglers have seen fish stocks decline and the appearance of the lake undergo radical changes.
Angler Tom Byrne told the programme that the waters of Lough Carra previously resembled those you would find in the Caribbean but have now changed to a ‘greeny, gunge that is disgusting to look at.’ He also expressed concern about the effects of pollution on the local drinking water supply.
The main cause of the deterioration of the lake is believed to be agricultural practices that have increased the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in Lough Carra.
Ecologist Dr Cilian Roden said the situation is extremely worrying.
“We have a big problem on our hands here. We have a lot of work ahead to try and cure it,” said Dr Roden.