Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in County Cavan

Certain aquatic invasive alien species (IAS), when left unchecked, can adversely affect our river catchments in relation to local tourism economies, recreation and wellbeing opportunities, and water quality objectives, as well as the biodiversity that relies on healthy aquatic ecosystems. 

Nuttall’s waterweed (Elodea nuttallii) is a submerged aquatic weed introduced to Europe in 1914 and has been found in waters in County Cavan. 

The EU have designated this as a Species of Union Concern due to its adverse impacts to native habitats.  Impacts on navigation, angling, flooding, biodiversity, and water quality. 

Studies and investigations are commenced under funding from the National Biodiversity Action Plan to determine the current distribution of this IAS in Cavan, the effects it is having as well as control/management options that could be considered for use in Co Cavan.  

Early detection and rapid response, such as eradication, can prevent an IAS becoming established and significantly reduce adverse environmental impacts on potentially infested systems.  The issue is worsened in eutrophic nutrient rich waters. 

Water users can help stop the spread by following the Check, Clean, Dry code. 

  • Check your equipment, boat and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material.  Remove anything you find and leave it at the site. 
  • Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can paying attention to areas that are damp and hard to inspect. Use hot water (at least 45°C) or a high-pressure spray. 
  • Dry everything until it is dry for at least 48 hours before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for weeks in damp conditions. 

Disinfect everything if complete drying is not possible. 

Find out more about invasive plants and animals and how you can help to stop the spread at

Examples of Invasive Aquatic Alien Species in the watercourses of County Cavan