The rivers were formerly famous for their salmon, much of which was sent to Dublin, both fresh and preserved in ice; but the quantity has decreased during the last century, caused, as is supposed, by the increased number of mills. The salmon trout is not uncommon in the rivers; its usual length is from eighteen to twenty inches. The shad comes up the Nore in April and returns in May; the sturgeon appears but rarely; porpoises sometimes follow the salmon beyond Waterford; the conger eel is sometimes taken; lampreys are thrown away by the fishermen, not being even kept for bait. All the aquatic birds usually found along the course of large rivers are met with here: the common gull follows their course to a great distance, devouring many insects pernicious to the farmer, and returns to the sea at night: the common people call it the white crow. The kingfisher and water-ousel are not uncommon.

The river Suir forms the southern boundary of the county for twenty miles; vessels of 100 tons navigate it to Carrick, and of a much larger burthen to Waterford. An act has been recently obtained for removing rocks and other obstructions in its bed, which will enable large vessels to proceed to Carrick. The Barrow skirts the eastern border of the county for about twenty-six miles. Large sums of money have been expended in improving its navigation to Athy: the boats which ply on it are from twenty to forty tons' burthen, but the locks last constructed admit boats of eighty tons. The river forms the course of the navigation, except in a few instances, where inland cuts are connected with it. The Nore more peculiarly belongs to this county, flowing nearly through its central part in a winding course of not less than forty-six miles, from the neighbourhood of Durrow to its junction with the Barrow near Ross: after passing Kilkenny, it receives the King's river from the west, whence in its course by Thomastown and Innistiogue it presents a rich variety of picturesque scenery: after its junction with the Barrow, the united stream takes the name of the Ross river. Like all mountain rivers, it is subject to great floods, which are highest when the wind has blown for some time from the north-east, accompanied with rain: the clouds thus driven on the hills to the north of the county, and quickly succeeding each other, convert into torrents all the streams that feed the Nore; on such occasions the water has risen eighteen feet at Innistiogue.

It has long been an object of importance to establish a navigation from Kilkenny to the sea by means of this river; much money was expended in the attempt, and many plans proposed, but none accomplished: the boats navigating it to Thomastown carry thirteen or fourteen tons down the river when it is full, and bring up ten tons, but only three or four when the water is low; they are drawn up by eight men, and require two more to work them. The roads are numerous, and are generally well laid out and kept in good repair. Several new lines have been recently made: the principal are those from Kilkenny to Piltown, Carrick-on-Suir, Freshford, and Roscrea respectively, and those from Castlecomer to Ballynakill, from Callan to Johnstown, and from Innistiogue to Waterford. The construction of these numerous lines, particularly through the hilly districts, has afforded to the farmer increased facility for the carriage of lime and the conveyance of agricultural produce to market.

Kilkenny, County of | Kilkenny Baronies | Kilkenny Soil | Kilkenny Topography | Kilkenny Agriculture | Kilkenny Geology | Kilkenny Colleries | Kilkenny Manufactures | Kilkenny Rivers | Kilkenny Antiquities | Kilkenny Castles | Kilkenny Social History | Kilkenny Springs | Kilkenny, City of

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