Urlaur Lough


Urlaur Lough is located approximately 10km South/West of Kilkelly Co. Mayo. It has an area of 114.9 ha and a mean depth of <4m and a maximum depth of 11m.  The lake is categorised as shallow (<4m), greater than 50ha and high alkalinity (>100mg/1CaCo3).  The underlying geology of the lake is made up of carboniferous limestone.  The river Lung rises in Urlaur Lough, flows through the lung valley until it enters Lough Gara approximately 22km Noerth/East.  Lough Urlaur along with Lough Nanoge and Lough Roe, make up the Urlaur Lough special area of conservation.  Urlaur Lough is a hard water marl lake.

                                                                                   Aquatic Flora


Canadian Pond Weed

Yellow/White Water Lily

Duck Weed

Pond Weed

Pond Weed Potomage


Teal Duck

Mallard Duck

Pochard Duck

Widgeon Duck

Tufted Duck

Whoopher Swan






Bream Hybrid

9 Spined Stickleback

European Eel

Land Uses

Land Uses

Land use practices within the site boundary are of low intensity.  These include land used for pasture and limited mechanical turf cutting to the South East of Lough Urlaur.


Urlaur Lough provides an important local angling amenity and was previously used for all Ireland national pike fishing competitions.  The lake was previously stocked with bream in 1961 but these fish failed to establish a population at that time.  The lake was historically known to contain a moderate stock of pike, perch and eels.  Perch and roach are the most abundant fish species in the lake.  Small numbers of pike, eels, and roach, x bream hybrids are also present.  Recently spine stickleback have appeared in the lake.  

Perch range in length from 3.5cm to 28.5cm

Roach range in length from 5.5cm to 29.2cm

Pike range in length from 10.0cm to 78.0cm

Roach x bream hybrids range in length from 22.5cm to 24.2cm

Nine spined stickleback measure approximately 3cm

Eels range in length from 50.5cm to 77.5cm

Drinking Water

A supply of very good drinking water is supplied to all local inhabitants through our group water scheme.  A few years ago a new water filtration system and pipes were installed to improve the standard of the water. This is currently ongoing to further improve the system.

Leisure, Recreation and Swimming

The shores of the lake are used for leisure and recreation purposes by locals and visitors.  The abbey area is a very popular spot for swimmers during the summer months.  Sharp stones have been removed from the lake shore and from within the waters of the swimming area.  Sand has been placed on the shore and is done so every summer by local volunteers.  A grassy area with seating is also available.  As a matter of respect to this excellent facility, it would be greatly appreciated if locals and visitors took home all their rubbish.  Littering is illegal and it takes from the beauty of the area.