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Lower Corrib River

  Grade:   2 to 3       Rating: river rating
  County:   Galway   Date updated:16/06/2010
  Section Length:   1km   Version: 5 (History)

Brief River Description

The River Corrib is located in Galway. It flows from Lough Corrib in North Galway into the Upper Corrib, which meanders its way towards Galway City. At the Salmon Weir the river pours over the weir and into the Lower Corrib, where it flows through the City center out to sea, entering Galway Bay at Nimmos Pier.

Directions to the Put-in

The put in for the Lower Corrib, Upper Corrib and the Galway canal system is at Fisheries Field. When coming from anywhere (bar the west) into Galway, follow the signs for Clifden. Once you cross a dual carrigeway bridge over the river Corrib you must take the next left turn at a statoil station. Follow this road until you get to a major junction (2nd set of traffic lights), take a left turn at the junction and continue until you see a big ass church (the cathedral) in front of you. At this point there should be two small roads on your left, take the second one, this leads to fisheries field. If you find yourself passing the cathedral and then crossing another bridge , you've gone too far.

Drive down to the canal slip (passing the NUIG GMIT kayak club on your left) where you can get on for the upper, lower and canal. Watch out for clamping signs. This is college land, they clamp anyone parked by the clubhouse wall. Park safely anywhere beyond the old stone ruin thing (you'll see it).

To get to the lower you must paddle the channel to your left as you get on the canal. this leads down a slide into the 'shit chute'. watch for all sort of obstacles at the bottom of the slide. Follow the shit chute and it will lead you out onto the lower Corrib, just below the fish cages.

Directions to the Take-out

Below Wolfe Tone bridge there are get out points on river right (Claddagh) and left (Spanish Arch) . Throw the boat on the shoulder an start walkin up through town, show off those tight leggins you're wearing, back to fisheries field.

River Description

In low water, the Shit Chute drops into the river via a small rapid, and in high water is level with the river.

From there you can make your way to the fish cages just upstream of the shit chute. Paddle up close to the river right wall and you'll reach a big eddy. The fish cages span the whole river and are made of metal grates. The cages provide little waves and loads of eddys both big and small. This is a perfect location for ferrying and breaking in and out practice. the river left eddy provides a perfect squirt spot at low flows.

Moving down stream there are plenty of little wave trains, the waves are surfable in longer boats. they provide the shorter boats perfect wave wheel and kick flip ramps. On high water these waves can be quite large and have over turned many a basic paddler.

The next break out is at the Hygia eddy, this is on river right, you will see a weir type thing with a walkway and hand rail on the right. Break in to the eddy just after this. There is an access exit point at the Hygia eddy through someones back garden and into the back of the 'Mon' which is part of the Bish school. Neither parties like kayakers going through their property so try not use this access point unless it is very necessary.

At high water the Hygia wave start to work (best between 12 and 14 gates, flow dependent, on mid to low tide) this wave is a fast surgie green wave, where you must use a fast playboat to stay on (prozone, forplay, slice etc) Spins and blunts are possible. it is a tricky wave, it take some time to get uset to. When you get washed off the back of the wave you must paddle really hard to catch the eddy. There is a tree overhanging the water which marks the end of the eddy. Be careful not to get stuck in the tree.

On the river left at Hygia there is a small wave train that is surfable at 6 gates. Big eddy on river left to service it too.

Below Hygia you pass under O Briens Bridge. There are 2 arches you can pass through, with a choice of 3 eddys below it.

On very high water O'Briens wave works (best when the tide is in). This is a pure old skool long boat wave. Super sports and Jives go great, a prozone being the shortest to surf it (not very well). again its a very surgie wave. From the river right eddy (very boily and thrashy on high water) You must time your entry onto the wave as you must surf a feeder wave which leads onto the main wave, when the main wave surges towards you. Once on, a long ride ensues, with paddle spins and shudder rudders the name of the game. Spins are possible, with blunts being very rare. Once flushed off the back of the wave, you must hurry into the eddy or you will be washed down stream very quickly.

On lower water O'Briens provide a great squirt and eddy line cartwheel spot as well as ferrying and breaking in and out. a wave forms below the river left arch on about 12 gates. smaller but Steeper than the main wave but better for short boats. blunts and spins possible.

There is access to get on and off here through the side of the Bridge Mills on to O'Briens bridge.

Below O'Briens there are wave trains that lead to Wolfe Tone bridge. There are 2 eddies on river right which provide access and exit points. Wolfe tone has 3 arches. They are all gravy to go under as long as ots not a very high tide and you wont be able to fit under. A diagonal wave appears on the river left just up from Wolfe tone. This provides a good surf for the adventurous. There is a great wave under the middle arch of Wolfe Tone, works on medium to high levels. Quite intimidating to catch it as it feels like ur gonna smack into the bridge. Its a good fast surf for all size boats. its hard to catch and there is no eddy service.

The eddys at Claddagh and Spanish Arch provide squirting breakin in and out opportunities.

Below this further toward the sea, at the mouth of the river, opposite Nimmo's Pier, there are the 'rapids' which are tidal weather and river flow dependent. When the rapids work they provide the best and biggest features on the river. Great waves and hole for all you playboaters out there. And good river running lines too

River level gauge

The lower Corrib flow is dependent on the level of the upper Corrib and the number of gates open at the salmon weir.

There are 16 gates in total:
1 - 3 gates open = no flow, flat water , very shallow
4 - 8 gates open = low flow
9 - 11 gates open = medium flow
12 - 16 gates open = high flow

You can find the number of gates open by checking out for river level and Tide time tables

The "rapids" work when there is enough water (14-16) gate and there is a 'spring tide'. The tide needs to be below 1m. For optimal conditions the tide should be below 0m and the river should be on 16 gates of flow, but anything around that will provide ample entertainment.


Original Author: Brian Cahil
Latest Author: Seanie
(Full History)

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