The River Moy rises in Sligo’s Ox Mountains and is roughly 100km long, entering the Atlantic Ocean at Killala Bay along Sligo’s border with Mayo. It drains from a catchment area of over 2,000 sq km and contains many lakes, rivers and streams. The Moy’s principal tributaries include the Mad River, the Owenaher, Lough Talt River, the Owengarve and the Mullaghanoe. The River Moy is well known as one of Ireland’s best salmon rivers and also contains large stocks of sea trout.
The River Moy is part of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), part of which is located in Sligo and Roscommon while the majority of the site in located in Co. Mayo. It also contains a number of other rivers, and is particularly important due to the presence of habitats listed on the EU Habitats Directive: old oak woodlands, degraded raised bog and Rhynchosporion.
The estuary of the river lies between the Mayo town of Killala and the Sligo town of Inishcrone, with the river itself forming the border between the two counties. This estuary is a separate SPA, particularly valuable for the extensive mudflats and sandflats that are exposed at low tide, well developed dune system with a rich variety of flora, and for supporting a large population of wintering waterfowl. Among the bird species present are Golden Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit, listed on the EU Birds Directive, a number of other plovers, sanderling, dunlin, and Brent Goose.
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