River Bush

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River Bush
River Bush - geograph.org.uk - 848083.jpg
Native namean Bhuais
CountryNorthern Ireland
DistrictCauseway Coast and Glens
CitiesBushmills, Stranocum, Armoy
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationAntrim Mountains, Northern Ireland
 ⁃ location
Portballintrae, Northern Ireland
Length54 km (34 mi)
Basin size340 km2 (130 sq mi)
 ⁃ locationPortballintrae

The River Bush (from the Irish: an Bhuais)[1] is a river in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The River Bush is 33.5 miles (53.9 km) long.[2] The river's source is in the Antrim Hills at 480m. From there the river flows northwest, with a bend at the town of Armoy. It then flows west, passing through Stranocum, and then bends north, passing through Bushmills before reaching the sea at Portballintrae on the North Antrim coast. It flows through a fertile valley devoted to grassland-based agriculture with limited arable cropping. The underlying geology is basalt and the water is slightly alkaline with magnesium making an unusually large contribution to total hardness. The river supports indigenous stocks of Atlantic salmon and brown trout.[3] Saint Columb's Rill, which is a tributary of the river, is the source of water used for distilling Bushmills whiskey.


The River Bush has traditionally been a salmon-fishing river, though the numbers dwindled in the late 20th and early 21st century.[4][5] The River Bush still offers excellent salmon fishing. It is managed as a premier salmon river by Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), Inland Fisheries Division. The Department also operates a fish farm and hatchery at the River Bush Salmon Station (which can be visited), providing assistance to the River Bush Salmon Research Project. This project was established in 1972 and is a long term programme of research investigating both the sea water and fresh water phases of the lifecycle of the Atlantic salmon. The research programme has led to the recognition of the River Bush as an index river by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey of Ireland: Rivers and their Catchment Basins 1958 (Table of Reference)
  3. ^ "River Bush, Northern Ireland". Environmental Change Network - Freshwater Sites. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  4. ^ Winter Weather "Confuses" Salmon". BBC, February 3, 2007.
  5. ^ Minister Vows to Restore Salmon Runs. 4NI, October 4, 2002.
  6. ^ "River Bush Salmon Station". DCAL - A Selection of Angling Waters in Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°13′09″N 6°32′00″W / 55.21928°N 6.53326°W / 55.21928; -6.53326