The River Irt is situated in the Wasdale valley, West Cumbria flowing approximately 22km from Wastwater past Nether Wasdale, Santon Bridge, Holmrook, Drigg and out to sea at Ravenglass.
The Irt Freshwater Pearl Mussel Project will focus on area between Wastwater and Holmrook. Mussels are still found within the river in very low numbers and are at risk of extinction if current trends are not reversed. Pressures include septic tank discharge, silt intrusion into gravel, agricultural runoff, lack of stable habitat due to past dredging or removal of boulders, invasive species and low host fish numbers.
The upper half of the river is dominated by granites, basalts and andesites. The lower half is formed of sandstones.
The River Irt is fished by a number of clubs and syndicates including: