The River Dodder () is one of the three main rivers of the Dublin region in Ireland, the others being the Liffey, of which the Dodder is the largest tributary, and the Tolka.
Course and system
The Dodder rises on the northern slopes of Kippure in the Wicklow Mountains, and is formed from several streams. The headwaters flow from Kippure Ridge, and include, and are often mapped solely as, Tromanallison (Allison's Brook), which is then joined by Mareen's Brook, including the Cataract of the Brown Rowan, and then the combined flow meeting the Cot and Slade Brooks.
In the river's valley at Glenasmole are the two Bohernabreena Reservoirs, a major part of the Dublin water supply system.
The Dodder is long. It passes the Dublin suburbs of Tallaght and then Firhouse, travels through Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Rathgar, Milltown, Clonskeagh, Donnybrook, and Ballsbridge, and enters the Liffey near Ringsend, along with the Grand Canal, at Grand Canal Dock.
There is a weir just above the bridge at Ballsbridge and the river becomes tidal roughly where the bridge at Lansdowne Road crosses it.
The Dodder and the River Tolka are Dublin's second largest rivers, after the River Liffey.
The Dodder's main tributaries after Glenasmole, in and prior to which many streams join, are the Jobstown (or Tallaght) Stream, the Owendoher River and its tributary the Whitechurch Stream, the Little Dargle River (with Castle Stream and other tributaries), the Slang or Dundrum River, the Swan River (or Water), and the small Muckross Stream.
Link with the Poddle
The River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in its own right, was linked with the River Dodder from Balrothery Weir, just north of Firhouse, from the 13th century. This link formerly provided much of Dublin City's water supply. Known as the "City Watercourse," it ran through part of Templeogue. It was partly piped in the mid-20th century, and the connection was later broken by housing development. All that remains now are a small channel from the weir, dead-ending less than 100m from the weir, and some unseen underground flows.
The Dodder once supplied many mills, but all are now disused.
The river floods some surrounding areas from time to time.
A flood on the Dodder in March 1628 claimed the life of Arthur Ussher, Deputy Clerk to the Privy Council of Ireland who was "carried away by the current, nobody being able to succour him, although many persons.. his nearest friends, were by on both sides."
The two greatest Dodder floods before 1986 occurred on 25 August 1905, and on 3 and 4 August 1931. Hurricane Charley (often spelled "Charlie" in Ireland) passed south of the country on 25 August 1986. In 24 hours, 200mm (almost 8 inches) of rain poured down on Kippure Mountain while 100mm fell on Dublin causing heavy river flooding, including the Dodder in many places, and hardship and loss were experienced.
Fish and angling
Fish present in the river include brown trout and sea trout.
The fishing season is opened between 17 March - 30 September, and best fishing locations are Rathfarnham Road, Dodder Road Lower, Miltown Road and Churchtown Road Lower. To catch sea trout on this river it is best fished in September at night when the river is in spate.
The Dodder is home to many water-bird species including mallard, grey heron, kingfisher, dipper, coot, moorhen, grey wagtail and mute swan; the sparrowhawk nests in the trees lining the riverbanks. The fox is common along the riverbank and the badger and otter have also been seen.
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