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|Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:53 am Post subject: Niagra Weir fish pass for Sheffield Anglers and wildlife en
|10th March 2010
Niagra Weir fish pass for Sheffield
Anglers and wildlife enthusiasts will benefit from the building of a new fish pass at Niagra Weir on the River Don at Sheffield.
The pass will help fish to move up the Don, spawn in new areas and increase their numbers along that length of river. This will reduce the need for restocking, so saving money, and also help other animals that live off fish to thrive, such as otters.
Work on the pass will start next week. It will be about 27 metres long, and will include a resting area for the fish, to enable them to recover. The £365,000 scheme is a partnership project between the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and Sheffield City Council.
Neil Trudgill, a fisheries specialist with the Environment Agency, said: “At the moment, our fisheries teams carry out a lot of fish restocking in the region’s streams and rivers, but of course there’s a cost associated with that.
“We want to move away from this practice, and the best way we can do this is by having a more sustainable fish population which is able to reach suitable spawning grounds. Fish passes are key to this. The Don is good for dace, trout and grayling in this stretch.”
The area around the weir was affected during the major floods of 2007, and Environment Agency staff worked hard to clear debris and branches from the river.
The work is also being carried out because, under European legislation, the UK’s rivers need to get back to good ecological status, and we need to make our fisheries sustainable. The water quality of the Don has improved greatly over the past decades, but fish are hindered by weirs on the river which block their movement.