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Beaver Introduction Threatens Salmon Fishery

Sustainability Post-harvest Politics +3 more

UK - The River Tweed Commission has voiced its fears over the effect the reintroduction of beavers will have on salmon stocks

According to the TimesOnline, a salmon fishery board is threatening legal action to block the reintroduction of beavers in Scotland, in the wake of a new study showing they could destroy wild fish stocks.

The online newspaper says that Nick Yonge of the River Tweed Commission has warned he may challenge the planned reintroduction of the animals amid fears they could dam rivers and streams along which salmon breed.

Yonge claims the animals, which can dam rivers up to 33ft wide, could block off up to 80% of spawning areas around the Tweed and cause devastation on other famous salmon rivers such as the Tay, Spey, Forth and Dee.

A study by the Tweed Foundation, a charity set up by the commission to promote the sustainable development of fish stocks, warns that dams built by the rodents would destroy vital spawning areas and stop salmon migrating. According to the mapping exercise, only 20% of the streams and rivers that feed the Tweed are too wide for beavers to dam.