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Fish and Eels to Benefit from Work on River Welland

Eels Sustainability +3 more

UK - Fish and eel passes are being installed on the River Welland to help the fish pass over weirs and other structures designed to manage water levels and reduce flood risk.

The first three fish passes will be built at Tallington, Fosters Bridge and Ashley Gauging Station and are expected to be completed by next summer.

Work started on the first one on Monday (17 Dec) at Tallington.

Rob Price, from the Environment Agency, said: We are designing and installing the passes to help fish and eels pass man-made structures such as gauging weirs.

Such structures help us to manage water levels and reduce the risk of flooding but act as barriers that stop fish and endangered eels swimming to other stretches of the river and beyond.

The fish passes complement habitat improvement work that has already taken place on the river and will support any future work that may be carried out.

The passes are the first of 17 which are planned for the River Welland and its tributaries, between Market Harborough and Spalding, over the next three years.

Rob said: European eels have suffered a massive decline in numbers since the 1980s. It is thought the number of young eels entering rivers in the UK and the rest of Europe has fallen by 95 per cent.

This important work will help to improve wildlife on the River Welland and, together with other improvements being carried out by the Welland Valley Partnership, will help fish species thrive there for years to come.

The work is being carried out under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) which aims to protect and improve the quality of water environments, helping to support habitats and the wildlife which depends on them.

Work is being carried out by Environment Agency contractors Jacobs Halcrow Partnership and Galliford Try.