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River Modifications To Save Salmon

28 December 2011, at 12:00am

UK - Hundreds of salmon and trout unable to reach their spawning grounds due to low water levels in the River Teme at Ludlow have successfully begun migrating upstream, thanks to swift river modifications by the Environment Agency.

More than 200 fish on their way to spawning grounds became trapped between two weirs on the River Teme earlier this week.

The fish had travelled 2,000 miles across the sea and up river to spawn, but became weak as they neared the end of their journey.

The salmon also became a sitting target for local poachers and the Environment Agency had to set up a 24 hour guard to prevent the fish being taken.

In order to get the tired fish over the weir, the Environment Agency created a temporary fish pass corridor for the stranded salmon. This involved knocking the top off a section of the weir with a pneumatic chisel to lower it’s height, and creating a graduated ramp to allow fish to move up to the top of the weir more easily.

The salmon are very sensitive to disturbance and could not be rescued with nets, as the stress would have killed them.

The Environment Agency’s Head of Water Resources, Trevor Bishop, said some areas of the country have seen the driest 12 months since records began, affecting wildlife.

“The Environment Agency’s job is to balance the water needs of people, business and environment and we are continuing to monitor and manage the consequences of ongoing dry weather.

“We are taking prompt action to minimise the impacts of drought, such as fish rescues, and we are glad to have successfully helped the tired salmon and trout on their way.”

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