Success as salmon are found upstream of new fish pass – Fishupdate.com

Success as salmon are found upstream of new fish pass Published:  02 October, 2007

SALMON and sea trout are making a comeback on the Tamar thanks to a new fish pass constructed, says the Environment Agency.

This summer Agency fisheries officers discovered a healthy population of baby salmon in the River Carey upstream of the new fish pass in an area where there were previously very few salmon near Ashwater in Devon.

“We were very pleased with the numbers of salmon fry we found on this stretch of the river. They are usually absent from this area and in the past have only been found once or twice in very low numbers. It is fantastic these surveys have proved the fish pass is working. It is very good news indeed,” said Alan Cole for the Environment Agency.

Last year the Environment Agency carried out improvements at Ashmill Weir on the River Carey including putting in a series of new pools so that salmon and sea trout could reach the spawning areas above the large weir.

The £50,000 scheme was officially opened in 2006 by Anne Voss-Bark MBE, chairman of the Tamar and Tributaries Fisheries Association.

“Ashmill Weir has been an obstacle to migrating salmon and sea trout for many years. The scale of the problem only became apparent following regular fisheries surveys of all South West rivers. It was decided the improvements should be carried out as a priority under the Tamar Salmon Action Plan,” said Lesley Newport for the Environment Agency.

Salmon Action Plans pinpoint the main problems limiting salmon stocks on a river and set targets including a conservation limit. This is basically the number of salmon eggs needed to sustain a healthy population of salmon in a river. The River Tamar just met its conservation limit for last year. The Environment Agency works with many different individuals and organisations to achieve these goals and is grateful to all the landowners and funders involved.

The fish pass is just one element in this success story. The Agency has also been working with farmers in the Tamar catchment to reduce the potential pollution impact from farming operations to help ensure the area is top class for salmon in the future.

www.fishupdate.com is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.