Making life easier for fish

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A host of improvements and repairs are to be made to weirs and rivers in north Northumberland to make life easier for fish.

The Northumberland Rivers’ Trust has received a grant from the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop fish pass improvements on the Rivers Aln and Coquet.

And planning applications have been submitted to make way for the work, which needs to be completed by September.

Work is proposed for weirs on the Aln at Acklington and Denwick to repair the existing passes, which have been damaged by floods, and create a new pass for eels.

On the Cawledge Burn, sloping cobbles below the viaduct, over which the burn flows, are impassable by fish in most conditions. It is proposed to build timber baffles, mechanical devices which regulate the flow of water, to let salmon and trout pass through, and also build an eel pass.

And at Lesbury the existing pass works for larger salmon and sea trout during medium river flows but presents difficulties for smaller fish and in high flows.

It has been proposed that a pass is put in to break up the flow and a fish counter is installed at the upstream end of the pass.

An eel pass is also included in the plans.