Scheme opens up full length of Der­went to salmon and sea trout

The Chronicle - - News -

WORK has started on a scheme which will open up the full length of a river to fish for the first time for 300 years.

The project will see the en­tire length of the River Der­went – a main trib­u­tary of the Tyne – ac­ces­si­ble to spawn­ing salmon and sea trout. Other species such as lam­prey, eels, grayling, and brown trout will also ben­e­fit.

A rock­pool fish pass will be built at Shot­ley Grove weir to pro­vide a route for fish to move past the 2.5m struc­ture, open­ing up more than 12km of pre­vi­ously in­ac­ces­si­ble river. It will also al­low fish to reach an­other 8km of the Hors­ley­hope Burn and Burn­hope Burn, trib­u­taries up­stream of the weir, which was built 300 years ago to a power a mill.

The trust project is the fi­nal piece in the jig­saw for en­abling fish move­ment on the Der­went fol­low­ing the con­struc­tion of fish passes at Der­wen­thaugh and Lintz­ford, which have al­ready proved a suc­cess with a greater diver­sity and den­sity of fish species now found up­stream of those sites.

Jack Bloomer, project man­ager at Tyne Rivers Trust, said: “The con­struc­tion of fish passes down­stream at Der­wen­thaugh and Lintz­ford mean that Shot­ley Grove weir is the last re­main­ing ma­jor ob­struc­tion to fish on the River Der­went. This work en­sures all fish pop­u­la­tions within the River Der­went will be con­nected, in­creas­ing the gene pool.”

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