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