Up­hill strug­gle for eels

Canal Boat - - News -

The prob­lem of dwin­dling eel pop­u­la­tions calls for clever so­lu­tions to com­bat mi­gra­tion bar­ri­ers such as weirs on rivers.

The Canal & River Trust has joined forces with the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and the Sus­tained Eel Group in a project at Hazelford Weir on the River Trent, be­tween Not­ting­ham and Ne­wark. Us­ing re­dun­dant boat ramps to carry a boxed chan­nel, the scheme will al­low baby Euro­pean eels to swim in a trickle feed of wa­ter, and as­cend us­ing a bot­tom sur­face which pro­vides trac­tion.

It is part of a huge pro­gramme of work which is un­der­way across Europe to help bol­ster eel pop­u­la­tions by restor­ing wet­lands and re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers to the eels’ mi­gra­tion routes. The eel pass at Hazelford is the first of many to come to help eels mi­grate into and fully pop­u­late the Trent, the sec­ond long­est river in Eng­land.

As part of this project, Totnes-based Fishtek has also pre­pared de­signs for eel passes on nearby Stoke Bar­dolph and Gun­thorpe weirs, also on the Trent.

The Euro­pean Eel, once thriv­ing across Europe and the UK, is cur­rently clas­si­fied as ‘crit­i­cally en­dan­gered’ as their num­bers have de­clined by about 90 per­cent over the past 40 years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.