It is important that fish are able to move up and down river. This can be important for spawning in migratory species, such as salmon and sea trout, but it is also important for genetic diversity and population robustness in non-migratory species.
Obstructions, such as bridge footings and weirs, can be a total barrier to some species, while others are damaged by trying to squirm over concrete, especially at low flows. Fish are also at risk from predation and disease while they are caught below obstacles.
It is vital for the health and survival of the fish for obstructions to be removed or altered to make them passable. With funding from Defra and others, and vital help from our volunteers, we are able to perform the work that needs to be done in order to improve fish passage.
Our biggest fish passage project is the installation of a new fish pass at Hexham Bridge, which is a significant barrier to migratory fish. Click on the images below to find out more about our recent smaller projects to improve fish passage.