New Fish Passage on Thames in Oxford
Thames West region of the Environment Agency report that construction is well underway on a new fish pass that will help fish negotiate a number of impassable weirs in the centre of Oxford.
The new fish pass is being built on the Iffley Weir Stream near Donnington Bridge and will see a new channel that will not only allow fish passage but should hopefully provide new spawning opportunities for gravel spawning species such as chub, barbel, dace and gudgeon.
The channel has been dug to a single level and takes into account an important peat layer that has interested Oxford archaeologists. The layer is important as it contains the remnants of pollen, seeds and other vegetative matter that has lain preserved in the peat; once this layer has been looked at the machine operator can introduce the required gradient to the channel.
In-take and off-take structures will be set at the head and tail of the fish pass and, finally, a dressing of gravel will be introduced. Reinstatement of the topsoil and some softer bank works will go to make this channel look as natural as possible and it is hoped that the work will be completed this autumn.
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