River Sowe - Fish and Eels to Benefit from Improvement Work
Fish are benefiting from the installation of fish passes on the River Sowe at Stoneleigh, thanks to the Environment Agency
The EA report that:
Fish and eel passes are being installed on the river to help the fish pass over weirs and other structures designed to manage water levels and reduce flood risk.
The project at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, is part of a larger scheme across the Midlands to improve fish migration and create unrestricted fish passage on the River Sowe. This work complements previous work carried out at Baginton Mill in 2012, where a rock ramp fish pass has been created.
Adam Deeks, Project Manager from the Environment Agency, said:
“We are designing and installing the pass in Stoneleigh to help fish and eels pass man-made structures such as gauging weirs.
Although these structures help us to measure and monitor water levels to reduce the risk of flooding, they also act as barriers that stop fish and eels swimming to other stretches of the river and beyond. Since the 1980s, European eels entering rivers in the UK and Europe have declined in numbers. The area at Stoneleigh is important for wildlife and the improvements being carried out will help fish species thrive there for years to come”.
During the temporary works, all efforts will be made to ensure the site will be sensitively managed for wildlife. Some tree clearance will be carried out to the west of the weir to create access for the works. However, this will take place before the bird breeding season begins and once the work is complete, trees will be planted to make good the site and enhance the local area for wildlife. The project is due to be completed around May 2013.
The work is being carried out under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) which aims to protect and improve the quality of water environments, helping to support habitats and the wildlife which depends on them.