Making culverts more fish-friendly
Tyne Rivers Trust has worked with the Environment Agency, Highways England and Road Link Limited to make two culverts that run under the A69 more fish friendly.
Darden Burn at Hexham and Crossley Burn at Haydon Bridge both posed problems for migratory fish trying to move upstream to lay their eggs due to the shallow flow of the water.
However, thanks to two fish easements, fish are now able to move upstream which will help to improve spawning rates and fish populations.
At both sites, the fish easement needed to create a deeper and slower flow of water, while still maintaining vehicle access for the Highways Agency. The Trust used rubber baulks which are traditionally used in car parks to create a better flow of water allowing fish to move upstream.
Jack Bloomer, Deputy Director at Tyne Rivers Trust says: “Unfortunately the low flow of these culverts meant that fish weren’t getting upstream to lay their eggs but I’m pleased to say that we saw fish using the easements almost as soon as they were put in. This will have a positive effect on future fish populations and the habitat of the river.”
Niall Cook, Fisheries Technical Officer for the Environment Agency, said: “The passes on these burns will help open up around 19km of important habitat which was previously inaccessible to a range of fish species, including sea trout, salmon and eel.
“In addition to improving fish stocks and angling, removing barriers to migration is key to improving the ecological performance as well as restoring the natural processes of our rivers and streams. It’s been great working together with our partners at Highways England and Tyne Rivers Trust to deliver these improvements.”