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Improvement to fish passage

Sydling Water Barrier improvement winter 2010

Frome Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association

Site:  Site A – Sydling Water d/s A37
Catchment:  River Frome
Code:  SBDS09/10 (Barriers Report)
NGR:  SY639944

We recommended certain improvements within our upper Frome barriers report that could be easily and cost effectively employed to improve the fish passage both over and around the structure below the A37 on the Sydling water.
With a tight time scale, and full approval from the Environment Agency we were able to carry out works before Christmas 2010 to improve passage over the structure, and open up the westerly by pass channel.

 The above picture very clearly shows a totally blocked by pass channel (left on picture) and the stepped structure that has all the flow leaking from between the boards (right on picture) thus making it impossible for any movement of Salmonids.
Eels and Lamprey we were confident could always use the bypass channel, be it with some difficulty.

The above picture clearly shows the improvement work that we carried out to aid fish passage.
Our team worked hard in bitterly cold conditions to clear the bypass channel and have a good tidy up of the structure and with a little extra water the fish should have no problem making their way upstream to spawn over the coming winter months.
By clearing a way through the westerly by pass channel we were able to leave a certain amount of woody debris and actually exposed some stunning spawning gravels, I have to say some of the best in this area!
We worked very carefully not to disturb the bed of the river, and we saw no sign of any spawning fish in the area.
We look forward to returning to this area when we are out Redd counting early in 2011.

Don’t forget that weekend reading……