Last month we posted about the exciting fish pass works being undertaken at Lower Forge weir on the River Rea, Shropshire. Fishtek designed the fish pass and got the necessary consents in place in time for the civil contractors (Castleford Engineering) to take advantage of the relatively dry weather (something that cannot always be guaranteed!). We recently returned to site to carry out some survey work on the upper leat and to check on the build. A great deal of progress has been made, as can be seen from the photos below. The lower and upper flights of the Larinier pass have been formed as well as the resting pool between flights, and construction has now begun on the series of pools and pre barrages in the leat channel. A total of seven pre-barrages will extend to the upstream end of the leat to allow fish to exit into the main channel above the weir.
Once complete the fish pass will provide a route bypassing the weir for the range of resident and migratory fish known to frequent the Rea. The works will vastly improve habitat connectivity and aid the recovery of migratory salmonid populations, as well as contribute to meeting Water Framework Directive targets. The fish pass is a great example of how a redundant structure – in this case a leat channel – can be utilised for ecological benefits. Watch this space in the coming weeks for further updates on the build and photos of the completed works.