New structure in the river in aid of salmon and sea trout

Part of the new salmon ladder on Olivers Mill weir in Morpeth.

Part of the new salmon ladder on Olivers Mill weir in Morpeth.

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The Northumberland Rivers Trust (NRT) recently completed a new ‘salmon ladder’ on Oliver’s Mill weir in Morpeth.

There is already a fish pass in the middle of the weir, but migrating fish sometimes struggle to find it and it can easily block with sticks and leaves.

The new pass gives salmon and sea trout an alternative route upstream to their spawning grounds.

It was made from local larch boards fixed to the weir surface using steel brackets. It provides a number of pools for the fish to negotiate and also some sloping timber ‘baulks’ that they can also swim up.

The work was designed by NRT and built by Riverworks Design and Build and Aydon Shields Ltd in only five days.

Pete Kerr of NRT said: “This is an exciting improvement for migrating fish on the River Wansbeck as we know that the weir holds back salmon and sea trout in the autumn, so this work will give them an alternative route upstream.

“It was particularly nice to hear the interest and support for the works from visitors to Carlisle Park while we were on site.

“The Wansbeck is a special river with many important species and hopefully these works will help it get even better.”

For more details about the trust, visit www.northumberlandriverstrust.co.uk