Barriers project - Expanding fish spawning grounds
Four of Eden’s tributaries have been opened up to fish to live and breed as a result of work undertaken by the Trust during 2011.
There are many places in the Eden Valley where fish cannot migrate upstream to spawn because of man-made obstacles in their way. Examples of these include weirs, bridges with cement pipes (culverts) underneath, and culverts beneath roads and railway lines. These barriers particularly prevent fish migration in low water conditions and restrict the area of river available for them to live and breed.
On the River Belah near Kirkby Stephen a farm bridge with culverts beneath was removed and replaced with a bridge which spanned the river completely. Nearby another bridge with culverts beneath was made passable using a rock ramp to raise water levels through the pipes. This continued previous work by the Trust to improve the Belah for trout. See the before, during and after pictures below.
On Robberby Water near Langwathby a man-made weir at Little Salkeld flour mill had been preventing fish migrating up the river. In 2007 the Trust installed a series of lines of stones in the river – pre-weirs - to raise the water level gradually so that fish could get up the main weir.