Snake Lane weir project

Work is well underway on the River Ecclesbourne in Duffield, Derbyshire to create a rock ramp’ which will allow trout, salmon and other fish to migrate freely up and downstream, The project will allow salmon to return to their historic breeding grounds near Wirksworth for the first time in hundreds of years.

The project, led by the Wild Trout Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency, will open up 10 km of river which research suggests will support 200 redds’ — or breeding salmon nests — in the river bed. 

Weirs and sluices present a brick wall’ to fish trying to navigate river systems, preventing fish from freely navigating them. Without free access during their natural migrations, access to the places they can use for spawning, feeding and avoiding weather extremes like drought and flooding, are severely restricted. This can affect the whole fish community in the short and long term.

Fish passes, like the rock ramp at Duffield weir are vital in helping fish climb’ past these man-made structures providing full access to the river and ensuring resilient fisheries for the future.

At a time when good publicity is thin on the ground for England’s rivers, the return of salmon to some of their historic breeding grounds is one of the notable success stories. 

For more background on the project, check out this storymap.

Wild Trout Trust full press release.

The video below gives you some idea of the scale of the project!