A summary of one of the Conservation Awards finalists:
The construction of Roadford Reservoir, in Cornwall’s Tamar catchment, led to the loss of natural flows, spawning areas and habitat for all wild salmonid life stages; for over 30 years, compensation from South West Water took the form of a fish rearing and stocking programme. This project, however, a collaboration of Westcountry Rivers Trust, South West Water and the Tamar & Tributaries Fisheries Association, aimed to work on habitat improvement across the entire catchment, dividing it into three parts: the Lyd, the Inny and the upper Tamar. A suite of interventions has been implemented, including the reduction of abandoned coppice, gravel cleaning, debris dam removal and electric fishing monitoring.
The project has mapped areas for rehabilitation through 11km of walkover, established 16 new electric fishing monitoring sites, cleaned gravel at 65 sites (approx. 1,300m2), thinned abandoned coppice on 27 sites along 3.8km of river to increase light penetration to the river and tackled six impassable debris dams. The aim, exceeded by more than double, was to increase smolt output by nearly 4,000 fish, excluding any increased migration from the debris dam work.