Angling: Big boost for brown trout on River Don

Juvenile brown trout.
Juvenile brown trout.
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BROWN trout will soon be able to reach important spawning grounds upstream from the River Don thanks to a removal of a weir by the owners on Eden Beck near Oughtibridge.

The weir dates back to the 1960s but since then the structure has prevented trout and other species from migrating upstream.

The Environment Agency has been working closely with Oughtibridge Mill since 2004, investigating what can be done to improve the quality of the water course. The weir was, at one time, used to obstruct up to 95 per cent of the water flow which resulted in very low water levels, but it stopped in 2007 when the mill was severely damaged by flooding.

EA surveys have shown a vast improvement in the ecology of the river since abstraction ceased and a more complete ecological recovery will now be possible.

Habitat restoration will occur natrually once the weir is removed and the fish will benefit from the free passage upstream. Jerome Masters the Fisheries Technical Officer of the EA said: “We are pleased to be working with the owners, SCA, on the removal of the weir and this will help to reverse the long term impacts of industry on this section of the river.

“The work which is being caried out here will immediately benefit the River Don’s popular trout fishery and we also expect many other species to be able to move upstream, amongst them the Bullhead.

“We haven’t caught this small fish species above the weir in any of our surveys over the last 10 years.”

The work to remove the weir is expected to commence sometime in October and will take approximately one month to complete.

I have not yet taken out a subscription for the new BT Sport Programme on Sky TV but I am seriously considering it after reading about the new angling show which made its debut on Thursday, September 25 at 7.00pm.

The new show is aptly named “The Fishing TV Show” and will comprise three series, each of eight parts, 24 in all.

All aspects of the sport will be shown and a team of experts has been engaged to display their skills.

The series will be hosted by respected carp angler Ian Chilcott and the first show will feature the man himself at Hollybush Lakes in Hampshire attempting to catch the legendary huge carp that live out there.

Bob James will be on the River Wye after chub and barbel, Rae Borras will be on Scotland’s River Deveron after salmon and Dave Barham will be taking a boat trip to catch conger eels at sea. Future programmes will show Des Taylor on the banks of the River Severn after chub and barbel, and Julian Chidgey at Anglers Paradise in Devon trying to catch some of the exotic creatures that lie there.

All of this looks pretty good to me and I just hope that I get my TV ‘wired’ up in time.