Essential work to safeguard the future of a flood warning service on the River Wear has also significantly improved access for fish.
The new state of the art Larinier fish pass at Stanhope is now complete, and will allow more species of fish to pass upstream over the weir in a much wider range of river levels, improving access to around 15 miles of spawning grounds.
The pass includes a series of ‘baffles’ – metal plates which are fixed to a sloped concrete channel – which slow the flow of the water so fish can swim over the top of them easily.
Phil Rippon, Fisheries Technical Specialist with the Environment Agency in the North East, said:
This fish pass has improved access to a large section of what was a difficult to reach area of the River Wear, improving spawning and nursery grounds for salmon and trout in particular.
Projects such as this at Stanhope is an example of the sort of work which takes place right across the country to open up and enhance our rivers and streams.
We will be keeping a close eye on the success of the pass, and will be hoping to do some detailed monitoring of the pass and the upstream areas in the future.
Safeguarding the flood warning service
The Environment Agency has also carried out repairs to the weir which will improve the river flow and level monitoring capability of the Stanhope River Gauging Station – safeguarding the flood warning service for the area. Environment Agency Project Manager, Daniel Magee, added:
By improving the monitoring capabilities of the gauging station we can continue to provide an accurate and timely flood warning service to around 400 homes at risk of flooding from the River Wear.
This project safeguards the flood warning system for the future as well as creating environmental improvement. We appreciate the community’s patience throughout this project and hope they are reassured now it is all complete.
Stanhope Gauging Station is ranked in the top 10 most important flow sites in the North East area. Opening in September 1958 it has almost continuous record of flow data, making it one of the longest flow records in the North East at 60 years.
Stanhope Fish Pass