The fish counters operated by the Environment Agency were examined as there had been no consistent protocols used and there was an unacceptable variety in the methods of operation.
Each of the 41 fish counters operated by the Environment Agency, either in the past, the present or proposed for the future, were examined in relation to four criteria:
- Counter Purpose
- Counter Location and Design
- Operational Quality of Data Produced
- Counter Costs
Each of these criteria was further broken down into a number of assessment categories. Individual scores were established for each counter to give a ranking. The results clearly showed the wide variation in counter operation and design between sites within the counter network and that this variation is irrespective of the relative “value” of that data to the fishery function. These variations reflected two things:
- An under funding of the counter network in the past.
- The non-targeted allocation or prioritisation of resources within the fish counter network.