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 Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years

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PostSubject: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:45 pm

11-Jan-2012

Local fish populations will be able to swim upstream of Kidlington in the River Cherwell for the first time in hundreds of years following the completion of a new fish pass built by the Environment Agency.

The new pool and traverse fish pass constructed from gabions - baskets filled with stones will allow fish to gain access past Kidlington Mill, which previously proved impassable to fish. The pass will allow fish populations access to new spawning grounds upstream of the mill.

Tom Sherwood, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer for the Cherwell catchment said: ”This new fish pass improves the connectivity of the lower Cherwell. By allowing fish to by-pass Kidlington Mill they can now move unimpeded from Oxford all the way up to Shipton-on-Cherwell. Providing fish passage is important on all rivers as it allows fish to migrate upstream to utilise spawning grounds that might otherwise proved to be inaccessible.”

The new fish pass is part of a series of habitat enhancements that have been carried out over the last few months on the lower Cherwell to help improve local fish populations. Other schemes have been included to provide vital habitat for juvenile fish, including the creation of backwaters, which used to be a common feature on many of the region’s lowland rivers, but have been lost due to historical dredging. Spawning gravels have also been added to the bed of the Cherwell, which have contributed to preventing deterioration of the ecological status under the Water Framework Directive.

Much of the work has been undertaken in conjunction with the local angling club and the Kidlington Angling Society.

The project is partly funded by money from the Water Framework Directive. The Environment Agency receives money from the government to implement this directive, which is European legislation designed to improve and protect all waters – on the surface and underground.

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Steve Appleford



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PostSubject: Re: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:24 pm

Not that many of you are likely to come up that far but a couple of usefull [or not ] facts .
There is now a tackle shop selling bait/maggots/tackle right on the waterfront just above Benson lock .
There is a small free bit just above the weir by the waterfront cafe that is q decent little swim Steve.
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PostSubject: Re: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:45 am

A few photos that were sent over about the fish pass...

One of the Mill channels before installation of the fish pass with the impassable weir upstream



Fish pass under construction



The channel with the new fish pass in place




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PostSubject: Re: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:52 am

Give the right funding, there are lots of small concrete weirs all the way up the Crane could be smashed up and made into those.

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Steve Appleford



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PostSubject: Re: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:18 am

To give an idea of how quick fish spread the the river Lambourne that runs close to me had the weir lowered where it enters the river kennet and my mate caught grayling as far downstream on the kennet as Brimpton a couple of weekends ago which i guess is say 5 or 6 miles ....ergo if the keep spreading out of the Lambourne then not inconcievable they could reach the Thames Exclamation ,Plenty now caught on the CSAS stretch just downstream of said weir lowering
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PostSubject: Re: Fish in the Cherwell can now travel upstream for the first time in hundreds of years   Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 am

Love seeing work like this happen. A good example of where some of our rod licence money is spent.

There should be much more of it done though....and who were the idiots in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s who built these impassable weirs?
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