Rock ramp on East Lancs weir will help boost fish numbers

Rock ramp on East Lancs weir will help boost fish numbers

Rock ramp on East Lancs weir will help boost fish numbers

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A KEY fish pass is set to be built at a weir on Colne Water as part of a Ribble Rivers Trust project.

The pass on the weir at Primet Bridge will be the latest of six major barriers to fish migration along Colne Water to undergo work, if plans for the scheme are approved by the council.

Last year the Ribble Rivers Trust said that Colne Water had ‘great potential to support a healthy fish population, but is currently hampered by a series of weirs from Colne’s industrial past.’ With funding from the Department of the Environment's Catchment Restoration Fund the trust is seeking to make the weirs along the route passable for fish, including brown trout, which have good numbers in Colne Water.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Colne Water is a major tributary of the River Calder which flows off the South Pennine Moors and through the town of Colne.

“The river has several historic weirs which pose a barrier to the movement of wildlife, particularly fish.

“'Colne One' is the most downstream of these weirs and a high priority for restoration work.

“The original purpose of the weir was most likely to provide a head of water for an industrial application downstream. 'Colne One' presents a significant barrier to the upstream migration of fish.

“The objective of this project is to make the weir passable to fish.

“Although the weir is no longer in use, the upstream water level and riverside structures are dependent on it.

“For this reason it is proposed that a rock ramp fish easement be constructed.

“This will allow fish to pass the weir without affecting water levels upstream.”

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