Aire Fish Passage Schemes (June 2013)

Aire Fish Passage Schemes (as at June 2013)

Some progress in improving fish passage on the Aire has been made over the last few years. The Environment Agency fish passes at Fleet and Lemonroyd were both finally opened in 2004. Castleford fish pass was opened in 2007 and Rodley in 2012. There is a strong possibility that a further five or more will be opened in 2014 / 2015. If these go ahead, the biggest remaining barrier will be at Knottingley. Other major weirs in Leeds and downstream which will still require fish passes are at Chapel Haddlesey, Armley, Kirkstall Abbey and Newlay.

Chapel Haddlesey Weir

The Canal and River Trust is still progressing its hydro / fish pass scheme on the tidal weir at Chapel Haddlesey (near Eggborough Power Station). The scheme, first proposed in 2008, is still in the planning / discussion stage.

Knottingley Weir

Knottingley Weir remains one of the biggest barriers to fish passage on the Aire and Calder river system. The weir does flood out in periods of heavy rainfall and migratory fish do ascend it at those times. Unfortunately, upstream progress can be delayed for a number of months in dry summers.

The Canal and River Trust (CRT) has withdrawn its expressed interest in a hydro on the weir which means that public funding can now be used to obtain a fish pass. Discussions are ongoing between CRT, the Environment Agency and Wakefield Council to explore the possibility of including a fish pass in a wider regeneration scheme within the Knottingley area.

Knostrop and Crown Point Weirs (Leeds)

Leeds Council obtained funding for the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) in early 2013. The FAS envisages removal of the weirs at Knostrop and Crown Point and their replacement with moveable weirs which can be opened when the river is in flood.

Leeds Council expects to commence work on the two fish passes in January 2014 and completion by December 2014. Knostrop Weir has long been the biggest impediment to fish passage on the River Aire and it is believed that fish cannot ascend the present weir. The planned fish pass there will allow migratory fish to progress through the centre of Leeds as far as Armley, if not further.

Armley Mills Weir (Leeds)

Although discussions are continuing between Leeds Council and the Environment Agency regarding a joint fish pass / hydro scheme at Armley, progress has more or less come to a halt.

St Ann’s Mills and Burley Mills Weirs (Kirkstall, Leeds)

The Aire Rivers Trust and Leeds Council have been successful in their bid for Catchment Restoration Funding to improve fish passage at these two weirs. Preliminary work is already in progress and the fish passage work is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.

Rodley Nature Reserve Weir

Yorkshire Water’s fish pass at Rodley Nature Reserve opened in late 2012. Minor alterations and improvements have been carried out since that time and work is now complete although the fish pass has not been officially opened as yet. There will be restricted access to the fish pass but the public will be allowed to visit the fish pass on conducted tours by prior arrangement with Rodley Nature Reserve.

Salts Mill Weir (Bradford)

Bradford Council’s proposed hydro / fish pass is still under consultation. The Council’s proposals can be seen by looking at Hydro Power Scheme – Saltaire on the internet.
Other searches:Hydropower
Documents: Feasibility Report (PDF 15.35 MB, 142 A4 pages). ((Searches on the itself are singularly useless – a BMDC website problem, searches from the google home page, your browser search bar or a search results page work fine.))

The Aire Rivers Trust (ART) is neither supporting nor opposing the hydro / fish pass scheme as it believes that the decision should be left to local people. ART has made some constructive comments as regards the design of the proposed fish pass. Whether the hydro goes ahead or not, ART would hope that the Council can find funding for a fish pass on this major barrier to fish passage.

Hirst Mill Weir (Saltaire, Bradford)

During the high river levels in summer 2012, the weir at Hirst Mill became unstable and Bradford Amateur Rowing Club had to carry out emergency repairs. The repairs involved the placement of a large amount of stone in the river below the weir. The Rowing Club is looking at a long term solution which may well consist of a rock ramp fish pass which will also support the structure of the weir.

Systagenix Weir (Gargrave)

With the intention of putting a fish pass on this weir, the Aire Rivers Trust commissioned a feasibility study for a fish pass and received the results of the study in autumn 2012. Since that time the management at Systagenix (formerly known as Johnson & Johnson) has been obliged to cease taking water from the weir goit and the weir is now effectively redundant.

As far as is known, to date no decision has been made as to whether weir removal is an option or how fish passage can be improved for the long term.

Rodley Weir – fish pass

In Yorkshire Waters – Biodiversity action plan (near the bottom) one of the targets for April 2015 is “To have installed a functioning fish pass at Rodley Weir.”

Work on this has now started, press release 4 May 2012 which appears below
See: report form ITV Calendar’s website (the picture is Castleford weir)
Also: links to related posts appear at the bottom off the full article.
Continue reading Rodley Weir – fish pass

East Riddlesden Hall riverbank cleanup

In October 2011 the National Trust opened up their river bank and fields at East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley, and created a footpath for the public to use. The Aire Rivers Trust worked with Bradford Council, National Trust employees, and the Environment Agency to arrange for tyres and other debris to be removed from the river and taken away. The actual work in the river was done by the Environment Agency and Bradford Council removed the debris and rubbish taken from the river.
Continue reading East Riddlesden Hall riverbank cleanup

Catchment Management Plans

For your information. At a recent meeting held by the Yorkshire Rivers Trusts the subject of Catchment Plans came up. Alistair Maltby, Northern Director of the Rivers Trust suggested that any trust considering the drawing up of a Catchment Plan should look at a couple of websites which relate to Catchment Plans which have already been drawn up. The main one suggested was the Ripple Project ((RIPPLE stands for Rivers Involving People, Places and Leading by Example.)) ((RIPPLE- Community River Plan – 6 Newsletters Winter 2008 – Autumn 2010)) (The Ballinderry Catchment Plan). Work done by the Eden Rivers Trust was also mentioned.

The meeting was also informed that Anthony Downing of the Rivers Trust will engage with trusts on what they should be doing when drawing up Catchment Management Plans.



2011-09-10 11:01

Gargrave weir[R]

Gargrave weir

owned by Systagenix formerly Johnson & Johnson

As I mentioned last night, I have had a meeting today with Neil Trudgill of the EA, Roy Banks of North Yorkshire County Council and a representative of Systagenix to discuss the possibility of the Trust leading a project to put a fish pass on the weir at Gargrave. The meeting went well and it was decided that the project could go ahead.

As the decision is such a big one, involving the launch of out first major project, I think the decision should be subject to approval by the Trust’s trustees. I would appreciate it if anyone has serious reservations that they could let me know. Likewise, an email from anyone in support would also be appreciated. We could wait until our next meeting to discuss this but as it isn’t until October, I think we should start the process before then.

The background to the proposal to put a fish pass on the weir is that it would open up a number of miles of river to brown trout, grayling and, in the future, migratory fish. Weir removal is not a possibility as Systagenix still use the weir to divert water to a dam for possible use by their (fire) sprinkler system. As we are currently being restricted on fish pass schemes due to proposed hydros, I think we ought to take this opportunity to commence a project, particularly as we have the support of the weir owner, the Council and the EA, and funds are available from the Rivers Trust for these kind of projects.

I look forward to hearing from you.


MarkP replied at 2011-08-26 08:14
Sounds like a really good opportunity and one which I would support.

If you need any help in developing the business case for funding then happy
to help.



Fish pass prioritisation plan

The EA’s wonderful fish pass prioritisation plan and top 60 list of
impassable barriers are available to download by clicking the link

We will present this to internal EA staff and representatives of all the
Yorkshire River Trusts next Wednesday 31st August.
Kevin and I attending for ART.

EA have also established a ‘working group’ comprised of River Trusts
reps (Kevin for ART) and also British Waterways. We meet as a group for
the 1st time on 6 October.

The main report, as presented briefly last night, is quite technical,
but as I was involved in putting it together, I am happy to translate
the detail as required.

Please remember that this is just a management tool to allow us to
deliver a robust package of fish pass building over the next 10 years,
(essential for obtaining funding).

It does not mean that weirs not on the list will not be looked at. We
will continue to work with others especially River Trusts to build fish
passes as opportunities arise.
Funding for WFD projects including fish passes is available for River
Trusts to obtain from DEFRA. Partnership working with the EA is
essential for this.

I have a regular dialogue with Kevin on this and lots of information
that will be of use to ART over the next few years.


Pat O’Brien
Fisheries Technical Specialist
North and East Yorkshire

Environment Agency,
Aviator Court,
Amy Johnson Way
Clifton Moor,
YO30 4GZ

Office: 01904 213 2588
Mobile: 07768 863 077

2011 River cleanup in Shipley/Baildon area

River Aire cleanup Shipley-Baildon
Image ©Newsquest Bradford Telegraph & Argus ((clickable to their report)).
Here in the link below is a powerpoint presentation in Powerpoint 97-2004 format ((not the latest MS Office 2010 version – Powerpoint 97 is 2 versions older)) which should be playable using the Powerpoint player downloadable from Microsoft, if you don’t have MS-Office.


River Aire clean up Shipley/Baildon area – June/July 2011.
The presentation was prepared by Bradford Council covering cleanup work done in conjunction with the Environment Agency, West Yorkshire Probation Trust/(Community PaybackJustice Seen|Justice Done), Network Rail upgrading the fencing and InCommunities, with Bradford Council disposing of the debris and rubbish taken from the river.

In addition to Powerpoint It should also be playable+ ((+ no guarantees I don’t have a iPhone/iPad touch – I use a Mac, but can run Windows using Bootcamp|virtualisation)) using Keynote ((Mac App Store for Mac/iPhone/iPad+ users)), OpenOffice ((OpenOffice is free for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix users)), LibreOffice ((LibreOffice is free for Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix users)) or NeoOffice ((NeoOffice is DonationWare for Mac users))· ((free/donation office suites for those who don’t want to/can’t run/afford MS-Office))