Fish back in Bradford beck

electrofishingThe Environment Agency recently did an electrofishing survey on Bradford Beck – here are the (encouraging) results:

Bradford Beck at Cemetery Road = 51 Brown Trout and 50+ Bullheads

Bradford Beck near A657 Road Bridge (upstream of gauging station) = 15 Brown Trout, 8 Bullhead and 14 Stone Loach (plus there were three other Brown Trout seen but not caught)

Clayton Beck at Leaventhorpe Lane Stables = 16 Brown Trout and 44 Bullhead

It appears the beck has made a full recovery following the almost total wipe out below Bradford four or five years ago.

(PS The photo is NOT from Bradford Beck, it’s a generic electrofishing photo I had)

More new fish passes – at Burley Mills Weir and St Ann’s Mills Weir

St Anns Mills fish passTwo new fish passes have been opened at Burley Mills Weir and St Ann’s Mills Weir on the River Aire alongside Commercial Road in Kirkstall, Leeds.

The passes have been built by the Aire Rivers Trust in partnership with Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency.

The Burley Mills Fish Pass, located in attractive surroundings, can be seen from the public viewing point at the weir.

The £400,000 Kirkstall project was funded by Defra’s Catchment Restoration Fund which is administered by the Environment Agency. Leeds City Council will be taking ownership of the two fish passes.

The fish passes will enable the current fish populations of brown trout and coarse fish to move freely past the weirs to find the best places to feed, shelter, spawn and grow.

In the longer term the two fish passes will be a part of a chain which will allow salmon and sea trout to reach their historic spawning grounds upstream in Leeds, Bradford and the Craven District of North Yorkshire.

The weirs at Kirkstall have been a barrier to upstream movement of fish for around 200 years and the fish passes will not only improve fish stocks but will also improve the general ecology of the river.

Kevin Sunderland, Chairman of the Aire Rivers Trust, said that water quality improvements over the last 40 years have led to improved fish populations and this has meant that fish passes have become necessary to allow the river to reach its full potential. He also paid tribute to the help and co-operation which the Trust had received from various departments within Leeds Council and thanked the Environment Agency for providing the necessary funding and technical advice.

Neil Trudgill, Fisheries Technical Specialist at the Environment Agency said: “We are delighted to have worked with the Aire Rivers Trust on this project and congratulate the Trust on completing the project early and under budget.

“Angling is very popular in Leeds city centre and these passes will help improve our fish populations to benefit people and the environment. When fish are able to move freely up and down rivers, they are also less vulnerable to the occasional accidental pollution incidents that still occur in our rivers.”

[Environment Agency Press releases, this Press Release]

Fish in the River Aire

River Aire Fish 2012

Kevin Sunderland, our Chairman, had been busy. He has produced an excellent paper on fish populations in the River Aire. The latter part relates to each species of fish and where it can be found. The first part is a bit more general and may be of interest to those who aren’t particularly fish people.

An edited version of this report appeared in The Naturalist  No 138 (2013).

Wet woodland habitat sites around the River Aire and its tributaries.

From today’s Yorkshire Post

RARE wet woodland habitats are to be created at five Yorkshire sites to encourage insects, plants and animals to thrive,

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust received £35,366 from SITA Trust to create and manage uncommon wet woodland habitat sites around the River Aire and its tributaries.

Wet woodland habitat supports a large number of insects, specifically beetles, many of which are rare in the UK.

Plants such as the bright yellow flowering marsh marigold thrive in this habitat and birds including lesser-spotted woodpecker, willow tit and siskin all make their home in it.

Vital cover and breeding areas for mammals such as otters can be provided and numerous bat species are often found in good wet woodland habitat.

The Upper Aire Floodplain project will work across five sites including two in Otterburn, in Craven, one in Steeton Ings near Silsden, one at Marley, near Keighley, and one at Ryeloaf Meadows near Bingley.

Work will include tree 
planting in some areas, which 
are then fenced off to prevent grazing.

Wetland areas will also be created, in particular at Ryeloaf, by the digging of shallow ‘scrapes’ (pools) and channels.

At Marley and Ryeloaf, areas of willow will be restructured using traditional woodland management practices of coppicing (cut back to ground level to stimulate growth) and pollarding (top of branches cut off to stimulate new growth at the top).

The new habitat should also help prevent flooding in the urban areas of the upper Aire valley.

Don Vine, of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The SITA Trust funding is enabling Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to create more of what is a declining, but incredibly important habitat.

“Wet woodland, which is sometimes referred to as carr woodland, has dried up in many parts of the UK as a result of draining for agriculture and water abstraction drying up rivers.”

Rodley Weir and Fish Pass

Rodley Fish Pass Upstream View R Rodley Fish Pass EntranceI thought you might be interested to see these photos of Rodley Fish Pass now that it has been officially opened. Yorkshire Water and their consultants ARUP have done a good job on this. YW will be monitoring the efficiency of the pass by electronic tagging of some captured fish. The tags will then be traced and the fish followed through the pass by receiving devices on the posts at the side of the fish pass.

Brown trout are usually seen attempting (and failing) to ascend the Rodley Weir in October / November. If none are seen this year, it will mean that the fish are finding the pass, swimming up through it and bypassing the weir.

UPDATE

NEW ENVIRONMENTAL improvements have been completed to help save wildlife at a popular Leeds nature reserve.

The Rodley Weir bypass on the River Aire, close to Rodley Nature Reserve, has been designed to allow fish to swim around the weir and upstream so they can search for new habitats.

Previously, the weir formed a man-made barrier which prevented fish moving up the river.

Solar powered detectors around the site will also track the fish as they go through the new bypass.

The number of fish living in the River Aire has recently risen thanks to modern water treatment processes and better pollution controls.

The river is now home to a large number of salmon, trout, eels and lampreys.

Dave Nesham, trustee director of Rodley Nature Reserve, said: “We were delighted to work on such an important project.

“Anything that further improves biodiversity in the area can only be a good thing.”

Mr Nesham added: “We’ll be taking accompanied tours down to see the pass, with the hope being that we’ll see plenty of fish using it.”

The work was carried out earlier this year by Yorkshire Water’s partner MMB.

The river bypass work was supported by a grant from the Environment Agency.

Neil Trudgill, from the Environment Agency, said: “The fish bypass at Rodley is an essential step in the recovery of the river’s fish populations.

“The naturalised design will provide a passage around the weir as well as a habitat in which fish and other aquatic life can actually live, feed and grow.”

Angling, Streams and Fly tying exhibition at Bracken Hall Countryside Centre

Bracken Hall Countryside Centre and Museum (link to website) run by Bradford Museums service has an exhibition on rivers, streams and the art of fly tying in association with a handful of local fly tyers. The subject matter of this exhibition often comes up in fly dressing courses organised by fly dressers guild branches, salmon and trout association local branch meetings or adult education night school courses. And will be of special interest to anglers interested in learning to tie their own flies.
This exhibition runs until 29 April

Bracken Hall Countryside Centre,
Glen Road,
Baildon,
Shipley,
West Yorkshire,
BD17 5EA

telephone/fax: 01274 584140
email: brackenhallcc@btconnect.com

centre opening times

January – March
Wednesday & Sunday only 12 noon – 5pm
April
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday only 12 noon – 5pm

The centre also runs walks and has a regular education program with many schools using the centre.

Water for life [White paper]

spotted this while browsing for twitter users to follow, actually following a tweeted short link to @our_rivers

The white paper appeared on 8 Dec 2011 links to it, ((summary, full document etc.)) DEFRA site, on TSO Official Documents, PDF ((of the white paper)) save the environment DO NOT PRINT IT, wasting ink or paper, its 105 pages in length with a fair bit in colour (graphics, photos etc.).

Rodley Nature Reserve

Hi,

I thought you might find this of interest. If you have not been to the reserve I can thouroughly reccomend it for a weekend stroll around the reserve and along the banks of the river, finishing off with a nice cuppa in the reserve office.

Regards,

Mark

Rodley Nature Reserve Press Article

Rodley Nature reserve is on the site of a small former waste water processing plant (sewage works) – today only a pumping station remains active ((water formerly arriving there is now pumped to a larger plant)) the remainder of the site is the nature reserve.
More information on their website

Skelton Grange Environment Centre open day 10 September 2011

You may be interested in this BTCV ((originally British Trust for Conservation Volunteers)) event at the Skelton Grange Environment
Centre – on our east Leeds water corridor

The annual Skelton Grange Environment Centre Open Day is taking place on 10th September 2011 11am-4pm.

There will be loads going on at our beautiful nature reserve in south Leeds, with green woodworking crafts, charcoal burning, nature trails, storytelling, music, circus skills, pizzas from our wood fired cob oven, a superb cafe with all sorts of cakes and other goodies – and much more!

There is a leaflet attached to this email, and more details including information of how to find us at http://www.skeltongrange.org.uk/friends/open_day.html

Skelton Grange open day

original information from

Rachel Clunas
Aire Action Leeds Project Officer
Fearns Wharf, Neptune Street, Leeds, LS9 8PB
T 0113 281 6804 M 07917 780 151
rachel.clunas@aireactionleeds.org.uk

www.britishwaterways.co.uk | www.environment-agency.co.uk
www.leeds.gov.uk | www.yorkshirewater.co.uk