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The juvenile salmon that was found during routine EA checks of the River Dearne.
The juvenile salmon that was found during routine EA checks of the River Dearne.

Juvenile salmon is first evidence of spawning in Dearne for 150 years

A MAJOR engineering project helping salmon return to what was once one of Britain’s most polluted river systems, is celebrating success after a young salmon was found in the River Dearne, South Yorkshire.

An Environment Agency (EA) fish survey team recently spotted the 14cm juvenile when carrying out routine checks. The discovery is the first evidence of salmon spawning in the river, a tributary of the River Don, for more than 150 years.

Once in abundance, salmon populations began to dwindle with the growth of industry. Weirs which were built to power industry or provide deep water for boats also acted as barriers to the fish reaching their spawning grounds. By the mid-19th Century salmon were all but gone from South Yorkshire’s rivers.

Last year, the construction of a fish pass was completed at Sprotbrough Weir opening up 34 miles of the Don - almost half the length of the river - to salmon and other migratory fish.

EA fisheries technical officer Jerome Masters said: “Our rivers are the healthiest for more than 20 years and otters, salmon and other wildlife are returning for the first time since the industrial revolution. But there is still more to be done. The construction of the fish pass at Sprotbrough Weir is a significant step in getting salmon back to rivers across South Yorkshire.

“The River Don already supports a healthy population of coarse fish and adult salmon have been caught in the river in the recent past but the discovery of this juvenile salmon in the River Dearne is hugely exciting. The size of the fish indicates that it was born in early 2014, which means that its parents probably used the fish pass at Sprotbrough Weir shortly after it opened.

“The fish pass at Sprotbrough also allows coarse fish living downstream of the weir, like barbel, to reach their spawning grounds further upstream. It reconnects the rivers Don and Dearne back with the Humber Estuary and is part of our grander plan to create ‘fish highways’ providing free passage for fish between the sea and the upper reaches of rivers.”

The construction of Sprotbrough fish pass was a partnership project, with the A working closely with the Canal & River Trust, Don Gorge Community Group, a local landowner and Doncaster Council. The project was funded by the EA with support from LaFarge Quarries.

More EA news News Round-Up 

June fish count data online

THE Environment Agency has announced that fish count data from the rivers Tyne, Tees and Wear for June is now available on the web. Please note the revised reporting format for the Wear to take in account data from a counter in the new fish pass at Freeman’s reach.

For the River Wear check https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/river-wear-fish-counts

The River Tyne figures are available on https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/river-tyne-fish-counts

The figures for the River Tees can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/river-tees-fish-counts

Certificate presentation

FOCL sales and marketing director, Nathan Philpot (right), presents Pamela Creighton, and her husband Paul, with the ‘cruise for life’ certificate at a VIP reception onboard flagship Balmoral at the Port of Tyne, Newcastle.

Pamela wins cruise for two 'for life'

 

PAMELA Creighton had 160,000 reasons to smile when she visited Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (FOCL)’s flagship on a recent visit to the Port of Tyne, Newcastle.

 

Mrs Creighton, 68, of Cottingham, Yorkshire, who had entered a competition with FOCL in March had just been presented with her prize - a cruise holiday a year for two, of up to two weeks’ duration, every single year, for the next 40 years, worth £160,000.

 

She said: “I am so thrilled to be the lucky winner of this amazing Fred. Olsen competition. I couldn’t quite believe the news and did wonder whether it was a hoax! My husband [Paul] and I are really looking forward to our first-ever Fred. Olsen cruise, leaving Southampton on Balmoral on September 1, for the Baltic and St. Petersburg. We are particularly keen to visit St. Petersburg, as this is a destination we have wanted to visit for a long time. 

 

FOCL sales and marketing director Nathan Philpot said: “Congratulations to Mrs. Creighton, and we are looking forward to welcoming her and her husband aboard Balmoral in September. This is the most ambitious competition that we have ever run, with a cumulative value of £160,000.”

 

FOCL’s smaller  ships can access many ports around the world that larger cruise ships cannot: taking guests into the heart of iconic cities, river cruising through breathtaking landscapes, past soaring fjords, and to soft, sandy beaches, bathed in sunshine. During its 2016/17 cruise season, FOCL will be visiting no fewer than 253 destinations in 84 countries.

 

Whereas the Creightons have chosen to take their first FOCL cruise from Southampton, they will also have the option of sailing from a range of other convenient, regional UK departure ports in the future - Dover , Harwich, Tilbury, Falmouth , Liverpool, Newcastle , Greenock (Glasgow), Rosyth (Edinburgh) and Belfast. More FOCL news on Travel and Travel 2


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Updated 1500 Monday, August 3, 2015