Salmon have been spotted swimming upstream in an Inverclyde river for the first time in over 100 years following the successful adaptation of a redundant industrial weir.
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Work has been carried out at Gotter Water Weir, in Quarrier’s Village, by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to lower the existing height of the weir and increase the downstream water levels by installing two pre-barrages to encourage migratory fish to travel upstream.
Installed as part of the industrial revolution over 100 years ago to control the river’s flow, the now redundant weir has always been a complete barrier to migratory fish such as Atlantic salmon, denying them access to around 9km of upstream habitat.
Following the completion of the works, salmon – a declining species whose continued existence depends on being able to migrate home - were spotted swimming over the weir at the start of December much to the delight of all involved with the project.
The works have been carried out as part of the Water Environment Fund (WEF), a Scottish Government funded project managed by SEPA which aims to repair damaged urban rivers and enhance the local environment for often deprived communities. It also aims to improve fish stocks by removing barriers that have closed rivers for generations to migrating fish