Over 70 potential barriers to fish migration were identified on the River Worfe and its tributaries, which flow into the River Severn. Staff from APEM surveyed the entire catchment on foot looking not just for barriers, but also a wide range of issues such as potential sources of pollution.

High resolution aerial surveys also captured thousands of highly detailed images of the catchment, helping analysts to identify potential sources of pollution that were hard to spot on the ground.

With limited time and money available, the Severn Rivers Trust wanted to ensure that work was targeted where it would have the most benefit. A numbers of factors were considered, including how difficult the barriers were for fish and other species to pass, where they were located, and whether there were protected or invasive species in the area.

Work by APEM whittled the 70 barriers down to 20. A scoping exercise then identified ten as high priority sites, for which fish passage options and feasibility studies were prepared. Five of these were ultimately tackled including Burcote Weir, where changes to the weir now make it possible for fish and eels to pass.

“This was a fantastic project to be involved with. It gave us the chance to manage a fish pass project from start to finish, first identifying a structure that may be an obstacle to fish through to the final installation of a working fish pass.

“Improving fish passage is a hot topic and it’s great to see work actually being done in the rivers.”

See Burcote Weir on YouTube.

If you have any queries, please contact Paul Gratton, principal fisheries scientist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.