Most people think of fish when they think of rivers, and when the Trust was first set up it’s initial purpose was to improve the rivers to try and improve fishing prospects! Today we look after all the creatures that call our rivers home, as well as the habitats in and around our rivers, but fish still have a huge part to play in our work.
Over the last couple of decades we have seen our fish numbers go from strength to strength, with the overall number of fish improving. However whilst some species seem to thrive others still need a lot of help, especially our migratory fish species such as salmon. That’s why we continue to carry out habitat improvement projects across the catchment which not only directly improve the river, such as the removal of dams or weirs, but also projects that work to educate and inform people, which helps to resolve problems such as pollution in the form of litter, the improper disposal of household chemicals, and agricultural pollution.
As more and more evidence points to a climate crisis we’re also working to make sure that our rivers are prepared for the expected results of climate change by working to create more woodlands around our rivers. Woodlands might not normally bring to mind benefits for fish but we hope that their ability to slow the flow of water, filter pollution, hold back soil, and keep rivers cool will help to reduce the pressures of the expected heavier rainfall periods, warmer weather.
Additionally the Trust have spent years carrying out electrofishing surveys on our rivers which have helped us build up a picture of what is in our rivers, and how healthy the fish populations are. Among the most commonly found species are salmon, brown trout, sea trout, grayling, chub, dace, roach, gudgeon, bullhead, and eels. If your interested in reading our electofishing survey reports you can find them here.