Construction of a fish pass on a weir in West Bradford is due to start on Tuesday 28th August. The fish pass will help migrating fish including trout, salmon and eels to access West Bradford Brook, expanding their available habitat.
The fish pass project is being carried out by the Ribble Rivers Trust under the ‘Ribble Life Together’ programme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Construction of the fish pass was due to be started back in June, but in the course of rescuing fish in advance of the work, the Trust discovered a rare white-clawed crayfish in the brook. White-clawed crayfish are an endangered species, and were previously not known to live in this brook. Even more exciting is that the crayfish found was a female carrying hundreds of eggs. Elsewhere in the Ribble catchment, white-clawed crayfish populations are declining due to competition from invasive signal crayfish and pollution.
Crayfish in the vicinity of the fish pass location will now be caught and relocated to a suitable habitat upstream so that they are not harmed during the work. The fish pass will be an ‘embedded rock ramp’, an artificial cascade made from concrete and local limestone which will enable fish to easily swim up and over the weir. It is one of 15 fish passage projects being carried out through the Ribble Life Together project between 2017 and 2020.