River Don 'fish pass' re-opens spawning grounds

Water flowing over the fish pass The pass allows fish to swim over a previously impassable weir

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A "fish pass" is to open allowing trout and eels to reach traditional spawning grounds in South Yorkshire for the first time in more than a century.

The £300,000 project, on the River Don at Meadowhall, will allow fish to swim over a previously impassable weir.

Don Catchment Rivers Trust said fish had not been able to swim upstream since the weir was built 150 years ago.

The pass could lead to greater diversity in the fish population and get salmon back in the River Don.

Karen Eynon, from the trust, said: "The ultimate goal is to have salmon returning to the Don after an absence of 200 years.

"There are over 200 weirs in the River Don catchment with 19 between Sprotbrough and the centre of Sheffield.

"Plans are afoot to get a fish pass put in at Sprotbrough, hopefully next year."

Fish have been returning to the River Don over the last 30 years because of huge improvements in water quality, she said.

Fish and eel passes act like watery staircases allowing fish and eels to swim or wriggle their way over a weir.

The pass would help a range of fish species, including grayling, barble, chub and dace, to swim further up the Don, Ms Eynon said.

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