Dorset rivers get new fish passes to help salmon

Work is under way to build two new fish passes on a Dorset river to help salmon reach their spawning grounds upstream.

The installations, both in the Bridport area, will allow the fish negotiate two weirs.

Salmon, brown trout and sea trout have already been seen using passes built at the West Harbour sluice gates and at Jessopp's Weir on the River Brit.

The latest passes are being installed at Palmer's Brewery and Gundry Weir in the town.

When finished, the installations will open up about 70 miles (20km) of river to migratory fish, including the upper stretches of the Brit, Simiene, Asker and Magerton.

The work is being funded by the Environment Agency and West Country Rivers Trust and carried out jointly with the Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association.

It is part of a package of improvements proposed for the river catchment under the European Water Framework Directive, which requires member states to restore rivers to "good ecological status".

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