Fish in the Lower Clydach River in Swansea will soon have access to an extra 20km of important breeding grounds as work gets underway to build a new fish pass.
The fish pass, being developed by Natural Resources Wales, will allow migratory fish such as salmon, sea trout and eels to swim past an old mill weir near the Forgefach Community Centre in Clydach, which has previously been blocking their access.
It is hoped that opening up access to breeding grounds on this important tributary of the River Tawe will result in healthier fish populations throughout the river.
The original weir was constructed in 1791 to divert the flow of the river and supply water for the Clydach Mill and Lower Forge iron works.
Unfortunately, it also restricted access for fish which have been unable to pass over the weir.
Dave Charlesworth, fisheries officers at Natural Resources Wales said:
“This is the latest in a series of projects to remove barriers to migratory fish in our rivers, allowing us to continue expanding the 1,500km of river that has already been opened up across Wales.
“We know that this area is extremely popular with anglers so more fish in the river will be good news for the angling community and the local economy.
“A healthy river with a thriving fish population will also be good news for other wildlife in the area that rely on them for their survival, helping to make the area a better place for people to enjoy.”
Angling is worth approximately £150million to the Welsh economy, with around 55,000 licences bought each year.
The money generated from rod licence sales is invested back into fisheries work to benefit fish stocks and anglers.
Work on the fish pass is likely to be completed by the end of October.
It is being funded by the European Fisheries Fund and the Welsh Government as part of the ‘Salmon for Tomorrow’ project.
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