Adopt a tributary and help fish thrive
People in west Wales are being invited to adopt local streams to boost fish stocks and wildlife.
The initiative will improve the condition of the tributaries of the river Towy and foster a sense of local ownership.
It is funded by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.
West Wales Rivers Trust and Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation are leading the project and will decide what needs to be done.
Many tributaries are important as fish spawning and nursery areas.
But a variety of factors including acidification, pollution, barriers to fish migration, littering and general habitat degradation means they are often not as healthy as they could be.
Their restoration is essential to improve fisheries, water quality and biodiversity.
The project will work with local communities, fishery owners, educational establishments and angling clubs and their members to tackle many of the problems that are affecting these streams.
The work will be done by volunteers and local contractors over a 2-year period.
Dave Charlesworth, senior project officer for NRW said:
“In the same way that the branches of a tree help it to grow and flourish, the tributaries of our streams and small rivers are vital for life in our whole river systems.
“This is particularly relevant for fish populations which must have a good quality habitat to spawn.
“Making sure these habitats are connected by removing or modifying artificial structures in the river is often the most straight forward and cost-effective approach.
“This project aims to address many of the factors affecting tributaries in Carmarthenshire and develop appreciation of their value in local communities.
“Fish populations are under real pressure and anything we can do to improve their habitat will be of real benefit.”
Gail Davies, environment programme manager for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water said:
“We take our commitment to protecting the environment in our care very seriously and so are very pleased to be working with NRW and West Wales Rivers Trust to improve the water quality and habitat of the tributaries of this very important river.
“This is a fantastic project to engage with those customers we serve and to encourage them to become custodians of the rivers which play such a crucial role to their communities, and to understand how working together in partnership we can achieve improvements”.