Investing in our rivers to reverse the decline of salmon and sea trout

Investing in our rivers to reverse the decline of salmon and sea trout

Projects designed to protect the wildlife in many of Wales’ most treasured rivers have been given the green light, thanks to a Welsh Government cash injection of more than £1.1million.
Welsh salmon and sea trout stocks are in a perilous condition, with their numbers at an all-time low in our rivers and streams.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has set out a plan to protect and restore the populations of salmon and sea trout in Welsh rivers.

This funding will help turn that plan into action.

NRW will work with Afonydd Cymru and the six Rivers Trusts in Wales on a range of projects including restoring stream habitats, removing barriers to migration and improving water quality in rivers across Wales. Each of the Trusts has worked closely with NRW staff to identify and prioritise works needed.

Amongst the key projects that will now progress are:

• Dismantling barriers so that salmon can migrate further upstream such as the weir at Vicars Mill on the Eastern Cleddau in Pembrokeshire.
• Fencing off areas along rivers across Wales, so that livestock can no longer contribute to soil erosion on riverbanks
• Removing blockages like wood debris and plastics from rivers across Wales.

Ruth Jenkins, NRW’s Head of Natural Resource Management Policy said: 

“Salmon are a treasured part of Wales’ wildlife and healthy salmon populations are is important both culturally and economically too. We are determined to ensure that Wales has a sustainable salmon and sea trout population for years to come.
“This funding of more than a £1.1m, along with a wider programme that NRW itself will develop, will help us to go further, quicker and will make a difference to the work that we and our partners do every year.
“It is only through continuing to take concerted action for the whole river system that we will successfully protect these iconic species for future generations.”

Dr Stephen Marsh – Smith for Afonydd Cymru said:

“This project provides an important opportunity to tackle many of the problems across Wales’ rivers. It is a step change upwards in cooperation and coordination between the Rivers Trusts and NRW, with the actual on-site delivery devolved to each regional trust. We look forward to reporting at completion and seeing the benefits within Welsh fisheries.”