NRW carries out fish rescue at bridge construction site

Natural Resources Wales officers have moved populations of migratory trout, eels and lampreys to a safe stretch of river to protect them during the construction of a new bridge.

Contractors working on behalf of Gwynedd  County Council are set to start work on the bridge over the Afon Rhyd Hir, near Pwllheli.

The rescue operation saw the relocation of 192 fish to a safe stretch of river, some distance from the construction site.

The new bridge will replace the temporary structure erected while repair work was carried out on  the ancient bridge at Bodfel which partly collapsed in 2019. It be an improvement to the A497 road between Pwllheli and Nefyn and is set to open before the National Eisteddfod takes place in the area in 2023.

Arfon Hughes, Environment Team Leader for NRW, said:

“Construction work of this kind, while necessary, can have an adverse impact on fish populations, we often carry out rescue operations to ensure those impacts are kept to a minimum.
“Officers used electrofishing techniques to move the fish without causing them harm.
“This involves stunning the fish in order to catch and handle them without harm and we also use it when assessing fish populations in our rivers.
“Fish rescues are often required as part of an Environmental Permit to carry out  work which affects longer stretches of main rivers and are issued by NRW as part of our role to protect fish stocks and minimising the risk of loss of biodiversity for future generations.”