Kirkton Weir fish pass nears completion

Kirkton weir fish pass is moving at the speed of light with the pre-cast blocks lowered and fixed into place.

The precast units of the fish pass were put in place on Saturday after a pool was built at the downstream end of the pass and the area where the fish pass is situated cut out of the weir.

Today, the joins between the units were being sealed before they are bedded in with concrete. Baffles will be fitted inside the pass over the next few weeks. The site will be dismantled once works are winding up.

#RiverLifeAlmondAvon #MyRiverLife #HLFsupported#WestLothianCounci #SEPAWEF #ScottishGovernment

Below is a timelapse film of the weir being cut and new fish pass being installed. 

Volunteers help clean up Killandean Greenway

A huge thanks to our RiverLife: Almond & Avon volunteers who did an excellent job yesterday at Killandean – some tough tasks are now complete! The last of the old benches have been removed and where possible the old sleepers were cut to size and reused elsewhere. They also managed to clear paths and vegetation making a huge difference to people accessing the area. Get in touch if you’d like to help out! #volunteering #hlfsupportedHeritage Lottery Fund Scotland

We have a couple of volunteer dates coming up in September – Tuesday 12th and Friday 15th.

We are planning on sanding & painting benches (weather dependant) and making a start on clearing some of the steps around the Greenway. If you would like to come along email l.oldershaw@fishforth.co.uk for more info/to put your name down on the list. Thanks!

Kirkton Weir Improvement Works Fish Rescue 2.0

The team were back at Kirkton Weir yesterday carrying out the second planned fish rescue as part of the Kirkton Fish Pass works. This time we electrofished the dewatered area below the weir. Again, we were not sure how much we would find as it was all bed rock and not great habitat but we did manage to catch 127 minnow, 1 stickle back, 1 stone loach, 1 bullhead and 2 beautiful Brown trout (188mm and 217mm) and 2 eel. We managed to measure one eel at 50cm but the second (much bigger) eel escaped before we got a measurement. All fish were released below the works out of harms way.

 

Almondvale Park Opening & Party in the Park (Bathgate)

The RiverLife team have had a busy weekend at the West Lothian Council Almondvale Park opening and Party in the Park at Kirkton Park. Thank you to the 500 people who visited us and West Lothian Angling Association for lending a hand!

Kirkton Weir Fish Rescue

It was an early start for Trust staff yesterday as we assembled at Kirkton Weir to carry out the very first fish rescue on the river Almond as part of the works which are currently on going to address fish passage on the river. Staff were on site at 7am when the portadam skirt was dropped stopping the flow of water into the area where works will take place.  

The area cut off was then drained by three large pumps to a suitable depth which allowed us to enter the water and start rescuing the fish. As there had been people wading in the pool prior to the fish rescue, we did not think we would get that many fish. However we were proven wrong with 66 perch of varying sizes the largest being 170mm, 94 minnows, 36 stickleback’s and 1 stunning brown trout which measured in at 190mm.

Another reason why we were not expecting many fish was due to the substrate of the river. Everyone was convinced that it would be very silty due to the silty nature of the Almond but to everyone’s surprise it was bed rock which again would not provide the best habitat for trout, which is why we think we never caught that many.

It was interesting to see the bed rock as it means that before the weir was built, there would have been a small (passable) waterfall at this location.  

Exposing the weir with the reduction of water was an exciting part of the day too as it allowed us to see the make-up of the structure. It looks like the weir had been repaired at some point in the last 60 (maybe more) years as it had been repaired using what looked like poured concrete.

Overall a great day to be out on the river rescuing our fishy friends and relocating them to safety above where the works are taking place.

A second rescue is planned next week downstream of the weir where a further area of the river is being dried out. We will keep everyone updated with the progress.

River Forth Fisheries Trust Summer 2017 Newsletter

The Trust have been extremely busy over the past few months. Find out what we have been up to in our summer newsletter which can be found below.

Summer Newsletter 2017

Articles include

  • Catchment managers update
  • Volunteering opportunities with RiverLife: Almond & Avon
  • An article on the genetic diversity of brown trout
  • Forth Invasive Non-Native Species Update
  • An update on the Allan Water Improvement Project
  • Information on the Marine Scotland Science salmon tracking project
  • An update on the Teith piscivorous bird count and habitat mapping
  • An introduction to the new water vole project officer

Work starts at Kirkton Weir

It’s another exciting week at the Trust as work starts on Kirkton weir in Livingston!

This is the top most barrier to fish migration that the RiverLife: Almond & Avon project is easing in the River Almond. A new fish pass will be constructed off site and lowered into place once the weir has been prepared. Work will take around 6 weeks to complete.

For more information please have a look at the new RiverLife website at www.river-life.org.uk

 

Fair a Far weir fish pass works begin

A momentous occasion for the River Almond with works starting at Fair A Far weir last week. Work’s will include repairs to the weir crest and construction of a brand new fish pass which will help migratory fish such as salmon, sea trout, lamprey and eel to ascend the weir reaching vital habitat upstream. At the moment, contractors are building a road out to the weir so that the repairs and fish pass can be carried out. This access road will be removed once works are complete and the surrounding area reinstated as it once was. These works are part of RiverLife:Almond & Avon. #myriverlife

We will post photos and updates regularly to keep everyone up to date on it’s progress but in the mean time here are a few photos from the past few days. A massive thanks goes out to everyone who has been involved with this project since its inception nearly 10 years ago which includes the anglers/angling club, community members, Edinburgh Council, Forth District Salmon Fishery Board and SEPA.

With thanks to our funders Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Government .

River Forth Fisheries Trust bags £2,000 from carrier bag charge fund

The River Forth Fisheries Trust is delighted to announce it has bagged £2,000 from a Tesco funding scheme.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants – raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. greenspace scotland is working with Groundwork to provide support to communities in Scotland. 

Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country. And it can now be revealed River Forth Fisheries Trust has been awarded £2,000.

Work will now begin on bringing the project to life.

The project will allow the Trust to continue to provide vital support to the communities along the Allan Water in their efforts to tackle the giant hogweed problem. Giant hogweed has toxic sap which can cause severe blisters if it comes into contact with skin and UV light. Communities up and down the river have been working together, coordinated by the Trust to tackle the problem. Giant hogweed however takes a long time to get on top of due to the seeds being able to last in the soil for upwards of 15 years. This project will provide support via staff time, equipment and chemical to communities to help them tackle the problem.

Amy Fergusson – Invasive Species Project Officer, said: its fantastic that Tesco had chosen our project to be put to the vote at the local Tesco stores and even more so that the community have come out in force to support the project by voting for us. Giant hogweed is a real problem along the Allan Water and can affect anyone who uses the river, that includes anglers, dog walkers, cyclists and more. Through this project, we plan to continue to support the community by providing them the resource to tackle the problem, this is a long-term problem which the community have geared up to tackle. I would like to thank everyone who has voted for us and if you would like to get involved with this project and to tackle giant hogweed, please contact me by emailing a.fergusson@fishforth.co.uk or calling 0131 445 1527.

Tony McElroy, Tesco’s Head of Communications in Scotland, said:

 “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout May and June with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out.

Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £33 million across more than 6,300 local projects.

Tesco customers will get the chance to vote for three different groups each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Bags of Help criteria have recently been extended to include any project that benefits the community. Previously the scheme funded outdoor projects only.

Emma Halliday, Community Enabler Coordinator at greenspace scotland, said:

 “Bags of Help continues to fund thousands of projects across the UK.  We want to ensure that the money raised benefits as many local people in as many different places as possible so we’ve extended the range of groups and projects that we can support. 

 “The scale and variety of activities supported by Bags of Helps shows what can be achieved when communities are given the support and the encouragement they need to make change happen in their local area.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp