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What improvements to the Don’s fishery we would like to achieve

Since its founding the Trust has aimed to establish fish passage for salmon to spawning grounds upstream of Sheffield city centre, and although through the Living Heritage of the River Don project we have gone a long way towards achieved this goal there is still a much more ahead of us.

We would like to understand the impact of our interventions through better monitoring to guide our future work. This could be, for instance, by installing a fish counter allowing us to see whether fish – particularly salmon – are using them. Electrofishing is an important surveying technique we can employ to assess the habitat requirements for fish present in particular river reaches.

The phrase “build it and they will come” is quite apparent to the Don’s fishery. If we restore rivers to an as natural state as possible fish will naturally colonise and repopulate our river reaches. This can be achieved by –

  • naturalising straightened sections provide the morphological features fish need to reproduce
  • building fish passes or demolishing weirs to improve connectivity
  • managing in-stream (water plants) and marginal vegetation (trees, shrubs) allowing fish access to quality habitat for every stage of their lifecycle
  • improving water quality through better land/urban management and waste water management
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