I’ve spoken with the Roads Department about the necessary modifications to the new fish pass but am yet to hear their decision. After yesterdays heavy rainfall, I decided to nip to Galston this afternoon for a quick look to see how the pass would perform in spate conditions. Apart from the same issues that were evident at medium flows, the only other issue I can see is that a lot of water spills over the side and cross walls. I don’t think this will be too great an issue as there appears to be plenty of depth for salmon within the pass, but the water going over the side wall contributed to increased white water at the rock armour and this is of concern.
I placed a few large boulders in the bottom section of the pass to see if this would help to concentrate the flow and improve the passes performance, which it did. I think the solution lies with a combination of small modifications that will ultimately bring about a very good result. I’ll keep readers posted of East Ayrshires decision when it comes.
Next task will be to improve the upper fish pass near Cessnock Castle. The contractor saved the timber from Cemetery Bridge for the angling club so that the upper pass may be extended.
I intend to electrofish upstream of Cemetery Bridge once flows drop back to normal levels to prove that salmon did use the old pass. This can be repeated if necessary next year and the results compared. There are great spawning gravels in the Burnawn, and I walked the Cessnock Castle stretch today and it was surprisingly clear of trees etc. Presumably the last big spate cleared it out well.