Last week we submitted a response to a planning application for the proposed (and some already completed) works to Catrine Weir and fish pass. We didn’t object as we see that some improvements will be made and we are supportive of the efforts. We did however express a few concerns over details of the plans and I’m sure they will be ironed out through appropriate consultation wherever possible.
Regarding the work to create a spillway in the pass and the installation of the eel pass, I visited today and posted have photos of the partially completed items below. The eel pass is about as straight as a fractured dog’s leg but I’m sure the eels wont mind.
I would have thought that the entrance to the eel pass would have been more structured than it is at present and may bring this up at the next opportunity. Judge for yourselves but to me it looks like a strip of loose Astroturf laid over rocks. I think it needs some further work. Perhaps this is planned.
The pipe returning the water to the lower chamber is clearly visible in the photo and will definitely need some form of screening and flow deflection to prevent salmon and trout from trying to access it and to reduce turbulence. We haven’t been provided details of how this will finish and I’m very keen to see the plans at the earliest opportunity. No detail was provided in the planning application.
The smolt chamber on the other side of the river has had covers added so I couldn’t see in but again I’m keen to see the set up in there. Lets hope that the screens go in shortly so that we can start gathering baseline data before the weir is modified but the entrance detail has yet to be provided and approved. I suspect the opportunity for this year is fast slipping away.
All work appears to have ceased at the moment, presumably as CCT await the outcome of their planning application. The fish pass was blocked and I notified the bailiff co-ordinator who will no doubt let CCT know that they need to clear it. I am concerned that this pass should be checked daily to ensure fish passage is always maintained. We will keep you updated as and when we hear anything.