For fear of being accused of favouring the Ayr in our posts, I’d like to point out that wherever works of this nature take place on our rivers, we would be monitoring and involved regardless of which river it was. Shortly, the Ford at Dean Castle will see works commence to construct a bridge. We will report on this as things take shape. We have already agreed with East Ayrshire Council that we will attend a site meeting with the contractors before work starts.

The situation I found at this job last night meant I headed there first thing to ask the contractors to sort out the fish passage issues that had developed. Inadvertently, the river had been constricted to flow through a gap of just about 3 feet wide. I pointed out that this wasn’t acceptable and that it created series problems for fish passage. I also noted that the flow was virtually non existent and informed them that they didn’t have a legal right to shut the flow to be shut down when salmon were migrating. Fish passage must be maintained at all times and this wasn’t possible in the flows I witnessed. We agreed on a plan and the flow was significantly restored almost immediately. Not fully but at a level adequate to allow fish to move and them to work.

The sight of a shrunken river that greeted me this morning when I arrived at the site. With salmon migrating upstream, flow at this level meant their movements upstream were curtailed. The situation was quickly rectified.

The sight of a shrunken river that greeted me this morning when I arrived at the site. With salmon migrating upstream, flow at this level meant their movements upstream were curtailed. The situation was quickly rectified.

A revised flow arrangement more in keeping with the discussions at the pre works site meeting. Fish passage was restored and the full flow allowed to run overnight through this stretch of river.

A revised flow arrangement more in keeping with the discussions at the pre works site meeting. Fish passage was restored and the full flow allowed to run overnight through this stretch of river.

The contractors know we are here to help with advice if required and will contact me should the need arise. They plan to shutter the undermined wall and pour concrete over the next few days. Works are expected to take around 1 week from start to finish so I hope the weather holds and they complete on schedule.

Any contractor working in watercourses would be we’ll advised to contact ourselves for advice before starting work. I realise SEPA are the regulators and method statements must be approved by them but we can provide advice and assistance should fish be at risk. Almost every watercourse in Ayrshire has a fish population so a phone call in advance may help keep things right.

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2 Responses to Catrine job number 2 update

  1. Graham says:

    I see you mentioned the work being carried out at the Dean park ford. I live right next to the ford, so if there is any way I could help while the work is ongoing let me know. I would be happy to help out.

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      Graham,
      thanks for this. I will be meeting contractors on site hopefully this week to discuss the requirements and provision for fish rescue. I’m not sure how you can help but having someone there to keep an eye on things will be helpful.