The upgrade at Dean Ford is virtually complete and should again open to traffic very shortly. This is a huge improvement over the ford and will allow salmon and trout to move up and downstream in virtually any height of water.

Looking downstream to the virtually completed new bridge/culver over the Kilmarnock Water. This is a huge improvement over the old ford that was a serious barrier to migration.

Looking downstream to the virtually completed new bridge/culver over the Kilmarnock Water. This is a huge improvement over the old ford that was a serious barrier to migration.

There can’t be much left to do aside removing sediment from the fish pass section, perhaps grass seeding and removing the security fencing. East Ayrshire Council and the contractors are to be congratulated on a job well done. Looking to the future, I expect salmon numbers to increase quickly upstream of this point once a few fish successfully spawn. It goes without saying that anglers shouldn’t kill salmon this far up the Kilmarnock Water for the time being.

The road has been resurfaced and there can be little left to do but remove the barriers and allow the traffic to flow.

The road has been resurfaced and there can be little left to do but remove the barriers and allow the traffic to flow.

The last obstacle that presents any sort of a barrier is the Cheapside Street weir in the town centre and following discussions and negotiations, we convinced them to install a non technical rock ramp fish pass and I believe this work will commence this┬ásummer. I’ll keep readers posted as details become clear.

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2 Responses to Dean Ford

  1. craig says:

    Finally opened up on Thursday and as mentioned a splendid job, The only concern would be the distance between the arches and the height also with the possibility for creating some log jams in high waters.
    There been some big trees coming down here especially in the past few years with some of the exceptional high waters we have had . Perhaps some tree management upstream could be of some benefit in line with your article above just a thought. Their certainly a few trees in the river just waiting on the rain. that could be used.
    Looking forward to seeing how it performs in the coming season. Well done to all concerned and sparing the poor fish battering themselves half to death trying to get upstream
    thank god again that the ford is gone. Come on the fish.
    I do hope it will not be a problem and will be interesting to see how it goes in the forthcoming years.

    • Stuart Brabbs says:

      I agree about the trees upstream and some management before they become a problem will be advantageous. It would also save the Council the cost of clearing the timber so hopefully some funding may be available. I will speak to the Club and SEPA about this. The river bed is still setting and will continue to change as it finds it’s own levels in the months ahead. The fish pass is full of stone (deposited from the river) and there are no plans to remove this. I suspect it won’t be a problem as fish will be able to move in all the flows we would expect them to at the moment, but if anything changes, then we will ask the Council to clear it.