Sevenacres Weir is an impassable obstacle on the Lugton Water and is in our sights for a fish pass installation this summer. We met with SEPA WEF team yesterday to discuss the final design and make sure we hadn’t overlooked any aspects.There were several points raised and these will be checked again with the designers prior to going ahead. Once these issues are resolved and agreements reached, hopefully we will be able to progress this to fruition this summer. The weir has been impassable since the fish pass that was on the left bank collapsed. When this structure collapsed is unclear but it was in living memory and salmon used to make it upstream.
The Lugton Water will also be further improved by the installation of another fish pass at Garden Weir in Eglinton Country Park. Again, ART has driven for this for years and only recently when North Ayrshire Council agreed to part fund the project could progress be made. We will welcome both these fish passes as the best available solutions at this point in time however, we would prefer to have seen both weirs removed entirely, reducing the impact on the river, fish migration and risk to people. Of course, we had to consider the impact on flood risk and after much consideration, it was agreed that technical fish pass solutions was the best options at Sevenacres under the circumstances. The Garden Weir was retained as the Country Park wouldn’t support removal as its is a key visitor attraction and situated below their suspension bridge. The fish pass at Garden Weir will have unique and creative stainless steel panels included in the design that illustrate salmon migration. Just wait and see once they are installed!
Now we have to hope that this not insignificant investment of public funds can help drive water quality improvements upstream. Fingers crossed, we will soon see a thriving salmon population in this river.