At the end of the day on our way back to the office we dropped into Auchendrane on the Doon to see how I & H Boreland Contractors were progressing with the new notch and baulk fish pass. Both side walls were complete and work to the crest and base were underway. The workforce informed us that all going well, they hope to complete their work tomorrow and clear their equipment from the site.
In the last post I made about this work, I mentioned that a few sand bags were at the ready. Daniel, John and Arthur informed me today that there were 400 sand bags all hand filled used on this job and that they had filled them. I told them I update readers with the truth. Anyway, Well done to the three of them for getting this job done so quickly. (I know I’ve got at least one of their names wrong but I like to give them something to moan about when I visit and I know they read this blog!) I’ll see them tomorrow afternoon and catch it no doubt. I won’t mind as long as its finished and works!!! They are a good team and we’ve worked with Euan Kerr and his men on several jobs now and can highly recommend them for this type of work.
The fish pass has now been completed and looks as though it will work just fine. We will have to wait for water to see though but I hear heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow so fingers crossed.
The Board asked to see the design details some 4/5 weeks but not surprisingly those were not made available.
Far far to close to the riverbank and could, but hopefully not, become an easy poaching feature since salmon/grilse ascend the Doon in low water condition regularly, and Brian Shaw witnessed this approx 4 years ago, unsuccessfully I should add.
The location adjacent to the bank was no doubt a cost saving exercise in my opinion.
The Board were told an experienced and highly regarded civil engineering firm carried out the design, well I’m sorry but I’m disappointed with their preferred location and they wouldn’t be cheap either.
There’s no doubt in my mind the fish will have no problems finding the pass so let’s hope they get to the top savely.
the owner was entitled to undertake the works within his CAR registration but there was no obligation to do so as there was already a fish pass in place. He previously consulted with SEPA , the Board and Art. He engaged a consultant fish pass engineer who designed the notch and baulk type pass, whom ART have always found to be reliable in his designs. An experienced contractor was engaged to deliver the works. I’ve no doubt this fish pass will work efficiently and that fish will slip through almost unnoticed. The accepted best position for a fish pass on an angled weir is at the uppermost end and that’s exactly where it was constructed, where there was deeper water for salmon to rest in. In this case, cost I don’t think came into it regarding the position, it was just the best location for a fish pass. Regardless, as the Board decided not to contribute to the cost of this work, I can’t see any justification for criticising how the works were delivered.
Regarding poaching, the weir is directly in front of the house and that itself is a huge deterrent. The speed at which fish move through this type of pass is amazing as we have seen on the similar structures built at the Girvan Dykes. Poachers won’t find it as easy to take fish from the pass as they would off the dam back. It hasn’t been an issue in the past and I wouldn’t expect it to be in future. The syndicate that fish it are there regularly and they too are a deterrent. Lets concentrate on the positives and congratulate the owner on doing a good job.