To connect the ecology of the river
The ideal way to reconnect rivers is to remove weirs. However all four weirs in this project are listed and form part of our historic landscape. DNAire's fish passes will tackle the four largest weirs left on the river. These are at Armley, Kirkstall Abbey, Newlay and Saltaire.
Each new fish pass is a Larinier fish pass. In the base of these sit baffles that slow the flow of water through the pass. Larger fish are able to swim up the pass. Smaller fish are able to rest behind each baffle before they jump over the next one. The size of each weir means that resting pools are needed half way up.
You can find out more about fish passes here>
You may notice small wooden beams across the fish pass at Saltaire and Newlay. These hold monitoring equipment as part of an Environment Agency study with the Hull International Fisheries Institute,
University of Hull. This will help us develop our understanding of how effective fish passes are.
You can read more about the fish passage monitoring in a blog by the Hull International Fisheries Institute here >
Through DNAire, our project partners the Environment Agency, are reconnecting 60km of river making habitat for fish to breed, feed and shelter. This is important for all fish species, including coarse fish like barbel and roach. For Atlantic salmon, this is especially important as it means being able to swim upstream to spawning grounds in the shallow streams and rivers near Skipton. Their return demonstrates the outstanding quality of our river and signals a bright future for the Aire.