Doncaster MP opens new fish pass

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Doncaster MP Ed Miliband has officially opened a fish pass at Sprotbrough Weir on the River Don designed to help migratory salmon, sea trout and other fish swim up and downstream.

The £500,000 project has been completed by the Environment Agency, working with partners including the Canal and River Trust, Don Gorge Community Group and Doncaster Council.

Funding for the project came from the Environment Agency and the Tarmac Landfill Community Fund.

To mark the official opening of the fish pass, Mr Miliband unveiled a specially-commissioned sculpture recognising the history and ecology of the River Don and Don Gorge.

The 4ft limestone sculpture depicts a salmon, a barbel and an eel - species which will be able to move more easily up and down the river thanks to the new fish pass.

Positioned around the sculpture are foundation stones from an old mill which was unearthed during the construction of the fish pass.

Mr Miliband, the MP for Doncaster North, said: “I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the project.

“The fish pass will help to increase wildlife in Doncaster’s rivers, and, in the future, bring fish such as salmon back to our waters.”

Originally built to power industry or to regulate water levels for navigation, the weirs on the River Don are an obstacle to fish. Installing passes enables fish to swim around them safely.

Jon Horsfall, waterway manager for the Canal and River Trust, said; “This is a fantastic project that will really benefit the ecology of the river, but also improve the area so that people have an attractive place to escape to.

“It will enable important fish species to flourish, improving the health of the river. We’ve also found that, since this project was completed, local people have become more active along the riverside, getting involved in efforts to improve the local environment which is brilliant to see.”