Salmon fishing in Manchester could become a reality by 2015 provided the Secretary Of State for the Environment approves the document below.
Whilst skimming through the latest EA River Basin Management Plans for the North West Region I came across these important lines.
"Mersey Life is an ambitious project that aims to realise the ecological and socio-economic potential of our rivers by bringing together stakeholders and partners, building partnerships and encouraging investment into the restoration of the rivers. One of the aims of Mersey Life is to reduce barriers to fish migration in the River Mersey and its tributaries. For this river basin
management planning cycle the project plans to deliver scoping, design and construction of 10 Fish passes in 6 priority catchments. (Environment Agency, Voluntary sector)
• Mersey Estuary, Irwell, Upper Mersey """
This sounds like the EA are planning to build some fish passes on the Ship Canal & Irwell.
Am busy polishing my mepps already!
Main document can be read here http://wfdconsultation.environment-agency.gov.uk/wfdcms/en/northwest/Intro.aspx
Open the main document and the above info can be found on page 20.
Salmon have been running the Mersey since 1999 in ever increasing numbers. However they cant pass through the lock gates on the Ship Canal north of the confluence of the River Mersey - therfore all migratory fish have to run the Mersey up through Stockport rather than continuing up the Ship Canal, through Manchester and into the Irwell system.
As i've previously shown in earlier posts, there are some huge weirs on the Irwell which migratory fish would find difficult to negotiate. Hopefully these fish passes will open up the Irwell system to migratory fish.