Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Work on bridge helps spawning salmon and trout

Fish pass at Allenmill Bridge
Sea trout have since been spotted in a pool upstream

More salmon and sea trout can now reach their spawning grounds in a Northumberland river after a special passage was created under a bridge.

The large footings of Allenmill Bridge, near Allendale, have blocked fish from swimming upstream since medieval times.

Northumberland County Council has now completed work on a raised concrete "fish pass" at the River East Allen on request of the Environment Agency.

The work was carried out during efforts to repair flood damage to the bridge.

Environment Agency fisheries officer Gareth Pedley said: "The River East Allen is an important tributary of the River Tyne, but the bridge footings were so large that fish could only get past them when the river levels were very high.

"The pass means more salmon and trout will have access to good spawning grounds in the upper river which is good news for the River Tyne, and in turn is good news for anglers and the North East economy.

"Since work on the pass finished last month, a good number of sea trout have already been spotted in the pool upstream."

Agency staff said they planned further monitoring in the upper part of the river to see if the pass had been successful.

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