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Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Friday, 28 January 2011
Fish enticed back to spawn in South Yorkshire
Fish pass at Millhouses Park
The former paddling pool at Millhouses Park benefits from a fish pass

South Yorkshire's rivers have been cleaned in an effort to entice more fish back in to the local waters.

The Environment Agency has been working with Sheffield City Council and other groups to build new fish passes for fish such as salmon, grayling and trout to return to the rivers.

The passes will enable fish to travel around man made barriers by swimming and leaping up a series of relatively low steps enabling them to spawn.

Fish stocks in rivers across the county have declined over the past 100 years, one area in particular which has suffered is the River Don.

The Niagara fish pass in the river has benefited from the recovery work, removing blockages from the river, meaning that fish are no longer restricted in their movement.

Fish are also being tagged so that their progress can be tracked, using a fluorescent marker.

Neil Trudgill, Project Manager from the Environment Agency said:

"The results that have come back from the tests we have done since building the fish passes are really positive. We are starting to see the return of some species that have not been in our rivers for over 100 years.

"Under new tougher European standards we need to bring rivers back to a good ecological status and make our fisheries sustainable.

"The fish passes will also reduce the need for us to restock the river which will save money, and help other animals that live off fish to thrive, such as otters."

The sites benefiting from the improvements include the River Sheaf at Millhouses Park, Abbeydale Wood, and Heeley Bridge; River Dearne at Old Moor, Houghton and Darfield.

Work is also being carried out by Kirkless Council who are working alongside Yorkshire Water, British Waterways and The Rivers Trust to improve the River Colne at Marsden.

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