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River Loxley Fish Passage

As part of our ongoing works, we are looking at ways to improve fish passage throughout the Don Catchment in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. To this end, we applied for and have been given some funding to investigate the feasibility of fish passage in the River Loxley. This catchment has been physically modified, principally by construction of weirs which are of archaeological importance.

The catchment has been classed as a Heavily Modified Water Body (HMWB). Good Ecological Potential/Status must be reached to meet WFD objectives . This entails improving biological conditions in the river so as to achieve conditions as close as possible to that of a similar natural water body. This includes providing free passage for fish including migratory salmonids (salmon and trout) as well as brook lamprey. Until such mitigation measures have been put in place the waterbody cannot achieve better than moderate ecological potential.

The River Loxley and nearby Rivelin provide the best potential for future spawning of salmon in the Don Catchment due to the structure and quality of the river bed/channel and presence of gravels (in fact the word ‘lox’ has a Germanic root meaning salmon). However, because several weirs fragment the river, this habitat is inaccessible to most fish in the catchment, including migratory species.

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