Hoghton Bottoms Fish Pass

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Mike Graham
Barn Owl
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:00 pm
Location: Hoghton

Hoghton Bottoms Fish Pass

Post by Mike Graham » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:33 am

Work on the fish pass is due to commence this month, it is to assist brown trout moving upstream on the River Darwen to spawn. The work is to be carried out by the Ribble Trust, the work is in the Chorley area. This is the text of an email I sent to the Ribble Trust today with my concerns and observations:

“Good morning,

Firstly I would like to say I support the work to be undertaken regarding the Hoghton Fish Pass.

I do however have some wildlife concerns. The Dippers have returned to nest about 25m downstream of the proposed fish pass, this is the first time they have nested since 2015 as the colony were wiped out and their roosts destroyed in the Boxing Day 2015 floods. Their is only one nest this year and they appear to have nested about one month late due to the bad weather; can you please confirm what actions are being taken to protect these birds?

In addition their are kingfishers in the area, indeed I saw one this morning ******* ****** ***** the proposed site. Finally, although I have not seen them, there have been a number of sightings of otters, these do not appear to have noted in the papers that were in the planning application.

I look forward to hearing from you.”

I will post a copy of any response I receive.

Mike

Mike Graham
Barn Owl
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:00 pm
Location: Hoghton

Re: Hoghton Bottoms Fish Pass

Post by Mike Graham » Tue May 01, 2018 10:53 am

A helpful and considered response from the Ribble Trust as follows:

“Hi Mike,

Thanks for your email and particularly for letting me know about the dipper nest. We were aware that dippers, kingfishers and otters were on the river. We check for local species records with Lancashire Environmental Records Centre before each project. I have also seen the kingfisher and dippers myself, and found otter spraints by the river.

The best solution for minimising impacts on these species would be to construct the fish pass outside the breeding season. However a condition of our Environmental Permit is that we construct between May and August to avoid impacts on spawning salmonid fish. These also tend to be the driest months, which on a river like this is a big consideration.

I would be very grateful if you could show me the location of the dipper nest so that we can determine what impact the works are likely to have. No works activity will take place downstream of the fish pass so downstream impacts will be minimal. The contractor will carry out the work in a de-watered environment to reduce the level of silt mobilisation. Plant movement will be kept to a minimum and speed limited to reduce noise levels.

A survey conducted last year for suitable otter holt habitat determined that it was very unlikely that otters would make a holt in the area. Otters being primarily nocturnal, there should be no impacts from the works activity (which is limited to day time working hours by contract). Similarly, there is no suitable nesting habitat for kingfishers within 100 m of the works site. Although kingfishers will probably avoid the area around the weir during the construction phase, this won't have a detrimental impact on their survival or breeding success.

I am very pleased that you support the project. As I say, I am glad you brought these issues to my attention and would be grateful if you could spare the time to show me where the dipper nest is.

Kind regards,

Adam”

Adam Walmsley
Ribble Rivers Trust

Neil Southworth
Little Egret
Posts: 4160
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:57 pm

Re: Hoghton Bottoms Fish Pass

Post by Neil Southworth » Wed May 02, 2018 5:28 pm

Dippers seem to be able to tolerate a certain amount of disturbance, Mike. I suppose it's an occupational hazard given the sort of places in which they nest.

Mike Graham
Barn Owl
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:00 pm
Location: Hoghton

Re: Hoghton Bottoms Fish Pass

Post by Mike Graham » Thu May 03, 2018 3:06 pm

I met the Project Manager a couple of hours ago and I was impressed with the background ecological work that has taken place.

He confirmed the presence of otters and Daubentons Bats which was good news, as well as good stocks of brown trout and chubb in the River.

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