Environment Agency fisheries officers have discovered the first salmon in the River Leven in more than 150 years.
The River Leven flows through North Yorkshire, and is a tributary to the River Tees at Yarm.
Until 2007 it was not possible for salmon to spawn in the River Leven because of an impassable weir which was built during the industrial revolution.
In 2007 the Environment Agency built a new fish pass on the weir at Leven Bridge, between Ingelby Barwick and Thornaby, and the first spawned salmon since the 18th century has now been found there.
The salmon measured 18 centimetres and was about one year old - meaning that at least one pair of adult salmon had swum up the River Tees to spawn and used the new fish pass on the River Leven.
It is likely that the fish hatched in spring last year and will migrate to the sea next year before returning to the river to spawn in the future.
The salmon was found as part of the Environment Agency’s National Fisheries Survey Programme. The results are used to show how water quality is improving over time, and provide data on fish populations which is used to manage fish stocks.
Richard Jenkins, environmental monitoring team leader for the Environment Agency, said:
“Our rivers are the healthiest for over 20 years allowing otters, salmon and other wildlife to return for the first time since the industrial revolution.
“European law called the Water Framework Directive has enabled us to target improvements in fish passage and water quality on the River Leven and the evidence of salmon returning shows that the work is starting to pay dividends.”
As well as the salmon, very good numbers of brown trout were also recorded in the River Leven.
Source - Environment Agency UK
The draft program for the 14th International Riversymposium is now available on the event website.
The program is shaping up to be an exciting mix of the six program focus areas which revolve around the overall conference theme, 'The Value of Rivers'.
Keynote speakers addressing the symposium:
- Mr Phil Duncan, Operational Policy Unit New South Wales, Aboriginal Land Council, Australia
- Professor Barry T Hart, Member of the Murray Darling Basin Authority
- Professor Toine Smits, Dept of Sustainable Management and Resources, Radbound University, The Netherlands
Featured Case Studies:
- Yangtze River, China by Dr Guangchun Lei - Beijing Forestry University, China
- Mississippi River, USA by Dr Denise Reed - University of New Orleans, USA
Feature sessions will cover a broad range of topics from 'Post flood waterway health initiatives' to 'Cultural Flows: Expressing Indigenous Values in Rivers'. The 2011 Riverprize Finalists will present an overview of their achievements and describe their lessons learned in a feature session on the morning of Tuesday 27 September.
Early bird registrations close 5pm AEST Monday 14 July 2011
By Chris Simon
There's a movement afoot to have Lake Simcoe recognised for its historical significance, and Innisfil council is onboard with the cause.
Council lent its support, in principal, to a recommendation from Citizens for Heritage Lake Simcoe - a group headed by local residents Marj Mossman and Barbara Love - during a meeting last week. The recommendation calls for the waterbody to be designated as a 'Canadian heritage lake', to ensure it is promoted and sustainably managed.
"There is a groundswell of strong community support to request a designation as Canada's first heritage lake," said Mossman, in a letter addressed to council. "Currently, Canada has recognized its rich river heritage by creating a Canadian Heritage Rivers System. Governments lend support and guidance to receiving a designation for significant rivers. Voluntary participation, partnership, cooperation and community involvement are what drive it. Although it is not a river, (the) lake includes a watershed of 35 rivers, and was recognised internationally through the Thiess International Riverprize in 2009."
Designation would also encourage conservation, promote the cultural and recreational value of the lake, improve public health, and increase tourism opportunities, she said.
The designation would be championed by community volunteers. However, it would not have legislative authority over the lake, says Mossman.
"This can really be a rallying point for our community, to emphasize the lake as much as we can," said councillor Maria Baier.
However, others suggested support was premature.
"I think I'm in favour of this as well, but we should be cautious about jumping on the bandwagon, and going along with something when we don't know how it's going to turn out," said councillor Rod Boynton.
Source - The Scope
Cities and provinces along the Yangtze River in central China are grappling with the country's worst drought in more than 50 years. Resource analysts say the drought highlights not only the impact of climate change, but also China's persistent problem of water scarcity and how it must balance that with the country's enormous demand for energy and economic growth.
Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China and is just one example of how serious the drought has become. The lake, which is located in Jiangxi province along the Yangtze River, has shrunk to less than half its usual size, and the lack of water has had a major impact on nearby fishing and farming.
With water levels so low, stretches of the Yangtze River have become impassable for cargo vessels, disrupting supply chains that fuel factories along the river, and transport manufactured products and agricultural goods. Analysts say the river is used to transport about 100 billion tons of cargo each year.
Robert Kimball, a project coordinator at the World Resources Institute in Washington, says the drought is also affecting electric power production.
"There is a lot of hydropower in the Yangtze River basin. For example, the Three Gorges Dam and power production from those sources has gone down by 20 percent according to some estimates as a result of this drought. Any company that relies on that power is feeling the impact. Some are even being forced to ration their power use," he said.
To help ease the effects of the drought, Chinese authorities have begun releasing massive amounts of water from the Three Gorges Dam to raise water levels.
According to Chinese state media, the drought has affected more than one million hectares of farmland in seven provinces in central China. Local government officials reportedly have fired more than 4,000 cloud-seeding rockets into the sky to try to bring rain to parched regions along the river. The forecast, however, continues to be for little rain until at least next month.
Image - Yangtze River by Jialiang Gao
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