Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

River's Pass Set to Reel in the Anglers; Salmon and Trout Allowed to Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

River's Pass Set to Reel in the Anglers; Salmon and Trout Allowed to Return

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

SALMON fishing will be brought within reach of a million people on Tyneside with the launch of a pounds 500,000 venture.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon yesterday opened a new fish pass at Swalwell in Gateshead, heralding the return of salmon and sea trout to the River Derwent for the first time for 300 years.

The pass has been installed on a man-made weir which dates from the late 17th Century and was built to provide a water supply to the Crowley ironworks.

The weir barred the passage of spawning fish to the River Derwent and in 1890 it was extended.

A wooden promenade was built so that people could take a stroll at the bottom of the weir and children paddled in the water basin.

The fish pass is a joint venture by the Environment Agency and Gateshead Council. Agency project manager Jon Shelley said: "The Derwent is the last significant tributary of the Tyne which salmon and sea trout could not access."

The land is council-owned and the agency has been talking to the Derwent and Axwell Park Angling Association. The aim is to provide people with low-cost day fishing tickets for salmon and sea trout. An agency licence would be needed to fish the area.

"This is on the doorstep of a million people on Tyneside and is well within reach travelling-wise and financially for a few pounds," said Mr Shelley.

"It is a pleasant wooded area and you would not guess that you were within a few minutes of a major urban area.

"By building this fish pass we are creating an affordable salmon and sea trout fishery within easy reach of Newcastle and Gateshead.

"We have the reintroduced red kites in the Derwent Valley and now the salmon and sea trout will return.

"The Derwent is clean and healthy, but what is missing is the salmon and sea trout. …

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