Aerial footage shows River Aire salmon pass under construction at Kirkstall

New aerial footage has shown the construction of a salmon pass at Kirkstall Weir well underway.

A fish pass is being built at Kirkstall Weir (Photo: Environment Agency)
A fish pass is being built at Kirkstall Weir (Photo: Environment Agency)

The fish pass is the second of four being built along the River Aire by the Environment Agency and Suttle Projects.

The £2.7m river restoration scheme will see a pontoon bridge at Kirkstall and Saltaire, with further work at Armley and Newlay later this year.

Every Autumn, salmon swim to the upper reaches of rivers to lay their eggs, resulting in the famous 'leap' as they make their way upstream.

Now 'fish passes' are being installed to allow the salmon to detour four weirs blocking their way from Leeds to Malham on the River Aire.

It is hoped that salmon, eel and other migratory fish will once again be able to access their historic spawning sites - after an absence of 150 years.

The Aire River Trust posted the aerial footage on Friday, showing the construction of the salmon pass at Kirkstall Weir.

The trust said: "Kirkstall Weir during early stages of construction. You can see a coffer dam in position to dry out the working area.

"Going upstream from Leeds city centre, this is the second of the four weirs that the Environment Agency and Suttle Projects are building a fish pass on as part of Developing the Natural Aire project in partnership with The Aire Rivers Trust.

"This project will reconnect 60km of the river to enable fish to breed, feed and shelter. It is hoped that this will encourage the return of Atlantic salmon to spawn after an absence of 150 years.

"We want to work with local communities to celebrate and embrace our fantastic river."


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