It has been a while since our last news update! Partly because we have been busy carrying out all kinds of fishy work and partly because our twitter account has taken over as our regular news bulletin. Please follow us for regular updates of our work: https://twitter.com/fishtekconsult
For the last year or so we have been working closely with Jacksonhyder to deliver the fish passage element of the TWGR (Thames Weir Gate Replacement) project, an Environment Agency project that aims to update weir gates on the River Thames and install best practice fish passes. We reported on the completion of the eel pass at Caversham weir last year, which is a novel eel passage solution designed and fabricated by Fishtek that has been installed alongside the updated sluice structure. Further information about Caversham can be found here: http://www.fishtek.co.uk/news.php?page=CgkIBRihk-Ky0yoQr8HftqXN8pJ1.
The second of three sites has since been complete and our Senior Engineer, Mike Lakin, recently went to view the works. The sluice gates at Cookham weir have all been updated and Larinier fish passes have been installed in place of the gates at either end of the weir. The fish pass on the true left bank also contains vertically mounted eel tiles to allow for the upstream passage of European eel. The fish and eel passes were designed by Fishtek as a series of discrete aluminium units that could be assembled on site and lifted into position. This method negates the need for within channel concrete works and the requirement to transport large objects. The main body of the fish pass is formed from a series of aluminium sheets that have been bolted together using webbing plates. Internal struts have been used to strengthen the structure and flanges have been installed to create water tight seals where required. It is a simple and cost effective solution that significantly improves habitat connectivity for migratory species and resident (non-migratory) fish. Along with other works being undertaken within the Thames catchment, the fish passes at Cookham weir contribute to meeting objectives of the Water Framework Directive and will aid with the recovery of the fishery of the wider Thames catchment.
Combined Larinier fish pass and eel pass on the true left bank (viewed from downstream)
Combined Larinier fish pass and eel pass on the true left bank (viewed from upstream)
Larinier fish pass on the true right bank (viewed from downstream true left bank)
5th December 2016It's been an exciting few days at Fishtek! The new Fishtek Marine website launched on Friday and today we moved into our new office! We bought the office unit early this year and have spent the last 6 months fitting it out and today was the big moving day.
All of the desks and other office furniture has been moved over and the server, phones and internet connection are all working, however things are still a little hectic so please bear with us if we are a bit slower than normal responding to e-mails.
2nd December 2016For the last few years, we have been running our sister company Fishtek Marine fairly quietly, slowly developing a series of products. These products are aimed at mitigating some of the effects of commercial fishing, such as bycatch and waste plastic.
With several of these products now fully developed, we have changed up a gear, built a new website and have a new member of staff Dr. Rob Enever on board to act as Sales Director and move things forward. We are really excited about this development aswe are passionate about conservation and the environment and are certain that the products we have designed can make significant contributions to reducing problems like bycatch and the unnecessary death of tens of thousands of cetaceans every year.
The new website can be seen here for anyone interested: http://www.fishtekmarine.com/
18th November 2016It's a busy time at Fishtek at the moment. A few of the team are working hard out in the field to survey a large number of sites for invasive species and you can keep up to date with this via our twitter feed.
Our technical director Toby has been at a fish passage conference over in Laos this week, where he has presented the work that Fishtek have been involved in, designing the fish passage facilities on the Xayaburi dam on the River Mekong. Working with Poyry, the Fishtek team have contributed to the design of one of the largest fish passes in the world, a photograph of which you can see below.
The conference itself was a great opportunity to hear about the fish passage work being carried out in the Mekong region and everyone there heard a number of talks about new approaches being used to solve the problems faced by fish in the river from man-made barriers.
8th November 2016Weirs and dams disrupt the natural processes within river systems, with perhaps the most well-known disruption being the impact that such structures have on fish migration. In addition to the impact on biological and ecological processes, in-stream barriers also impact the abiotic processes of a river, including the movement and transportation of sediment.
In the case of large dams, the downstream movement of sediment can be almost completely stopped and the so-called 'sediment balance' downstream of the dam is disrupted. Over time, this can result in the loss of sediment in this section of the river as it is slowly washed downstream, while inputs of sediment from upstream are severely diminished, or even stopped altogether. The impact on the river's fauna can be profound, particularly in the case of species that rely on certain sediments for particular stages of their life-cycle, for example salmon and trout spawning on gravel beds.
These impacts are seen on some rivers in the UK where a large dam has been built. To mitigate the impacts of the dam built on the River Elan in Wales, the Wye and Usk Foundation have recently introduced gravel into the river downstream of the large dam - the first new input of gravel into this section of river for a century. You can see a great video of it HERE.
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