Trout aid at Sidmouth’s Byes weir ensures successful spawning

SATURDAY saw the start of the fish rescue operation this year at School weir in the Byes, Sidmouth.

The Sid Vale Association (SVA) members helped the river warden, Mike Flynn, in netting the brown trout below the weir and releasing them above it so they can spawn, writes Emily Keilher.

This has been an annual event since November 2007, and is important for the brown and sea water trout as it prevents overcrowding, which leads to the young trout eating each other.

The method that allows the fish to continue their journey to better spawning grounds, involves using 25 metres of net, provided by the Environment Agency.

The net is spaced out between five or six volunteers, who rotate it to catch the trout.

These rescues are performed from mid October to the end of November, and occur approximately every two weeks.

Mr Flynn and the SVA also hope to install a by-pass so the fish can make their own way upstream in the future.

Sidmouth photographer Iain Burns captured the fish rescue operation.