South West Fisheries Newsletter - Devon and Wessex and Cornwall - March 2014
Thankfully, there were no fish kills or significant fish rescues required following the flooding, despite our teams being prepared for the worst. The only report of trapped fish that we had in Somerset was fish trapped in the pools created by the temporary pumps along the banks of the River Parrett. The lucky fish to berescued were sticklebacks and a small number of elvers.
Improvements for the River Avill - The Avill is a short, steep salmonid river which flows through Exmoor National Park and discharges into the Bristol Channel at Dunster. It is a high energy, active river home to a good numbers of brown trout, eels, brook lamprey and minor fish species such as bullheads. A small seatrout run has been known to occur in the past and the occasional salmon has been spotted in previous years. Most of the Avill has a diverse range of habitat and is known to support healthy populations of fish. The lower section however, has been heavily modified for flood risk management and to reclaim land for agriculture.These modifications have resulted in an imbalance in the system causing major issues with flow and siltation. A 700m stretch of the river had become heavily silted causing a huge loss of habitat and channel capacity, creating issues for both the environment and flood risk.