A project that will continue to aid the revival of salmon migrating up the River Ouse to spawn has been officially opened today, Thursday 7 March.
Being launched in the International Year of the Salmon, the fish pass at Linton-on-Ouse is made up of a series of large stepped pools.
The pools allow salmon and other migratory fish, including trout and eels, to bypass the weir which is an obstacle to their spawning grounds.
In recent years, the number of salmon migrating up the Humber, along the River Ouse and the River Ure to spawn in gravel bedded tributaries has increased thanks to improved water quality.
Situated on the Nun Monkton side of the river, the fish pass incorporates an innovative design that creates white water rapids for canoeists to enjoy going downstream, while a mechanic lifting bridge/ramp enables canoeist to navigate upstream without getting out of the water.
The weir, lock and ‘salmon ladder’ were originally built shortly after an act of parliament in 1767, the Linton Lock Navigation Act.
This scheme also includes a new hydropower turbine in the form of a large, fish friendly Archimedean screw that has a 15ft diameter, adding to an existing smaller one installed in 2012.
There has been a previous hydropower station at the site, which was opened by Princess Mary in 1923. It was owned and run by York Corporation until it was decommissioned in 1962.
The work has been partnership project between the Canal and Rivers Trust, Linton Hydro Ltd, British Canoeing, Nun Monkton Estate and Environment Agency.
Pat O’Brien, Environment Agency fisheries technical specialist, said: “This is a fantastic partnership scheme that provides many positive environmental outcomes.
“The hydropower station offers a source of green energy, it provides a new recreational facility for canoeists at a location close to York and fish passage for all species has been optimised at no cost to the public purse.”
The Linton Lock scheme is expected to produce around 1,870MWh of clean electricity each year which is enough to power 450 homes.
A proportion of the electricity generated will go to Widdington Grange Farm, a family-owned free range chicken farm committed to sustainable farming.