8. Supporting Fish Populations along the River Lea

Theme: Ecology and biodiversity

Objectives:

  • Have thriving and spawning fish populations
  • Improve the river’s morphology

Project description

Working with fisheries along the River Lea to improve conditions for fish and other wildlife to thrive.

 A fishery on the River Lea is working hard to improve habitat conditions of the river to better support its wildlife and preserve its angling interest.

The Angling Society have been working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust to develop plans to enhance the river corridor, with a focus on promoting healthy fish populations, protecting water voles, as well as improving the morphology of the river.

The middle River Lea has been dredged in places and has been left with steep, incised banks that are eroding, as well as a channel that is disconnected from its floodplain. 

The whole section would benefit from restoration activities which aim to reverse declines in habitat quality due to historic activity prior to the club taking on the lease. To this end, the group have developed a restoration plan which is being delivered as and when funding becomes available.

Project progress:

  • Work began in 2020 to re-pollard a number of old poplar trees and transplant aquatic plants (water crowfoot) into the section of channel that had been opened up to receive more light which has been a success.
  • Further tree management will be completed in February 2022 to re-pollard and open the channel up to more light, allowing aquatic plants to grow.
  • River Restoration work parties with the club are planend for 2022 which will be guided by the Wildlife Trust and Wild Trout Trust - these aim to introduce some woody habitat to the channel which will promote scour of the riverbed to keep gravel clean and encourage marginal plants to grow.

 

Extra funds are being sought for delivery of restoration activities, including design development, bank regrading, woody habitat features and soft-protection of banks. Please contact the project lead if you would like to contribute to the success of this project.

Project lead: Angling Society
Project partners: Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency
Funding source: Green Recovery Challenge Fund
Project start: 2020
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting.