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Alness Angling Club welcomes work on weir to improve flow for fish

By Hector MacKenzie

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Work has started on the project on weir project on the banks of the River Alness.
Work has started on the project on weir project on the banks of the River Alness.

AN Easter Ross angling club has welcomed the start of work on a weir that will ease the passage of salmon and sea trout to their spawning grounds.

The work on the River Alness is being funded by the Dalmore Distillery which owns the weir.

The work was planned for earlier in the year but then delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. It started last week and is intended to take up to three weeks, dependent on weather conditions.

Over the years, changes in river levels have meant that the fish pass had become less efficient and migrating fish were being held back.

An improvement plan was agreed in conjunction with Dalmore and Teaninichdistilleries, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the Cromarty Firth Fisheries Board, owners of upper stretches of the river and Alness Angling Club, which owns the banks and fishing rights in the vicinity of the weir.

The work will extend the current fish pass to ensure that the access is underwater at all times. As things stand, it is above water in dry conditions. Alongside this there will be extensive work carried out on the weir itself to improve passage for fish that clear the weir when river levels are high.

Fishing on the river will continue throughout the work and it will not affect the enjoyment of the river by the local community and visitors.

Andrew Easton, chairman of Alness Angling Club, said itis "extremely pleased" that Dalmore Distillery is undertaking this work and has engaged with all interested parties.

He said: "The improvements will be beneficial for the salmon and sea trout stocks on the river and this will improve the standing of the river as a high quality fishing venue for everyone to enjoy.While the coronavirus pandemic stopped the normal bank clearance and improvement work by club members, the relaxation of restrictions has seen some club volunteers tidying, pruning and strimming the banks that the club owns and is responsible for.

"This has improved access for fishers but also for other members of the community to enjoy the river."

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