Some good news to end on.

1. Natural Resources Wales crackdown on illegal gravel removal and modification works to rivers

A task force set up by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to tackle illegal physical modifications to rivers and streams across the country has seen more than 30 legal notices to stop and remediate served on landowners.

Illegal work such as dredging, realigning and gravel removal on watercourses continues to have a negative impact on the animals, fish and plants that make their home in and around Welsh rivers and streams.

These types of modification cause long-term damage, potentially lasting many decades with harm to habitats and species often extending miles downstream from where the modification work occurred.

2. Fish passes give endangered twaite shad chance to swim up River Severn and spawn

Return of one of one of Britain’s rarest fish confirmed after DNA found in water samples above fish passes.

For nearly two centuries, one of Britain’s rarest fish has been shut out of its spawning grounds by large weirs.

But the endangered twaite shad has now returned to its historic spawning habitat on the River Severn, thanks to four new fish passes that enable the migratory fish to negotiate weirs and swim up river to lay eggs.

3. Giving Fish a Lift with the Sturgeon Elevator

As the upcoming winter holiday season approaches, many of us are getting ready to embark on trips back to our hometowns. But while airports and train stations may be stressful, spare a thought for the travel tribulations of migratory fishes.

As highlighted in the recent WWF Living Planet Report, man-made barriers such as dams represent a major threat to migratory fish species across the planet because they block fish movement between critical habitats and limit the recruitment potential of species that can no longer access riverine habitats located upstream. Globally, only 37% of rivers longer than 1000 km remain free-flowing over their entire length (Grill et al. 2015).

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