Up to 1,500 salmon, plus sea trout will be able to make their way up to new spawning grounds on the River Dee thanks to the completion of a new fish pass, Culter Dam at Peterculter – the largest man-made obstruction on the river.
For over 200 years the Culter Dam has prevented fish from accessing the Culter Burn, which is the second largest tributary of the Dee. The new pass will now allow migratory fish access to 76 miles of river, and importantly gain access to their natural spawning and rearing grounds.
The removal of obstacles, such and the Culter Dam, is part of a long-term strategy of the River Dee Trust and Dee District Salmon Fishery Board to open up habitat and restore the River. In the last seven years: the two organisations have either removed or eased 27 man-made structures from tributaries of the River Dee to allow migratory fish to re-establish natural populations upstream.
The new fish pass will also help further habitat restoration work in the Culter Burn, which will provide enhanced habitat for freshwater pearl mussels, otter and a list of other species. Once restoration work is completed the Culter is expected to see an additional 1,500 salmon returning to the river each year.