River Level at Stanhope: EA Website data

19 Oct

The EA river level data for the river Wear at Stanhope has an interesting new feature. As well as showing the river level for the past 5 days it also give a prediction for the next 36 hours; see https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/8196?direction=u

This is a new feature being trialled at a number of different locations around the country and Stanhope gauging station is one of them. 

This information is extremely useful and, coupled together with a weather forecast, gives a good idea of what the river might do at Stanhope in the next 36 hours. Of course it is only a prediction but nevertheless gives useful additional information. How that information impacts on levels further down the river depends on how long water at Stanhope takes to get down. So, for example, we reckon it takes water at Stanhope about 7 to 8 hours to arrive at Durham.

This is a new feature and the EA would like to hear peoples views on how useful it is. You can give your feedback by clicking on the feedback link at the top of the “River Level at Stanhope” page at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/station/8196?direction=u

Tees Barrage Fish Pass

11 Oct

There is currently an on line petition to get a fully functioning fish pass installed in the Tees Barrage to allow salmon and sea trout to pass over this obstacle at all times. Please help by signing the on-line petition at:


In 1995 the Tees Barrage was installed on the River Tees. To combat the previous industrial pollution and to also control flooding issues. However, for all the good the Tees Barrage has done in helping clean the river up and reducing flooding. The Barrage causes a significant barrier to Atlantic Salmon & Sea trout from reaching their spawning grounds. Due to the nature of the gates this also creates a catastrophic amount of predation below the Barrage as the migratory fish do not have a free following passage passed the Barrage.
There is currently a fish pass installed at the Barrage, but this was an after thought during the initial design of the barrage, as they were led to believe there were no Salmon in the Tees due to the pollution having killed of the majority of aquatic life.
The goal is to have a fully functioning fish pass on Gate 1. That is available for 24hrs a day, everyday, to allow the free movement of fish both upstream and downstream. Currently the fish can only pass at very specific tide times and if they miss this window of opportunity. They are then at extreme risk of predation.
The Tees is an “at risk” river placed by the EA due to it’s low returns. If nothing is done we could loose this icon species from the Tees altogether.

Please support the campaign to get the Tees back to the once great salmon river it used to be.


2 Sep


 Friday 20 September 2019

10.00 – 4.30

Venue to be confirmed

Wear Rivers Trust invites volunteers to help us protect and improve the River Wear and its tributaries by monitoring riverfly life, in order to keep an eye on water quality and potential pollution issues.

River invertebrates are very sensitive to pollution and are therefore good indicators of water quality; changes in abundance may be the first sign of a pollution problem so collecting data makes an important contribution to our understanding of the pollution pressures facing different parts of the catchment.

What does volunteering involve?

  • Attending a free training workshop to learn how to carry out the monitoring and to receive a monitoring kit.
  • Carrying out a monthly kick-sample to collect, identify and count macroinvertebrates.
  • Sharing your results with other volunteers via a live online database.
  • Getting out and discovering new things on your river whilst making a difference!

Contact Lucy Lovett, WRT Education Officer to find out more or book a place:

lucy.lovett@wear-rivers-trust.org.uk Tel: 07880 189232 / 01388 488867



T-net Trial and netting in Conservation Areas

28 Jul

As part of the new 2019 bye-laws the netting season for the T-nets operating off the Northumberland Coast was reduced from the traditional 26 March to 31 August to a shorter season extending from 26 March – 31 May with all salmon caught having to be released. However trials of a modified design of T-net are currently taking place by 5 nets to see if this modified net will safely allow salmon to swim through whilst catching sea trout. 3 of the nets in this trial will be operating in the Coquet and Tyne Conservation areas. If successful then there is the threat that a sea trout net fishery could continue to operate off the Northumberland Coast over the traditional season of 26 March to 31 August.  Although this will require a change in the bye-laws the WAA are very concerned about this threat particularly at this time when sea trout numbers are falling. 

We are also concerned that netting of any kind is allowed in the Coquet and Tyne conservation areas as, understandably, these nets traditionally catch 4 time and 10 times respectively more fish than nets elsewhere. WAA would like netting in these two conservation areas to cease forthwith as was proposed in the initial Salmon Consultation document issued by the EA.