Aims and Objectives of The River Ure Salmon Group (USG)
The Ure Salmon Group (USG) has been established to help increase the quantity of Migratory Fish (principally Salmon, Sea Trout and Lamprey) in the River Ure system.
USG is supported by all the principal riparian owners.
The restoration of Atlantic Salmon to the River Ure will have major benefts to local businesses including hotels and restaurants. Rural employment will also be boosted as the fishery develops as was seen after the recovery of the River Tyne in recent decades. The Ure has the potential, like the River Tyne, to become one of the most productive salmon rivers in England. This will bring huge resources into the rural economy of Wensleydale. Our proposal to accelerate the improvement in Salmon stocks is to undertake extensive habitat improvement work in the main river and important tributaries including Bishopdale Beck and the River Cover. We have spent over £50,000 on habitat work in Bishopdale over the last three years alone. We are also undertaking a smolt (young salmon ready to migrate to the sea) release programme on the River Burn near Masham to mitigate for the removal of spawning and nursery areas lost through the creation of Roundhill and Leighton Reservoirs. All fish are released from a Semi-Natural Rearing Pond that was specially constructed for the purpose. These young fish have to work harder finding the natural food that is present in the spring fed pool. These fish are much tougher than fish reared exclusively in hatchery tanks and therefore stand a better chance of survival. Making sure migratory fish can reach their spawning and nursery areas is also crucial to the success of the project. We are currently building three large fish passes on the Rivers Swale and Wharfe and a number of smaller passes and easements on some of the River Ure tributaries. A redundant weir was removed on the River Burn two years ago and we hope many more fish can now move upstream into Colsterdale to spawn. Preliminary results have been very encouraging and salmon redds were seen in Colsterdale shortly after the project was completed. We aim to use science as much as possible to inform the decisions we make and are fully engaged with the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) currently being championed by DEFRA and the Environment Agency.