This week, staff from WRT carried out a rescue mission to retrieve a RAM pump for an eel pass which had become damaged and displaced in the recent high flows. The RAM pump had been installed in association with an eel pass on a weir sluice gate. The pump provides a consistent sweetening flow of water down the pass to ensure effective use of the pass by eels. WRT have been working to improve eel migration over weirs and barriers in the West Country. Eel passes come in a variety of forms and are unique to the barrier they are required to overcome.
This is a photo of Adrian, one of the most experienced members of our fisheries team, who also doubles up as safety guy and all round handyman; the perfect person to safely carry out in-river works in these sorts of flow conditions! Adrian is kitted out in a dry suit, life jacket and wading stick to safely tackle the deep, fast water. We made sure we didn’t lose him down the river by tethering him to the bank by means of a safety rope.
Once in the river, Adrian secured the pump with a rope and then went about detaching it from the pipes which it had kept it attached to the pass upstream.
We used our GoPro video camera to capture the ‘rescue mission’, you can see some footage on our YouTube channel here: Eel pass pump rescue
Safely out of the river, the pump was hauled on to the bank and returned to WRT HQ for storage. We are now tasked with redesigning this pass to ensure it is more flood resilient.