On Monday 11th April 2016 a number of WRT fisheries staff plus Will Pelham, a Masters student form Plymouth University, undertook some in-house fish passage assessment training to help share good practice and develop their skills further.
This training was related to the assessment of barriers to migratory fish species and is known as the SNIFFER protocol. SNIFFER looks in-depth at barriers (such as weirs) to give expert judgement of its “pass-ability” in terms of different migratory fish species. During the process many metrics are taken such as head height, flows, depth and transect across the barrier itself, all this data is inputted into the protocol using a dedicated guidance manual to give a final assessment.
This detailed approach allows us to not only judge individual barriers but make catchment scale priorities for fish passage solutions.
WRT are conducting a number of SNIFFER assessment in 2016 and aim to build a dedicated database of the barriers in the Westcountry to help conserve and assist our migratory fish species such as Sea Trout, Salmon and Eels.