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MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL STRATEGIC REVIEW OF FISH POPULATIONS
Haweswater House, Lingley Mere Business Park, Lingley Green Avenue, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 3LP
DATE OF ISSUE:
Dr. Keith Hendry
David Campbell, M.Sc.
Adrian Pinder Dr. Keith Hendry
Riverview, Embankment Business Park, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, SK4 3GN Tel: 0161 442 8938 Fax: 0161 432 6083 Website: www.apemltd.co.uk Registered in England No. 2530851
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
Since the onset of the industrial revolution, the River Mersey has been subject to intense ecological stress from a number of sources. Hence, until the mid 1980s the Mersey and its estuary were infamous as being one of the most grossly polluted waterways in Europe. With the primary pollutants being derived from domestic and industrial effluents, the physical alteration to the natural hydraulics of the system imposed when building the Manchester Ship Canal have also been responsible for amplifying the issues associated with poor water quality. Over the last 20 years, enormous improvements in water quality have been achieved throughout the basin, which has driven a concomitant increase in general ecological health and the partial recovery of fish populations. Although these improvements are very much tangible, the future recovery and long-term development of fish populations is still heavily constrained by ongoing water quality issues and a legacy of historical pollution and physical engineering. Since its opening in 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal (MSC) has played a central role in governing the ecological functioning of the Mersey Basin and due to the morphological characteristics of this water-body, will continue to impact on the recovery of fish populations for the foreseeable future. Water quality in many of the peripheral rivers flowing into the Canal now meets the standards set out by the EC Freshwater Fish Directive, to support either a cyprinid or salmonid fishery. Despite a general improving trend, the MSC and the lower reaches of the Rivers Irwell and Mersey, continue to fail to meet the required criteria to support cyprinid fisheries. This is largely due to the deep slow flowing nature of these water-bodies exacerbating the effect of consented sewage effluent and storm sewage discharges. Such conditions are responsible for promoting the accumulation of organically enriched sediments, stratification, hypoxia and high ammonia concentrations. The observed recovery of fish populations has been affected through a combination of artificial stocking programmes and natural recolonisation. The artificial stocking of coarse fish has been extensive, with over half a million fish being stocked throughout the catchment within the last two decades. Analysis of these records in conjunction with fisheries surveys, suggest that such operations are limited in their success, with frequent observations of little or no natural recruitment evident from the initial input. Poor recruitment of rheophilic species (gravel spawners) such as dace and barbel is particularly evident. Investigation into the factors (i.e. water quality or habitat degradation) limiting the success of fishes within this ecological guild will require further investigation. Although diverse habitats exist within the peripheral rivers of the catchment, access to these habitats is often denied by impassable in-stream structures, such as weirs. Spawning substrates such as gravel and macrophytes (water plants) are absent from the upper MSC and therefore the presence of fish in these areas is likely to either originate from artificial stocking or from an influx of in-drifting larvae from immediate upstream habitats. Should such habitats be made available or simulated
Final Report – September 2007
which would provide the essential data required for the effective future management of fish populations in the Mersey. Despite extensive stocking efforts throughout the catchment. ii Final Report – September 2007 . in order to identify habitat and water quality bottlenecks. such as sewage fungus and low levels of dissolved oxygen. Although historically abundant. Greater attention will need to be dedicated towards these mechanisms in order to understand the ecological significance of the process of feminisation. Conversely. notwithstanding water quality. Growth appears to be excellent for most species of coarse fish. spawning success and the survival of parr and smolts will be required in order to assess the long-term viability of a self-sustaining population of salmon in the Mersey Basin. In general there is currently a paucity of data regarding the spawning success and recruitment of coarse fish. larval fish and their diets are therefore essential. further indicating that food supply and the habitat requirements of the adult life stages of many species are at least adequate throughout the catchment. Very high frequency of feminisation was evident in roach and perch from the upper MSC. The early life history of fish is a particularly vulnerable period for all species. appropriate habitat and food availability also have critical implications for the production future generations.APEM Scientific Report . dace have shown little evidence of successful reproduction. fish production is likely to be enhanced. Sex reversal has been highlighted as a factor with potential for impacting on the health of fish populations nationally. it would appear that the MSC is currently acting as a barrier to migration. Comprehensive surveys of spawning sites. The subsequent discovery of their successful reproduction in the River Goyt in 2005 provides the first evidence that under certain environmental conditions. Condition factors are also favourable. This is a key area for investigation. the eel Anguilla anguilla and migratory (sea and river) lamprey species have failed to capitalise on the improvements in water quality and remain absent from the upper catchment. the ecological requirements of dace do not appear to be fully accommodated under current environmental conditions. physiochemical and ecological factors may all play a role in preventing recolonisation but suggest excellent potential for the experimental reintroduction of these species to the upper catchment. Water quality. The return of Atlantic salmon after a 200-year absence is an excellent biological indication of the improvements in water quality over recent years. many exceeding the expected national growth averages. Further investigation into the timing of migrations. successful navigation of the MSC is possible for the adults of this species.410039 where currently unavailable. Despite this. The presence of high densities of eels in the Rivers Weaver and Gowy confirm that the Mersey Estuary receives a healthy influx of elvers. Physical. At present these data are limited to a series of primary observations. Eggs and larval fish have greatly reduced tolerance to unfavourable environmental conditions. with growth rates also falling below the expected national average.
the chemical processes driven by such blooms include extreme diel ranges in dissolved oxygen. particularly with improving water clarity. To conclude. should water quality suddenly deteriorate.APEM Scientific Report . Ironically. and would be anticipated to be repeated regularly during still. In summary. Weirs and lock gates have also been identified as effectively trapping fish within confined pounds of the MSC. but can be particularly problematic in the lower River Irwell and MSC. Although stratification and hypoxic conditions prevail throughout the MSC. following localised fish kills. together with the physical barriers to movement and migration will also significantly constrain the development of fish populations throughout catchment and not just within the MSC itself. increased alkalinity and increased toxicity of ammonia. These conditions. as algal blooms become more frequent. resulting in large-scale mortalities. Over 500 physical barriers. Recent examples of this occurred in 2006. hot conditions or following storm sewage discharges. Aerial surveys conducted by APEM identified few ‘off-river’ sanctuaries. the Manchester Ship Canal presents a major strategic barrier to the recovery and further development of coarse and salmonid fish populations within the catchment. have been identified throughout the Mersey catchment. where river discharge is rarely sufficient to dilute such inputs. such as weirs. Although not directly toxic to fish. Not only do these restrict. iii Final Report – September 2007 . Such conditions are believed to exist periodically during favourable conditions throughout the canal. Storm Sewage Overflows pose a significant risk throughout the catchment. As a consequence under the above circumstance. they also prevent the genetic mixing of coarse fish stocks and have serious implications for natural recolonisation. substantial water quality and physical habitat challenges remain ahead. within each pound of the MSC. algal growth in the MSC can only be expected to get worse. or in many cases deny the passage of migratory species to spawning and rearing habitats. with strong evidence of occasional fish kills. despite the considerable improvements to water quality in the Mersey Basin over the past 20 years. offering localise areas of oxygen rich water.410039 Episodic events of poor water quality have been identified as a cause and continual threat of fish kills. as a general improvement in water quality is now encouraging more fish (including salmon and sea trout) to unwittingly enter these pounded zones of the canal. such scenarios are likely to become more common. which can have catastrophic consequences to fish. the largely lacustrine nature of this nutrient-rich channel also promotes the generation of algal blooms. fish that are unable to relocate to areas of acceptable water quality will die. Periodic deteriorations in water quality can be expected to cause regular fish kills. In the presence of almost limitless nutrient supplies.
.6 Eutrophication ...................................22 5.....................2 River Medlock ......1.................................... Turning Basin.......1 Upper MSC and River Irwell Catchment........................................................9 River Goyt .......................................................................................7 Direct effects of sewage input .........1 2....................3 River Irwell ...1............9 4............................8.........................2..........1 Riverine coarse fishes .......................................................1.............................1..............................................28 5.................2................26 5...........23 5..............20 5............i CONTENTS........................................................................25 5......................................3 Dissolved oxygen (DO) and Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) .............8.........1...............................4 Ammonia ..........24 5.8.................................6 4..................................27 5...................6 4......................................................18 5............28 iv Final Report – September 2007 ...............................................................................................................APEM Scientific Report ....2....................................3 River Irwell ......14 4...................0 RECOVERY AND OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE FISHERY.........7 Manchester Ship Canal at Barton........................................................................................16 5.............1 River Goyt ...............28 (a) Early Life History................3 3..................2 Habitat Requirements................................................................1..............................................................8......................2..................24 5.....8..............................................................4 Present distribution of Species within the system..........1..............................18 5...................1.........................................iv 1..........................4 4........23 5.....1......15 4.............................................1.....................................................................0 INTRODUCTION ...............................5 pH....................1 The Freshwater Fish Directive .....6 Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam.....................8 Catchment summary.................3 The Rivers Weaver and Gowy.............28 5....................................0 ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS OF FISH .........................5 Salford Quays.............................1..............................................................4 Manchester Ship Canal..................20 5.............................................................................................................................................14 4........................................25 5.............................6 4........1 Salford Quays.1 River Irk .....................................................................1.24 5.....0 OBJECTIVES OF THIS STUDY............................................25 5.28 5.................................14 4.....................................1 Water Quality.............18 5.2 Key water quality issues.........................10 River Bollin at Heatley.................................1........................1............2 River Tame ...............................................................................8.............................................................1.....24 5........................8........2 Upper Mersey System.....................................3 River Bollin ..............410039 CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................23 5.1..................................1..........................................................1.....1..................................0 A HISTORY OF FISH POPULATIONS OF THE MERSEY CATCHMENT AND THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL....1....................................................................8......8 River Mersey at Flixton ..................................................8..2 Upper Manchester Ship Canal...1..........14 4....................7 4............................8.......................................................................................................................................
.........................................................................................................11 Rivers Weaver and Gowy ..............................54 7.................................................................5 Lower River Irwell and upper MSC Fish Survey data ..........................................................................................1 Surveys............................................................................6 Salford Quays........... STOCKING ACTIVITY AND EVIDENCE OF NATURAL RECRUITMENT .................0 THE RETURN OF SALMON TO THE MERSEY ...............................................4......................................................................................2 The River Goyt ......................................................................................................2 Salmonids........................60 (a) Roach.............................................1 River Bollin ...33 6....................1 Fulton’s Condition Factor ......................................................................................4 River Medlock .................................................................................2 Anadromous species .................................1...............................................................................................................................1 Growth Rates ......................35 6..........................1 Occurrence of intersex in the MSC.................................................35 6....60 7................................................................2 Flounder (Platichthys flesus)..................................................49 6....51 6.....1...........................1 Eel (Anguilla Anguilla) .2..................................................................10 River Bollin........................... 2004-2006................68 8..........................3 River Irk ..........................................................................................................7 Upper River Mersey.......................................50 6...................0 FISH POPULATIONS...................43 6...............1 Lower River Irwell and upper Manchester Ship Canal .....................3 Rheophilic species ..................47 6.......................35 6.......................................................................................76 10..........................................0 FACTORS CURRENTLY AFFECTING THE SUCCESS OF COARSE FISH SPECIES ......................................................78 10...............................................1...........................78 10...........................................74 9.........................................................................45 6........66 8.53 7...61 (b) Perch ......5............................................................................78 10........................................80 v Final Report – September 2007 ...................37 6...........................................................8 River Goyt................0 FISH HEALTH.........................2 Salford Quays..............................................0 FACTORS CURRENTLY AFFECTING THE SUCCESS OF MIGRATORY SPECIES ..............................61 8.....2 Condition.............58 7..............................................2 Surveys..................................................................................1..............................9 River Tame.....73 9.....................................................................................................................5.................................71 9.......... 1998-2000....57 7..................................................1 Limnophilic species ...73 9..........................................................................................39 6.........................................29 5.................................................................3 Food availability ......................1Oxygenated areas............32 (a) Migratory salmonids ..........2 River Irwell Upstream of Bury ........................................................................................................................................................64 8................75 9....................................................................1.......................39 6.............................................................1 Catadromous species......32 (b) Non migratory salmonids ..........................................54 7...............37 6..............................55 7............1 The potential for a future salmon fishery........410039 (b) Adults.............................................................................................................79 10...............................................APEM Scientific Report ....2...................4 Endocrine disruption................................
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
10.2.1 Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) ..................................................................80 10.2.3 River and sea lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis and Petromyzon marinus)..81 11.0 THE INFLUENCE OF THE MSC ON THE RECOVERY OF FISH POPULATIONS THROUGHOUT THE MERSEY BASIN ......................................83 11.1 Physical Nature of the MSC ............................................................................83 11.2 Water Quality Issues ........................................................................................83 11.3 Eutrophication..................................................................................................84 11.4 Endocrine Disruption .......................................................................................84 11.5 Physical barriers and impoundment of stocks .................................................85 11.6 Additional impacts on migration and consequences........................................85 12.0 ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL FISH REFUGE AREAS DURING POLLUTION EVENTS USING AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY...........................................................86 12.1 Introduction......................................................................................................86 12.2 Mode Wheel locks to Barton locks..................................................................87 12.3 Barton Locks to Irlam Locks ...........................................................................87 12.4 Irlam Locks to Latchford Locks ......................................................................89 13.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND CURRENT KNOWLEDGE GAPS..................97 13.1 Monitoring and scientific investigation ...........................................................97 13.2 Catchment Management Recommendations..................................................100 REFERENCES ..........................................................................................................101 APPENDIX I – Water Quality Data ..........................................................................108
Final Report – September 2007
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
The River Mersey basin has undergone dramatic change throughout the last two centuries, in terms of hydraulic structuring, ecological functioning and most significantly, water quality. This exemplifies how anthropogenic pressures have impacted negatively on our waterways, their flora and fauna and their ability to provide a sustainable resource for both abstraction and effluent demands of a growing population. Although under growing pressure from urbanisation, degraded water/habitat quality and the construction of weirs for powering industrial mills etc., it was not until the early nineteenth century that the once thriving salmon population had disappeared completely from the Mersey (Hynes, 1971). Despite the ringing of alarm bells at this time, the boom in manufacturing and associated rapid increase in population, during the onset of the industrial revolution resulted in the Mersey becoming one of the most grossly polluted river systems globally. The ecological disaster inflicted upon the Mersey was mirrored in other industrial areas of Great Britain, with parts of the Rivers Trent, Aire and Thames also classified as devoid of any fish life by the midnineteenth century (Corbett, 1907; Edwards et al., 1984; Holland & Harding, 1984). Following a series of acts of parliament to address these matters, unsuccessful attempts were made to keep pace with the growing population and associated sewage treatment demands. The failure to improve water quality resulted in many rivers still being classed as ‘fishless’ until as recently as the mid-twentieth century (Pentelow, 1955). Perhaps the most significant turning point in the history of the Mersey’s pollution took place in 1981, when the then ‘Secretary of State for the Environment’, Michael Heseltine paid visit to the Mersey Estuary (Jones, 2006). This was in response to the estuary being highlighted as one of the major detrimental factors affecting the area, following the political attention that had been drawn to Merseyside following the social unrest and outbreak of rioting in Liverpool. Indeed in a consultation paper on tackling the pollution of the Mersey catchment, published by the Department of the Environment in 1982, Lord Heseltine wrote: Today the river is an affront to the standards a civilised society should demand of its environment. Untreated sewage, pollutants, noxious discharges all contribute to water conditions and environmental standards that are perhaps the single most deplorable feature of this critical part of England. This kick-started the beginning of a concerted effort to clean up the catchment and in 1985 the ‘Mersey Basin Campaign’ was launched. This campaign was set to run over the following 25-years and established a framework for both encouragement and pressure, to ensure that the substantial financial investment for the necessary improvements to treatment of sewage and industrial effluents was obtained. These efforts, in combination with the significant decline in local chemical and heavy industry over the last two decades, have led to considerable improvements in water quality in the Mersey and its tributaries and improvements continue, with ongoing efforts to clean up discharges. As a result the Mersey system is once again capable of
Final Report – September 2007
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
supporting fish populations, effected through a combination of gradual, natural recolonisation and periodic artificial stocking of various coarse fish species. A major highlight of the recovery process was the return of salmon to the estuary in the mid 1990s and the subsequent discovery of their successful navigation of parts of the MSC and reproduction in the River Goyt in 2005. However, despite these significant improvements, the natural sustainability of fish populations is still heavily compromised by a combination of poor water quality, habitat degradation and issues arising from the physical manipulation of the River Mersey catchment. Without doubt the biggest challenge facing the future of migratory fish populations is the 8 Km of the Manchester Ship Canal, which since its opening in 1894, has severed the link between the lower Mersey at Rixton Junction and the upper Mersey at Irlam. The canal between Irlam and the lower Irwell also poses enormous challenges to fish due to the lack of flow and the accumulation of organic pollutants and other toxins within the sediment. This combination of factors, along with the physical characteristics of the channel are responsible for the frequent anoxic nature of this stretch of water, a common cause of periodic fish kills and clearly the most significant hurdle for the continued improvement of the fishery. Nevertheless, a major development has been the establishment of a thriving coarse fish community within the enclosed area of Salford Quays, where physical mixing via “Helixor” mixers has alleviated the problems associated with stratification and the associated oxygen starvation of the lower water layers. This has improved water quality to ‘blue flag’ status and has facilitated the redevelopment of this area of previously derelict dockland with the construction of new homes, office buildings and retail and leisure facilities. Today, coarse fish communities extend from the River Irwell into the upper Ship Canal, although these populations are subject to what must be considered borderline habitat for a naturally sustainable fishery. The main aim of this review is to report the current status of fish populations within the Mersey basin, while identifying factors responsible for restricting the current and future health of both the coarse and salmonid fisheries. In particular the key aim is to identify the strategic importance of the Manchester Ship Canal in influencing the future recovery of fish populations within the Mersey Basin.
Final Report – September 2007
410039 2. Look at each of the major rivers in turn.0 OBJECTIVES OF THIS STUDY • Assess the past and present status of fish stocks throughout the system. taking into account all of the above and discuss future fish community potential.APEM Scientific Report . Assess the role of the Manchester Ship Canal in influencing the future recovery of fish stocks within the Mersey Basin. Assess the degree of physical habitat degradation currently limiting fish populations. • • • • • • 3 Final Report – September 2007 . while summarising temporal improvements. in order to understand the potential functioning of both freshwater and migratory fish populations within the Mersey catchment. health and growth. Assess the impacts of water quality on fish production. Identify the water quality factors limiting fish populations. Assess the factors affecting recruitment and self-sustainability of fish populations based on survey results and stocking records.
revealed a single pike of 15 inches long and the frequent occurrence of eels (Corbett. Before this. but due to various noxious inputs. to which many references are recorded in the literature (Jenkins. Wheeler. Also. recorded in the journal Fishing (15th May 1964). Following the demise of the offending industry in 1824-1826 the fishery was reported to improve again. with the exception of a single salmon caught nearly dead at Warrington in 1840 it would be nearly 200 years before salmon would return to the Mersey. particularly above the city with chub. although. coarse fish. 1979). From these records we know that the Mersey once supported a healthy population of salmon and eels. Prior to the Irwell being regarded as ‘devoid of life’ the last fish to be recorded came from Mode Wheel Locks. This stated the abundance and ‘deliciousness’ of the eels in the River Irk. knowledge of the historical fish fauna of this system would be of little worth. Other records of fish in the Mersey are sparse but worthy of comment. This was observed to completely cover the surface of the river to such an extent that the surface of the water could not be seen. Corbett goes on to describe a healthy fishery within the city of Manchester. 1988. it was thought that these must have been washed from reservoirs and would meet their certain death in river. suggesting that the catchment was never relied upon to provide food on the same scale as the Rivers Great Ouse. demonstrating that the river was once clean and without physical constraints to the passage of fish between the estuary and the upper tributaries. this is a highly significant record as burbot are thought to have suffered extinction from the British Isles in the early 1970s as a result of a combination of both poor water quality and habitat degradation. within this region and at this time.APEM Scientific Report . Mr Corbett’s earliest reference to the fishery was from “The Anglers Vade Museum” published in 1680. the dace was regarded as a separate species and referred to as the graining Leuciscus lancastriensi. dace and grayling the prominent species. prior to the pollution of the river from ‘gas-tar’ used in the production of black paint. salmon and trout were numerous and often angled for. 1907). in June 1907. these fish along with an annual run of smelt. Miller & Skertchly. when the emptying of a dry dock. This fish was labelled as being taken from the River Tame by a Mr G.410039 3. This is due to subtle differences in morphology between this population and other stocks. Norris in 1880 and represents the only known record of burbot from the North West (Malborough. historically would 4 Final Report – September 2007 . By the mid 1800s fishing was no longer considered worthwhile in the Irwell and. It is therefore a fair assumption that the rivers of the Mersey catchment. with the last specimen being caught in the Great Ouse system in 1972. If it were not for a book concerning the history of the River Irwell published in the early part of the last century (Corbett. Although occasional small fish were observed in the upper Irwell during the late 19th century. 1878. Maitland and Campbell (1992) mention the presence of dace in the Mersey system during the 19th Century. 1970). which used to be caught at Warrington disappeared from the river. S. Although unusual. a Mr P Dumbill of Warrington reported a 38cm burbot lodged in a local museum.0 A HISTORY OF FISH POPULATIONS OF THE MERSEY CATCHMENT AND THE MANCHESTER SHIP CANAL Historical evidence of the biodiversity of the Mersey system prior to industrialisation is sparse. 1907). Thames or Severn.
Pools are interspersed between riffles.. (Likely common species also include: salmon Salmo salar. river lamprey Petromyzon fluviatilis. (Likely common species also include: trout Salmo trutta. Quiet lowland waters. (Likely common species also include: trout Salmo trutta. Trout (Salmo trutta) Zone. Bream (Abramis brama) Zone. Waters will be turbid and deep. (Likely common species also include: chub Leuciscus cephalus. Cool. fast flowing. tench Tinca tinca. minnow Phoxinus phoxinus. This is summarised as: 1.APEM Scientific Report . roach Rutilus rutilus. including canals. bullhead Cottus gobio and stone loach Barbatula barbatula) 2. dace Leuciscus leuciscus and minnow Phoxinus phoxinus) 3. the species listed above are known to have been complimented with migratory species such as eels Anguilla anguilla. Flow is slow and summer temperatures will be high and DO levels low. The substrate will be mixed but mainly comprise gravel. steep. Flow is still fast and the water well oxygenated. salmon Salmo salar. salmon Salmo salar. The substrate will mainly consist of rocks. bullhead Cottus gobio and stone loach Barbatula barbatula. chub Leuciscus cephalus and grayling Thymallus thymallus) 4. Barbel (Barbus barbus) Zone. perch Perca fluviatilis. smelt Osmerus eperlanus and flounder Platichthys flesus. carp Cyprinus carpio. dace Leuciscus leuciscus. three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus and pike Esox lucius). boulders and pebbles. The substrate will be dominated by fine silt sediment. silver bream Abramis bjoerkna. bullhead Cottus gobio. Based on both historical and present day records of the fishes of the Mersey Estuary (Wilson et al. gudgeon Gobio gobio. rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus. Associated with larger rivers and streams. with some gravel and sand.410039 have supported a fishery with a typical longitudinal zonation of species diversity in accordance with the model of Huet (1959). 5 Final Report – September 2007 . stone loach Barbatula barbatula. Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) Zone. 1988). prior to the catchment being polluted. Banks may be alternately erosional and depositional. Moderate current with increasing depth and areas of slack flow. well oxygenated brooks and streams.
.1. with the exception of levels of lead. An initial fish survey revealed that small wild populations of roach and sticklebacks were already present (Hendry et al.1 Upper MSC and River Irwell Catchment 4.1: Basins of Salford Quays In response to these encouraging observations.APEM Scientific Report . Dramatic changes in water quality were quickly realised with significant reductions in Ammonia and turbidity and increases in DO and Chlorophyll a. 1997). a research programme was initiated to investigate the recreational fishery potential of the Quays. 1993) (Figure 4.0 RECOVERY AND OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT STATUS OF THE FISHERY 4.. Figure 4. The following analysis of water quality demonstrated that.410039 4. water quality was closely monitored prior to the activation of “Helixor” mixers in August 1987 and October 1989 respectively (Bellinger et al. Back-calculated lengths and historical growth analysis of the roach revealed that these fish originated from a stunted population. where their growth had previously been suppressed by environmental stressors. their growth rate had since rapidly increased in consequence of the observed improvements in water quality within the enclosed basins (Hendry et al. 1988). However.1.1 Salford Quays Following the isolation of two basins (7 & 8) of Salford Quays in 1986 with a third basin (9) being enclosed from connection with the MSC in 1989.. zinc and unionised ammonia (NH3) the Quays were able to meet all other criteria for supporting a 6 Final Report – September 2007 .1).1. and were believed to have originated from either the upper Irwell or the Bridgewater Canal prior to their entrapment within the Quays.
In addition. water quality has remained within recommended guidelines most of the time.2 Upper Manchester Ship Canal As recently as the early 1990’s only roach and stickleback were to be found in the upper MSC (Hendry.1. At this time. health. 1991). survival and feeding over an entire growing season. although as a whole the population showed growth in both length and weight. Most species performed well in terms of growth and condition.2). with many criteria relating to salmonid species also being met. beam.410039 coarse fishery as defined in the ‘European Freshwater Fish Directive’. Bream were the only exception. with no water quality deteriorations being attributable to the presence of fish. The species included roach.1.APEM Scientific Report . Following the success of the initial stocking experiment. 1997). with some individuals showing symptoms of stress and ulceration as well as a degree of mortality. 7 Final Report – September 2007 . Despite occasional deteriorations. the water was only capable of supporting fish life during the colder months as anoxic conditions often prevailed during summer. Over the last two decades. carp and rudd and a total of 631 individuals were introduced to a confined yet representative area of the Quays (basin 7c) as the basis for an experimental monitoring programme. Following careful consideration regarding a balanced community structure and stocking density. 1989.. Growth rates observed since stocking have indicated that the Quays have supported some of the fastest growing coarse fish in the UK (Hendry et al.. despite a lack of natural habitat heterogenity.000 coarse fish were introduced into the 20 acres of enclosed waters (APEM. 1991) (location of the upper MSC shown in Figure 4. water quality had improved to such an extent by 1989 that 12. excessive bubbling from gas production and associated foul odours. 4. the provision of artificial structures have facilitated natural reproduction and subsequent recruitment of some species (Hendry et al. the unstocked areas provided a control that allowed monitoring of the effects of fish-stocking on various water quality parameters. an initial introduction of fish took place in August 1988 (APEM. causing the generation of sediment mats. 1994). investigating fish growth. Salford Quays have supported a healthy mixed fishery and. The dramatic ecological improvements made in this area offer encouragement for further improvements to be made within the upper reaches of the MSC.
dramatic ecological improvements have also been observed.1.1. 2000). There has been a highly significant increase in the number of macroinvertebrate species being recorded in the oxygenated area of the Turning Basin. This achieved the desired objective of preventing dissolved oxygen at the bed level from falling below 4 mg/L. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of this project (i. acts as a useful control site. thus greatly reducing the problems previously experienced (Wilson et al. Following a detailed research and experimented program. Thirty nine species in total have now been recorded from this area which compares to only four (pollution tolerant) species recorded from the Pomona Dock area.e. an oxygen injection programme was initiated in 2001.410039 Figure 4. the prevention of excessive bubbling and odours).APEM Scientific Report .2b). lacking oxygen supplementation (Site locations are displayed in Figure 4.2: Location of the Upper MSC Following the improvements to water quality within the enclosed Quays. 8 Final Report – September 2007 . which.. only a little further upstream. efforts were made to improve the aesthetic problems of the adjacent canal.
1) are now present in the upper reaches of the Ship Canal. Episodic pollution and major habitat limitations (such as spawning habitat. However. nursery areas and food resources for the early stages in particular) still restrict the potential of populations to be self-sustaining in the longer term. Today the river terminates its natural course at Blackfriars Bridge on entering the upper MSC (Figure 4.APEM Scientific Report .410039 Figure 4. 4. the MSC remains a borderline habitat for fish populations.1. capitalising on the increased abundance of invertebrates and maintaining higher than average growth rates and condition factor.3b). 6 species (Table 4. Historically the River would have continued to meander westward towards its confluence with the natural course of the River Mersey allowing the passage of salmon. With gradual improvements in the water quality of rivers feeding the upper MSC over the last few years.1.3). these fish would have had to undertake upstream migrations towards the lower River Irwell in order to avoid asphyxia. despite recent improvements in water quality over the last few years. 9 Final Report – September 2007 .2b: Location of invertebrate monitoring sites and oxygenation units Fish populations are also now able to colonise the Turning Basin throughout the year. Previously during the summer months.3 River Irwell Rising from Rossendale Fell in the Northwest Pennines the River Irwell flows south towards Bury before being joined by the River Roche and winding its course through the cities of Salford and Manchester (Figure 4. which once graced the river.1. encouraging natural colonisation from the upstream tributaries and the Environment Agency’s restocking programme of the River Irwell.1.
3: Map of Irwell catchment Today the River Irwell’s banks are modified throughout much of its length for flood control. On entering Manchester the river becomes canalised. with flows also extensively modified by historically constructed weirs.1. 10 Final Report – September 2007 .APEM Scientific Report .1.410039 Figure 4.3c). approximately 3 km upstream of the first lock on the MSC at Mode Wheel (Figure 4.
APEM Scientific Report .1.410039 Figure 4.3b: Map of the River Irwell entering the MSC 11 Final Report – September 2007 .
where larval and juvenile fish can seek sanctuary from floods. In particular.1. thus providing a unique and essential nursery habitat (Figure 4. An increase in macroinvertebrate biodiversity and decreasing overall BOD levels are good indications of such improvements. 2000).APEM Scientific Report . The Wilburn Street Basin area offers some of the only macrophytes for spawning and is the only remaining ‘off river’ habitat. 2007). The canalised sub section of the lower Irwell (Victoria Station to Blackfiars Bridge) is still subject to the effects of a wide range of historical pollutants which lie within the bed substrate. as a result of a general decline in industry. seriously limiting the scope for successful spawning in this area. Never the less. particularly in the lower reaches of the Irwell. improvements in sewage treatment and investment in combined sewer overflows (Harper.3d). Habitat degradation is also a major feature. the last 25 years have seen dramatic improvements (APEM. 1997).3c: Images of a canalised section of the River Irwell as it enters the MSC close to Blackfriars Bridge A study of the lower River Irwell in 1990 (Adelphi Weir to Blackfriars Bridge) showed that the river was still grossly polluted at the time. However.1. the lower river is often subjected to depleted DO concentrations. high organic loads in the sediment have led to elevated BOD levels and consequently. although successful incubation of eggs and subsequent survival of larvae is seriously compromised by both physical habitat and water quality parameters. with little macrophyte growth throughout the majority of this section. However. as ‘poor’ (Environment Agency. the River Irwell is still subjected to frequent episodic pollution events from storm sewage overflows and in 1997 this stretch of water was still classified under the Chemical General Assessment scheme.410039 Figure 4. The 12 Final Report – September 2007 . greater heterogeneity in terms of habitat increases opportunities for natural recruitment. Further upstream. long term water quality improvements are now evident.
pike and perch. which are likely to remain in this section. Another major consideration for the future development of fish populations in the Irwell (both upper and lower) is the heavily modified channel structure of the lower Irwell and MSC. as the river remains isolated from its estuary. 13 Final Report – September 2007 . should still be considered as a borderline habitat for fish populations. Species known to be present in the lower Irwell. The many locks along this stretch of the Canal present barriers which seriously compromise the passage of migratory fish. gudgeon. bream. perhaps of greater significance is the influence of the MSC downstream of the Turning Basin. tench. include roach. Figure 4. with deep water and reduced water velocities resulting in substantial water quality problems. dace.1. carp. trout. The morphology of the water body changes dramatically as water passes from the lower Irwell towards the Turning Basin. However. bullhead. rudd. chub.3d: Location and image of Wilburn Street Basin Although natural populations of brown trout are present in the upper reaches of the Irwell.APEM Scientific Report . stickleback. This represents a substantial impediment to the future development/recovery of fish populations in the Irwell.410039 upstream passage of coarse fish beyond Adelphi Weir is not possible and therefore limits the spawning habitat available to rheophilic species such as dace and chub. the diversity of the fishery in the lower river relies heavily on artificial stocking and like the MSC.
2 River Tame The Tame is fed from a combination of reservoirs situated in the Pennines near Denshaw. In addition to brown trout. Undoubtedly the most significant discovery on the River Goyt and indeed the entire system. stone loach. between Marple and Stockport the river is regarded as a good quality coarse fishery. supporting a mixed salmonid and coarse fishery. At Bollin Point the river would 14 Final Report – September 2007 . the Tame is known to support chub. with much potential spawning habitat regarded as being unsuitable due to high ‘fines’ content and/or a covering of algae. 15 of which were regarded as totally impassable barriers (APEM. the Tame supports a healthy. 4. Barriers to migration are also present on the River Tame. gudgeon. which maintains a healthy flow. Other species known to be present from EA fish surveys include perch. such as barbel and chub. perch and bullhead.410039 4.2 Upper Mersey System 4. this proves the potential of the Mersey system to support migratory fish stocks once again. In the upper reaches the Goyt supports a thriving brown trout fishery. Despite the occurrence of some juvenile fish it appears that there may be factors limiting natural recruitment. 4.2. before making its way south to the confluence with the River Goyt where the two rivers join to become the River Mersey. dace pike roach. Like the River Goyt. For the first time since the industrial revolution. Many in-stream structures have been identified as being impassable under low flow conditions. From there it follows a northwesterly course passing through the towns of Prestbury and Wilmslow to Bollin Point. with the fisheries reputation relying heavily on stocking practices. Major factors affecting the natural recruitment fish stocks on the River Goyt include obstructions to the migration of coarse and salmonid fish. with good quality spawning habitat available in the many tributary streams.APEM Scientific Report . with the substantial Weir at Etherow Country Park presenting a major obstruction to the passage of fish.1 River Goyt The River Goyt begins its course on the Derbyshire moors between Buxton and Macclesfield and feeds Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs before making its way to Stockport where it meets the River Tame and becomes the Mersey. minnow. The siltation of spawning gravels used by salmonids. with the species composition becoming dominated by coarse fish as the river flows south towards Stockport and the confluence with the River Goyt. grayling and rheophilic cyprinids.3 River Bollin Rising within Macclesfield Forest the River Bollin flows west. In the lower reaches. Below the reservoirs the Goyt benefits from compensation discharge from Fernilee reservoir. 2006). self-sustaining population of brown trout in the upper reaches. pike. a distance of approximately 52km. with an abundance of large chub and barbel.2. passing through Trentabank. was the capture of four 0+ salmon parr near Stockport during 2005. has also been highlighted as a limiting variable. roach gudgeon and grayling. Ridgegate and Bottoms Reservoirs towards Macclesfield.2.
as it first has to flow across the MSC. The River Bollin supports a mixed coarse fishery and has been identified as being capable of supporting Atlantic salmon. This is a tributary of the River Bollin. which have been observed attempting to access the lower River by jumping Heatley Weir. the river upstream of Heatley Mill presents a further eleven barriers to migration. they benefit from additional migratory species such as eel and river lamprey. Unfortunately.410039 have historically joined the River Mersey. Hence the tributaries may be significant not just for the Bollin sub-catchment but also from a whole Mersey catchment perspective.3: Map showing the location of the Rivers Gowy and Weaver confluence with the River Mersey 15 Final Report – September 2007 .3 The Rivers Weaver and Gowy The Rivers Weaver and Gowy have been incorporated into this review for comparative purposes. A direct comparison of fish community structure and water quality between these rivers and the upper Mersey catchment should therefore elucidate whether water quality of the Upper Mersey is restricting the colonisation of these migrants. which has been highlighted as providing both a high quality and quantity of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon.APEM Scientific Report . or whether the MSC is acting as a barrier to migration. Figure 4. The River Dean is therefore considered to have been historically an important spawning tributary and indeed may be so again in the future. but today its course is briefly interrupted. Because of their more direct connectivity with the Mersey Estuary. 4. which currently prevent the passage of salmon to the mid and upper Bollin as well as the River Dean.
constraints on movement and migration.1 is based on electric fishing. and screen intake surveys. and lists all species that have been recorded from each area of the catchment since the fish population began its recovery in the late 1980s. the presence of a species in its adult life stage is not necessarily an indication that that species is able to reproduce successfully and maintain a naturally sustainable population. 16 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 4.APEM Scientific Report . Table 4. as well as angling records. However a comprehensive list of all species caught in each area of the catchment does provide a useful baseline on which to investigate the factors that may be constraining establishment success on a species by species basis. This may be due to a number of factors including a lack of suitable spawning habitat. netting. the susceptibility during early development stages to the lethal effects of toxins or a lack of a specific food resources required at various life stages.4 Present distribution of Species within the system Due to extensive stocking over much of the catchment in the last 15 years.
Irwell R.APEM Scientific Report . Weaver R. Bollin R. Irk . Mersey Upper R Mersey Salford Quays Lower MSC Upper MSC Roach Dace Chub Tench C. bream C. Species Lower R.410039 Table 4. Medlock R. Tame R.1 Current species summary for the River Mersey catchment. carp Rudd Gudgeon Barbel Minnow Crucian carp Roach x Bream hybrid Stone loach Bullhead 3-spined stickleback Trout Sea trout Salmon Grayling Pike Perch Ruffe Eel River lamprey Brook lamprey Flounder • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 17 Final Report – September 2007 River Gowy R. Goyt R.
such as storms or droughts. larval and juvenile stages of development. Although physical habitat is less important to the survival of adult fishes.0 ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS OF FISH 5. Detailed knowledge of a species habitat and dietary requirements and environmental tolerance limits are therefore fundamental to understanding the factors that influence recruitment success (Houde.2) are desirable quality standards that should be achieved where possible. maintain a standard of water quality suitable to support healthy fish populations. This section deals with water quality whereas the physical habitat requirements of freshwater fishes will be addressed in the following section. in order to ensure that all European freshwaters (rivers. both between the sea and rivers.1 The Freshwater Fish Directive In 1978. typically demand high water quality.410039 5. availability of suitable physical habitat is of critical importance to egg. While Imperative values (Table 5. to meet the demands of both salmonids and cyprinids. Salmonids such as salmon and trout.1. 1994). ‘Guideline’ values (Table 5.1 Water Quality 5. Target criteria within both the salmonid and cyprinid fishery categories are further divided into Imperative (I) and Guideline (G) values. the EC Freshwater Fish Directive (EC FFD) was brought into effect. between the rivers of the catchment and indeed between reaches of the same river. It must be noted at this point that the EC FFD only regulates water quality parameters and does not take account of the physical habitat demands of individual species. derogations (waivers) may be granted for certain substances and the required standards may be exceeded without the stretch failing to comply. with reduced velocities and higher nutrient values with a capacity to adapt to lower oxygen levels.1) must be met for the fishery to achieve compliance. Because of the variable water quality demands of different families of fish. higher flows and high dissolved oxygen levels. the directive sets out two categories of water quality targets.APEM Scientific Report . it is also vital to ensure that spatial water quality parameters do not act as a barrier to fish movement. 18 Final Report – September 2007 . This means that water quality has to be sufficient to sustain a species throughout all life stages. enabling successful reproduction and maintenance of a population. typically occupying lowland habitats. lakes and reservoirs) designated as fisheries. while cyprinids and other coarse fish are less demanding. In exceptional circumstances. In order to allow migration and genetic mixing.
5 3.No odour No odour Hydrocarbon Non Non oil visible visible Non-ionised mg/l 0.03 0.2 0.7 Hardness <= 50 & > 10 milligrammes dependent on CaCO3 / litre the average mg/l 0.3 Hardness <= 10 milligrammes CaCO3 / litre (standard is mg/l 0.025 0.0 Maximum at monitoring site °C 10.410039 Table 5.APEM Scientific Report .0 Hardness > 100 milligrammes CaCO3/ litre 19 Final Report – September 2007 .0 Hardness <= 100 & > 50 milligrammes yearly CaCO3 / litre hardness) mg/l 0.5 2.0 1.0 Maximum for breeding season Dissolved mg/l 50% >9 50% >7 oxygen PH 6 to 9 6 to 9 Phenols .1 Imperative Standards set out by the ECFFD IMPERATIVE PARAMETER NOTES STANDARDS Units Salmonid Cyprinid Temperature °C 1.0 Increase due to thermal discharge °C 21.5 28.025 ammonia Total mg/l 1.0 10.005 chlorine Total zinc mg/l 0.3 1.005 0.0 ammonium Total residual mg/l 0.
005 0.3 Dissolved oxygen (DO) and Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) The physical structure of the upper MSC can be described as a vertical sided flume.022 0. pH and suspended solids.005 ammonia Total ammonium mg/l 0.2 Key water quality issues Although not within the scope of the current review paper.e. a detailed review of the water quality of the MSC has been carried out as a parallel study by APEM (APEM.01 0.03 Non-ionised mg/l 0.005 CaCO3 / litre Dissolved copper Hardness <= 50 & > 10 mg/l 0.04 0.2 Guideline Standards set out by the ECFFD GUIDELINE PARAMETER NOTES STANDARDS Units Salmonid Cyprinid mg/l 50% >9 50% >8 Dissolved oxygen 100% <> 100%>7 >5 Suspended solids mg/l 25 25 BOD mg/l 3 6 Nitrites mg/l 0.2 Hardness <= 10 milligrammes mg/l 0. 2007). has essentially functioned as a settlement basin for a heavily industrialised and highly populated catchment basin upstream.410039 Table 5. For many years this waterway served its purpose of providing a direct navigation route between the Irish Sea and Manchester. 1981) 20 Final Report – September 2007 . before the tailing off of shipping traffic in the 1970s. with further concern over BOD.5m of new of new sediments are deposited each year as a result of the operation of storm sewage overflows (Hydraulic Research Centre. The water quality report highlights the main water quality criteria currently failing to meet EC FFD standards within the MSC (i. The combination of a legacy of long term organic input to the Irwell system and the physical characteristics of the MSC have led to over a centuries worth of accumulated pollution being deposited within the upper reaches of the canal. 5. In the upper reaches of the canal.1.005 0. approximately 0.112 0. lacking suitable flow to transport suspended particulate and soluble fluxes to the estuary. with depth ranging from 5-9 metres and consequently. The impacts of these criteria and the intrinsic relationships between some of these water quality parameters are summarised below. no or very little discernable flow or natural mixing. oxygen and ammonia).040 milligrammes CaCO3 / litre hardness) Hardness > 100 milligrammes mg/l 0.040 0.APEM Scientific Report .022 (standard is milligrammes CaCO3 / litre dependent on the Hardness <= 100 & > 50 average yearly mg/l 0.112 CaCO3 /litre 5.1. which.
2000) and may be capable of withstanding DO levels as low as 0. particularly if oxygen supplemented havens were available at intervals along the canal. The FFD requirements are to maintain 50 percentile DO levels above 7 mg/L for cyprinids and 9 mg/L for salmonids and thus recognise the higher tolerance levels of the Cyprinidae to hypoxia. It must be noted that such experimental observations have isolated DO from other parameters. Many studies have shown that... 2001) have been shown to actively select zones of preferred DO levels. 2003). Tolerance to anoxia Hypoxia has been identified as an important environmental stressor affecting many physiological processes in fish (Braun et al. Further work by Hendry et al also reported the limited time that fish could tolerate the lower anoxic layers and demonstrated that fish were moving in and out of the anoxic zone to take advantage of 21 Final Report – September 2007 . Although 50 percentile FFD targets for DO need to be met in order to ensure better fishery potential.. 1990) and largemouth bass (Burleson et al. with roach and pelagic fishes occupying surface waters richer in oxygen (Hendry et al. 1986). This is particularly problematic to aquatic life during the summer months when the combined lack of significant flow and poor mixing make this waterbody prone to stratification for extended periods (Hendry et al. Stratified gradients of oxygen levels have been shown to be an important factor in determining the vertical distribution of fishes (Burleson et al. since fish have been shown to exhibit behavioural responses that enable them to take advantage of zones of higher oxygen concentration. The recent return of adult salmon to the Mersey and their successful reproduction in the River Goyt raises the question: would Mersey parr survive the physiological stresses of smoltification under the observed water quality conditions and be able to tolerate the navigation of the MSC on their seaward journey? This is clearly an important area for experimental investigation.APEM Scientific Report . or in the case of goldfish Carassius auratus.. 2006). where oxygen gradients exist either laterally or vertically. (1979) suggest that smolts may be capable of tolerating DO levels as low as 3 mg/L for limited periods in freshwater.. 2001). Research has demonstrated that cyprinids such as carp have evolved adaptive mechanisms in order to cope with hypoxia (Zhou et al. brook trout (Spoor. which may be intrinsically linked to such conditions in nature. Experimentally. This is achieved by reducing energy metabolism while enhancing the supply of oxygen from anaerobic sources (Dunn & Hochachka.. but laboratory experiments conducted by Alabaster et al. such observations indicate that short term episodic events of DO below these levels may be tolerated by the adult life stages of some species..410039 Such levels of organic pollution within the bed sediments induce enormous stress on the aquatic environment due to high levels of oxygen consumption by the substrate. 1993). 1988). by an ability to regulate gill morphology to cope with such conditions (Sollid et al.5 mg/L for limited periods. that at times can completely deplete the overlying water of available dissolved oxygen (anoxia). fish are able to sense preferred oxygen levels and relocate to these area. that may also be harmful to fish. Field observations have also shown that different species of fish distribute themselves differentially throughout the water column where a thermocline exists.
1. which can affect the predation and mortality of larval fishes. These are the same conditions that prompt stratification. lethal ammonia levels of 0. The relationship between ionised ammonium (NH4+) and unionised ammonia is expressed as (Hellawell.4 Ammonia Principle sources of ammonia in freshwater originate from domestic sewage effluent and agricultural run-off (Alabaster.↔ NH3 + H20 High temperature and pH shift the equilibrium to the right.APEM Scientific Report . occupying these zones (Breitburg et al. where un-ionised ammonia predominates. 1982). This shifts the focus of diet from benthic (bottom) invertebrates to littoral fauna (marginal). thus impacting on the recruitment of larvae.2 mg/L for total ammonium for salmonids and cyprinids respectively. The European Freshwater Fish Directive (ECFFD) sets an imperative maximum value of 0. Un-ionised ammonia is many times more toxic than the ionised form.5 mg/L of un-ionised ammonia at DO levels around 6 mg/L (Alabaster. playing an important role in influencing these concentrations (Nash et al.005 mg/L for NH3 and 0. 1989): NH4+ + OH. toxicity is likely to be greater during warm weather. The ability of fishes to relocate to areas where oxygen levels are preferable has been reported to shift the focus of trophic interactions. Lateral oxygen gradients also exist on the MSC with the Daveyhulme effluent reported as an oxygen sanctuary during times of poor water quality. in lower concentrations it may cause general tissue damage to both internal and external organs.1999). Fish kills in carp ponds have shown that mortality occurs at approximately 0. 22 Final Report – September 2007 . & Lloyd.04 and 0. However. However at lower DO levels of 2 mg/L.2 mg/L have been recorded. with both temperature and pH. Again it is possible that this effective ‘herding’ of fish into confined areas could shift trophic focus. In waterbodies receiving high levels of ammonia. when phytoplankton blooms result in elevated pH levels via consumption of CO2 during photosynthesis.025 mg/L of un-ionised ammonia and 1 mg/L for total ammonium for compliance. these standard values may not be sufficient to prevent damage to fish communities and therefore the ECFFD suggests a guideline standard of 0. Hence. 5. Although excessive levels of ammonia can cause direct damage to the gill epithelium.. exposure to toxic levels of ammonia is therefore likely to be a cumulative ‘stressor’ becoming more problematic in accordance with hypoxic conditions.410039 benthic dietary items. 1982).. survival times were limited. Toxicity is dependant upon the concentration of un-ionised ammonia (NH3) present in solution. but when captured in fyke nets at these lower levels. One example would be adult fishes being forced to occupy the surface layers in order to avoid asphyxiation. 2003). thermocline formation and low bottom water oxygen concentrations. where aquatic ecosystems are under excessive stress from hypoxic conditions.
g. phosphorus is usually identified as the main focus in regulating the eutrophication process (Cooke et al.1. the occurrence of phytoplankton blooms as a result of eutrophication. has been reported to cause gas bubbling which has been observed to kill Coregonid larvae in the surface layers (Stadelmann. Although sewage discharges can offer highly nutritious feeding opportunities for adult fishes. 1984). In addition to the negative effects of low DO. The filamentous growths of Sphaerotilus produce a slime growth in organically polluted waters (sewage fungus). 2002b).6 Eutrophication The most prominent issue surrounding eutrophication is excessive algal growth. maintaining bottom DO by artificial mixing within the Quays has achieved remarkable success in locking up sediment derived P and hence controlling algal blooms.410039 5. such as being retained in anglers keep-nets. This in turn gives rise to elevated pH and causes extreme temporal dissolved oxygen gradients in the epilimnon. 2002b). then mortalities are likely to occur (personal obs. Elevated pH may occur as a consequence of photosynthesis by algal blooms utilising CO2. However. This initially causes the degradation of 23 Final Report – September 2007 . 1984). 1993). 5. Where such effluents give rise to saprophytic microbial growths.APEM Scientific Report . by increasing the proportion of unionised ammonia. which currently limit water transparency and the production of algae.1. many trace metals.. While decreasing pH levels are known to increase the toxicity of a variety of pollutants (e. Because of its function in limiting the production of algae. Whilst it is not known whether oxygen injection in the MSC has prevented P release from the sediments. elevated levels of pH increase the toxicity of ammonia to fish. super saturation. but also has a range of other effects on fish populations. Where fish are not able to move in and out of such areas. overexposure to such pollutants can result in rapid mortality.5 pH Although pH levels largely remain within the recommended limits for cyprinid and salmonid fishes. greatly increase the risk of the lower River Irwell and MSC experiencing pH levels exceeding the upper target limit of 9 in the future.1.). The combined treated sewage effluent points which discharge into the River Irwell currently contribute 89% of the orthophosphate load being delivered to the upper MSC (Environment Agency. 5.7 Direct effects of sewage input Not only does sewage input into the system play an important role in maintaining the amount or suspended solids. The predicted standards are still ten times higher than required to comply with the UWWTD and expert opinion suggests that 15-20 µg/l is the maximum permissible concentration to remove the risk of algal blooms. more serious detrimental effects are likely to be observed for the survival and growth of embryonic and larval stages of fish (Fraser & Clark. such as copper and aluminium). pH values exceeding 9 have been shown to effect the growth of most fish populations by interfering with normal ionic regulation. the MSC is thought to be phosphate saturated and any effort to reduce discharge levels at point source will be replaced by dissolution from phosphate rich bottom sediments (Envirionment Agency. which occurs during the hours of daylight.
For a detailed appraisal of water quality in the MSC. The growth of such filaments on the chorion of fish eggs can kill embryos during development by either limiting available DO and increasing levels of CO2 in the microclimate of the embryos.8. Despite occasional peaks in BOD.1.2 River Medlock Improvements in the River Medlock mirror those observed in the River Irk.8. have resulted in a dramatic reduction in BOD. 24 Final Report – September 2007 . 5. with current levels rarely exceeding the EC FFD target for cyprinids. Mersey and Bollin. the long term trend is that of significant improvement throughout the catchment. sporadic events. it has been necessary to consider the water quality issues if the tributary rivers such as the Irwell. 5.1. algal population retention and elevated pH. Temporal reductions in Sewage Treatment Discharges since the late 1970s. Total ammonia also shows a dramatic long term reduction. thus impairing respiration (Fraser & Clark. the occurrence of intersex is also associated with sewage effluent discharges. Although. current monthly means for DO and ammonia have all met the imperative targets to maintain a salmonid fishery. However. direct reference should be made to the parallel water quality review (APEM Report 410039). principally from combined sewer overflows can at times seriously compromise water quality and the well being of fish populations. the River Irwell continues the trend in improvements of the upper catchment.8 Catchment summary The Water Quality review (APEM Report. Despite sporadic peaks in BOD. Here we summarise the historical and present water quality issues of several areas of the MSC and tributary rivers.APEM Scientific Report . but to understand the factors limiting the recovery of fish populations throughout the Mersey Basin.. In general.3 River Irwell Benefiting from those improvements already highlighted in the tributary rivers. The peripheral rivers benefit from more turbulent flows and are therefore not subjected to the same stresses as the MSC.1.1 River Irk Dramatic improvements have been observed in the River Irk since the late 1970s.1. Larvae are also susceptible to the effects of sewage fungus with the gills of young larvae susceptible to becoming clogged with bacterial filaments. Where such bacterial growths are prolific. the successful incubation of eggs is seriously compromised. with summary graphs provided for each part of the catchment in Appendix I. monthly mean values of DO during 2005-2006 have all met the target values to maintain a salmonid fishery. with a concomitant increase in levels of DO. 2007) limits its focus to the MSC only. such as prolonged hypoxia.410039 spawning habitats by clogging bottom sediments and depleting ‘local’ oxygen levels. or by physically preventing embryos emerging from the egg. with the incidence and severity of feminisation being positively correlated with the proportion of treated sewage effluent in receiving waters (Gross-Sorokin et al. 5. 5. In addition the detrimental effects to early development stages.8. 2006). 1984).
Monthly means during 2005-2006 are now well within the target values for cyprinids and in most cases also satisfy the criteria for salmonids.D have shown a general trend in reducing and now average approximately 50% of the values observed in 1989. monthly means have also been comfortably within the required standards.1. During summer months mean monthly values dropped to approximately 15 % of the target values and typically failing the 100% compliance level of 5 mg/l (Fig.8. Unfortunately no data are available regarding ammonia concentrations within this section of the Canal. 5.1. with monthly values often well in excess of EC FFD requirements for cyprinid fishes. the MSC continues to fail to meet the EC FFD standards required for a cyprinid fishery. A16). A13 a & b). Despite BOD targets being met in the majority of months at Irlam during 2005-2006. annual mean values for total ammonia continue to border on the target values.1. sporadic peaks in BOD have occurred and DO has also failed to reach the target levels for a cyprinid fishery in some months.5 Km in length) has been included in this review in order to compare an area of the MSC that benefits from an amelioration measure. annual mean BOD has remained for the first time since 1987 within EC FFD target levels. with the colonisation of pollution sensitive invertebrate species and the presence of fish communities throughout the year.8. Turning Basin The Turning Basin of the MSC (approximately 1.6 Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam In the absence of oxygen injection. monthly means over 20052006 have rarely met EC FFD targets.APEM Scientific Report . Although the long term trend in ammonia levels shows a dramatic reduction. the remaining 20km of the fresh water canal). with those areas more typical of the MSC (i.e. the Quays have continued to improve in water quality. 5.O. With the exception of one month during 2005-2006. 5. Annual DO levels also began to achieve these standards as from 2001 with monthly means generally being maintained at target levels to maintain a salmonid fishery (Fig.410039 target values have been met for most months during 2005-2006. A14 a & b). Annual means of B. monthly mean levels of DO failed to meet the required standards. Despite a lack of any input of sewage effluent since their isolation. 25 Final Report – September 2007 .8. with monthly mean values reaching seven times higher than target values.5 Salford Quays Since their isolation from the MSC in 1986. The operation of ‘Helixor’ mixers has maintained stable annual levels of dissolved oxygen with monthly means over 20052006 also meeting the targets for salmonids. The Turning Basin has benefited from oxygen supplementation since 2001 and has since indicated significant improvement in biological status.4 Manchester Ship Canal. The graphs in Appendix I (Fig. where the deep nature of this water body lends itself to regular periods of stratification and hypoxic conditions. clearly show that since the initiation of the oxygen programme. Failure of DO standards is likely to be influenced by the physical nature of the lower Irwell.
(mg/l) 20 15 10 5 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D Figure 5.O.1a The MSC at Barton was selected as being typically representative of the canal and due to the availability of continuous (15 minute) data logs collected using a ‘Data-sonde’ logger.Minimum and Maximum Values 35 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 30 25 D.7 Manchester Ship Canal at Barton Barton 2006 monthly D. oxygen sags may follow storm derived pollution events.8. This has facilitated the examination of DO data at a much higher temporal resolution. hypoxia is often maintained for extended periods of time.O.1c). that this would be due to diel fluctuations due to algal biomass. 26 Final Report – September 2007 . These extended periods may be due to die back of algal blooms or still weather conditions which result in poor vertical mixing. It was expected that where wide ranges of minimum and maximum DO values occurred (Fig 5. where algal production is limited.410039 5. it appears that although diel ranges are of great importance due to the water quality issues directly linked to algal blooms.1. (mg/l) +/. this high-resolution analysis of DO concentrations confirms that fish populations are likely to be severely compromised by such conditions. sometimes lasting as long as several weeks (Fig 5.APEM Scientific Report . On analysis of these data. Alternatively. Regardless of how these events originate.1a).
with the target values for cyprinid fish rarely 27 Final Report – September 2007 .1b Continous (hourly) DO mg/L at Barton April and October 2006 30 DO mg/L 25 50% cyprinid target 20 DO (mg/L) 50% salmonid target 15 10 5 0 01/04/2006 15/04/2006 29/04/2006 13/05/2006 27/05/2006 10/06/2006 24/06/2006 08/07/2006 22/07/2006 05/08/2006 19/08/2006 02/09/2006 16/09/2006 30/09/2006 14/10/2006 28/10/2006 Figure 5.1c 5. Despite these reductions. the Mersey at Flixton has demonstrated a gradual decline in annual mean levels of BOD and ammonia. long-term DO levels show little change.8. with annual mean values having been relatively stable since the late 1970s.8 River Mersey at Flixton In accordance with the rest of the catchment. Despite annual mean DO levels exceeding EC FFD standards for salmonids in recent years.APEM Scientific Report .410039 % of hourly DO mg/L during each month in excess of Fisheries Directive trargets during 2006 at Barton on the MSC 100 90 % > 7 mg/L % > 5 mg/L > 5 mg/L target 80 % > 9 mg/L 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 May Jul Mar Nov Jan Jun Feb Dec Aug Sep Apr Oct > 7 mg/L target for cyprinids & > 9 mg/L target for salmonids Figure 5. monthly values vary considerably. indicating a reduction in organic sewage inputs.1.
Reductions in levels of BOD and ammonia indicate a significant reduction in sewage effluent inputs over the last three decades and the River currently meets the required water quality standards for BOD. 2005). current water quality standards for BOD. some generalisations are possible in terms of key requirements. the littoral zone (close to river bank) is heavily utilised 28 Final Report – September 2007 . Even prior to hatching it has been demonstrated that cyprinid eggs have varying degrees of tolerance to oxygen levels depending on their state of ontogenetic development (Keckeis et al.2. 5. However. It is not possible to define habitat requirements for larval and juvenile cyprinids as a family. with BOD. The current status of the River Mersey at Flixton does not currently conform to the EC FFD requirements of a coarse fishery. Post hatching. DO and ammonia indicate that the Goyt fulfils the EC FFD requirements of a salmonid fishery. DO and ammonia levels all falling short of targets during some months.1 Riverine coarse fishes (a) Early Life History Analysis of population structure of riverine fish species often demonstrates a wide variation in recruitment success between years. Their relative fragility makes consideration of the requirements of early life history stages crucial to the future management of fisheries globally. 1998). 5. 1996).APEM Scientific Report ..1. since there is substantial interspecific and intraspecific (among developmental stages) variation.8. the rapid morphological and physiological changes which occur during early development result in constantly changing ecological demands of a species as well as varying degrees of tolerance to water quality parameters and levels of flow (Flore & Keckeis.9 River Goyt Long-term data have not been available to establish temporal improvements in the water quality of the River Goyt.10 River Bollin at Heatley The River Bollin at Heatley has shown dramatic improvements in water quality since the late 1970s. DO and Total ammonia to support a salmonid fishery. Moreover. 5.410039 being met between the months of June and August. Availability of suitable spawning habitat and nursery habitats for young fish.1.2 Habitat Requirements 5. and is no less relevant to the ecological functioning of the Mersey and the potential sustainability of fish populations within the catchment. There is much evidence to suggest that the bottlenecks to recruitment in many fish populations relate principally to spawning success and the growth and survival rates of newly hatched larvae (Mills & Mann 1985).8. as well as an adequate food supply during the early stages are therefore critical factors governing the successful recruitment of a species (Pinder. However.
As a result it is not uncommon for a species to fit within more than one guild. with off river habitats and access to the floodplain and ditches providing spawning habitat. 2005) as it often offers a refuge from higher current velocities. Within the present study. 29 Final Report – September 2007 . particularly in the context of rivers with degraded habitat structure. It is worth noting. A. Phytophils: eggs adhere to submerged macrophytes.3. refuge from floods and fluxes of poor water quality. 2005).410039 by most species (Pinder et al. hence the multi guild classification of phytolithophil (i. that are important as food for early development stages (Reckendorfer et al. Non guarders A.1. Flows range from still to moderate. (b) Adults Different species of freshwater fish utilise a preferred range of both general habitat and spawning substrata and on this basis have been classified into ecological and reproductive guild systems (Balon. Detailed descriptions of guild classifications and ecological requirements of non-salmonid fish are available in Mann (1996). Barbel Barbus barbus Dace Leuciscus leuciscus Chub Leuciscus cephalus A. Lithophils: Eggs adhere to stones and gravel in moderate to fast flowing water. benthic larvae are photophobic.APEM Scientific Report ..5.6. Channel connectivity has also been highlighted as an important factor affecting recruitment success. Roach Rutilus rutilus Perch Perca fluviatilis Bream Abramis brama A. spawning on both stones and macrophytes). initially the larvae are photophobic.4. Phytolithophils: eggs adhere to submerged plant surfaces. 1975. but other substrata are utilised if suitable plants are absent. the emphasis is on the reproductive guilds that are of primary interest to the main fisheries currently present within the Mersey system. The following relevant reproductive guilds are derived from Balon’s classification but based on known spawning preferences in UK watercourses. 1981). Macrophytes are also important for providing cover and protection from predators and high water velocities. 1999)).1..1. washed by running water.1. Psammophils: eggs are laid on sand or fine roots associated with sand. larvae are not photophobic. while sometimes also offering rich feeding grounds (Pinder. Usually in still or low water velocities. Pike Esox lucius Rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus Tench Tinca tinca Carp Cyprinus carpio A.e. that some species are capable of displaying varying degrees of plasticity and adaptability in terms of spawning substrate used. and encourage the development of algae and associated invertebrates (notably copepods and rotifers.
APEM Scientific Report . it is pertinent for fishery managers to be aware of the predicted spawning times of certain species (Table 5. This information allows the careful management of activities such as dredging and the close monitoring of pollution sources. 30 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 Gudgeon Gobio gobio With spawning occurring over an extended period of time.3). particularly at times when eggs and early life stages are likely to be vulnerable to these effects.
3 Ranges of spawning dates for fish either already present or potential colonisers of the Mersey catchment Species Trout Salmon Pike Grayling Dace Bullhead 3-spined stickleback Sea lamprey River lamprey Brook lamprey Stone loach Perch Chub 9-spined stickleback Rudd Gudgeon Roach Common bream Silver bream Bleak Barbel Tench Common carp Minnow Jan --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec ----------------------------- 31 Final Report – September 2007 .APEM Scientific Report .410039 Table 5.
the eggs require an adequate flow of water passing through the redd in order to satisfy the oxygen demands of the developing embryos. they typically take 10 weeks to hatch. Paim et al. 1997). where they typically compete for feeding territories throughout the summer. salmon ‘fry’ occupy marginal habitats before moving as ‘parr’ into the main flow with gravel substrates. Indeed. Of primary importance is the ability to navigate between marine and freshwater habitats of suitably high quality to meet their ecological requirements throughout different life stages. with diel hibernation frequently reported when water temperatures drop below 10oC (Rimmer. road or agricultural land run-off. Potential barriers to such migrations include instream structures such as weirs and locks.2 Salmonids (a) Migratory salmonids In addition to demanding better water quality than coarse fish. with the ingress of fine sediments blocking the interstitial spaces between the gravels and thus suffocating the eggs. using refuges within the substrate during the day while actively feeding during the hours of darkness (Metcalfe et al 1999. Stream bed refuges were considered to be of critical importance in the over wintering of salmonids (Cunjak 1996). This is particularly problematic where suspended solids are added to the system. 1983. but spatial variation in water quality may similarly create barriers to migration. During incubation. Valdimarsson. The eggs then take between 5-20 days (depending on species and temperature) before hatching. habitat quality. with extensive 32 Final Report – September 2007 . (Rimmer. particularly spawning gravels also need to be of higher quality than those utilised by rheophilic coarse fish such as barbel and dace. Rheophilic cyprinids typically lay their eggs on the surface of the gravel where they benefit from a constant supply of oxygenated water.410039 5.APEM Scientific Report . It is because of this extended incubation period that spawning gravels and redds are often prone to siltation. Salmon Following hatching. Due to the specialised life cycle of the Salmonidae. salmonids bury their eggs in excavated gravel structures (redds) where.2. parr tend to relocate into slightly deeper water with reduced velocities. Paim et al. salmonids are more susceptible to a wide range of anthropogenic impacts. This is partly due to the temporal differences in incubation times of eggs and the way in which eggs are deposited by the two families. Conversely. following heavy rain. As water temperatures begin to drop in the autumn. before emerging as “swim up fry” and dispersing to suitable feeding territories. This involves parr becoming nocturnal. depending on incubation temperatures. thus making them more vulnerable to episodic pollution events. 1983) reported that substrate chambers were exclusively selected in a New Brunswick river. Whalen and Parrish 1999). with the many thousands of larvae dispersing downstream to suitable nursery habitats. over all other shelter types. with the “yolk sac fry” (alevins) remaining within the gravel for another 2 weeks. Shelter from predators appears to be of key importance during winter and severe bottlenecks in production may occur if there is insufficient deep area or rough substratum to afford shelter (Armstrong and Griffiths 2001). either as industrial/domestic effluents. Metcalfe et al. The extended incubation also renders the embryos immotile and unable to relocate in order to avoid sporadic spates in poor water quality.
APEM Scientific Report . demonstrating a certain degree of plasticity in their requirements. deeper water and greater cover from both instream and outstream structures (Table 5. 33 Final Report – September 2007 . suitable clean gravel habitats must be available in order to excavate redds for the deposition of eggs. This said.. with the smaller grilse returning later during late spring/early summer. The timing of this migration is variable but typically the larger (MSW) fish enter rivers in early spring. occupy a range of habitats including pools. in order to reproduce. 1983). 2002. Thus. ranging from 64 to 256 mm.4). Harwood et al. Habitat requirements are not dissimilar to salmon. In a recent review of habitat management for the rehabilitation and enhancement of salmonid stocks (Hendry et al. As well as facilitating both enhanced growth rates and reproductive potential. Rimmer et al. Although the different age groups enter the mouths of rivers at different times it is not unusual for these fish to occupy habitats in the estuary or lower river.. 2002). although juvenile habitats differ subtly in that trout prefer slightly slower flows. Where passage to the marine environment is an option. Spawning and early life history within the redds is essentially the same as salmon. the abundance of shelters is believed to be an important factor regulating the salmonid carrying capacity of streams during winter (Cunjak 1996. riverine fishery value is also greatly increased due to the exploitation of stocks for angling purposes. undercut banks and gravel runs. Unlike salmon there is not a requirement for these fish to migrate to sea in order to complete their life cycle and thus many isolated and genetically distinct populations of brown trout can be found in many upland streams and hill lochs. Sea trout Sea trout are the migratory form of brown trout Salmo trutta. This is because the smaller body size of the adults restricts the size of stones which can be moved. Depending on water temperatures.. although spawning substrates tend to be of a smaller particle size. (b) Non migratory salmonids Brown trout Populations of the non-migratory form of Salmo trutta occupy a range of different habitats. Adults. in order to provide shelter for older parr. parr can occupy these freshwater habitats for one or more years before smolting in the spring and commencing their journey to the sea. Armstrong and Griffiths 2001. 1992) in order to migrate to the sea. a proportion of the juvenile stock may smoltify (Maitland & Campbell. Duration of the life cycle varies both between and within populations. which typically range from 15-30 cm.410039 competition having been observed between individuals for the use of such refuges where these habitats were limited (Griffiths and Armstrong 2002. 2003) recommend the provision of a coarse substrate of predominantly cobbles and boulders. food availability and ultimately growth. Miyakoshi et al. before continuing their journey towards spawning grounds closer to the spawning season in November to January in mixed year classes. These fish will then spend one year (grilse) or more (multi sea winter (MSW)) at sea before returning to their natal rivers to spawn.
While Table 5. Table 5. gravel/cobble/boulder substrate. it also provides a useful tool for the determination of habitat availability within a river and forms the framework used to conduct earlier habitat surveys on the Rivers Bollin and Goyt (APEM scientific reports 699 & 763). fast flowing (>30 cm/s). = or > 40 cm deep. moderate velocity in range 1030 cm/sec. with surface turbulence and a gravel and cobble substrate. surface smooth and unbroken. fast flowing (>30 cm/s). = or > 30 cm deep. Surface turbulent. relatively even substrate of cobbles with finer material. < 30 cm deep. For a comprehensive review of habitat requirements of Atlantic salmon and brown trout see Armstrong et al. Fry (0+) habitat Shallow. fast flowing (>30 cm/s).4 Habitat classification system HABITAT TYPE DESCRIPTION Spawning Gravel Ideally stable but not compacted. (2003). surface unbroken.APEM Scientific Report . ‘Fines’ (<2 mm grain size) to be less than 20% by weight.4 details a simplified description of salmonid habitat requirements. gravel/cobble/boulder substrate. Shallow. substrate with a high proportion of sand and silt.410039 Population health of brown trout stocks is often positively correlated with increased habitat complexity. surface turbulent. but up to 80 mm for salmon. 20 – 30 cm deep. slow-flowing (< 10 cm/s). Parr (>1+) habitat Riffles Glides Pools 34 Final Report – September 2007 . with a mean grain size 25 mm or less for trout. < 20 cm deep.
These methods are ill designed to capture larval and juvenile fish. These records are likely to be incomplete but show that in excess of 0. Due to the inevitable downstream displacement of stocked fish (Linfield.1 River Irwell stocking history Year Species 1995 chub dace trout 1996 chub dace 1997 chub roach 1998 chub 1999 chub 2001 trout chub TOTAL 6.APEM Scientific Report . these records need to be closely scrutinised in considering the natural recruitment of fish populations of the Lower River Irwell and the upper MSC.5 inches 10. Table 6.5 million fish have been stocked over this time period.0 FISH POPULATIONS. When considering species of a sporting interest. The frequency of stocking and the lack of data regarding size and age structure of those fish stocked make it problematic to identify recruitment which has occurred naturally and therefore very difficult to identify the environmental factors causing recruitment bottle-necks. gudgeon. Table 6. trout and chub dominate with good numbers of roach also No. Stocked 5000 5000 2500 4000 4000 5000 2500 1500 8000 4000 6000 47.6 cm (mean) 10-16cm 35 Final Report – September 2007 . 1985). Further problems arise from the sampling methodologies being currently employed to assess fish stocks. which are key indicators of not only successful recruitment. each part of the catchment will be considered in turn.600 individual fish. indicate that the upper River Irwell supports a mixed fishery dominated by minor species such as minnow and stone loach. STOCKING ACTIVITY AND EVIDENCE OF NATURAL RECRUITMENT Analysis of Environment Agency stocking records has revealed how frequently fish have been stocked to the upper Mersey catchment in the last two decades.2 River Irwell Upstream of Bury Environment Agency surveys carried out between 2005-2006 at 5 sites upstream of Bury.500 Size range 7 inches 2-4. but also of water quality and the quality of physical habitat. the Rivers Irk and Medlock have been subject to extensive stocking over the last 15 years with the addition of 120.410039 6.1 Lower River Irwell and upper Manchester Ship Canal The Lower River Irwell and its major tributaries.1 shows the stocking history of the Irwell. 6. for which detailed records are available). To assess the self-sustainability of fish populations. taking into account both stocking records and fish survey results.
7% 3. Species composition (%) of River Irwell u/s Bury.1% 58. This said. The one exception according to available data is that dace are not successful in this river with only two specimens captured over a two-year period.2b 36 Final Report – September 2007 . it would appear from stocking records that the upper river functions in a selfsustainable manner. with adequate recruitment evident for most species.4% Brown trout Perch Pike Chub Gudgeon 16.2a Species composition (%) of River Irwell u/s Bury. 2005-2006 data combined Brown trout N=3127 Perch Pike Chub Gudgeon Roach Bullhead Minnow Stickleback Stoneloach Dace Figure 6. dace are a highly mobile species and a more comprehensive survey may reveal that they contribute more substantially to the overall composition of fishes.3% 5.410039 present.9% 15. Although the survey reports do not provide any data regarding age structure.APEM Scientific Report .3% Roach Dace Figure 6. 2005-2006 data combined (minor species removed from analysis 0.3% 0.
with BOD.4 below).APEM Scientific Report . Table 6.3 River Irk Very little data exist for the River Irk. No. In 2004 three sites were electric-fished by the Agency and these surveys revealed an abundance of three-spined stickleback along with two minnows and a single adult brown trout.3 River Irk stocking history Year Species 1994 trout minnow 1998 dace chub TOTAL 6. Sporadic peaks in BOD and ammonia suggest that combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges may be responsible for a lack of recruitment success in the Irk.4 River Medlock Agency surveys were carried out at five sites between Woodhouses and Clayton Vale over a three-year period of 2004-2006. stickleback and stone loach making up 98. Should these isolated events correspond with spawning seasons. then it would appear that the 1990’s stocking programme of the Irk (see Table 6. trout. Assuming that the three sites surveyed were representative of the river. However.500 Size range 37 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 6. the remaining species consisted of relatively small numbers of chub. Stocked 3000 2500 4000 1000 10. perch. Appendix 1). then CSO discharges may be responsible for the death of eggs and young larvae in the Medlock. Fig A7b. In light of significant stocking of roach and chub in particular (see Table 6.5% of the total population. In order of ascending dominance. The population structure was dramatically dominated by minnows (76%). roach and pike.3 below) has been far from effective. DO and ammonia all conforming to EC FFD targets for the majority of the time. This is despite a dramatic improvement in water quality. the available data strongly suggest that there is a severe recruitment problem of species of fisheries interest on the River Medlock. with minnow. the Medlock is still subjected to sporadic CSO discharges (as detected in March 2005.
5% N= 6535 minnow. Stocked 1993 Chub 1500 Minnow 3600 Dace 1000 1995 Chub 3000 1996 Chub 8000 1997 Chub 18000 Dace 15000 1998 Chub 4500 Roach 4000 1999 Dace 1000 Chub 3000 TOTAL 62. st'back.st loach others 98.4a 38 Final Report – September 2007 . Medlock 2004-2006 data combined 1.4 River Medlock stocking history Year Species No.5% Figure 6.600 Size range Species composition (% ) of R.410039 Table 6.APEM Scientific Report .
Additional species captured within Wilburn St. APEM carried out surveys between 19982000 and 2004-2006. with three 0+ perch also caught in August 1999 signifying another successful year. Medlock 2004-2006 data combined (minor species removed from analysis) 1% N= 93 Chub 39% 42% Perch Roach Brown trout Pike 8% 10% Figure 6. In addition to stocking records made available by the Environment Agency.500 roach and 12.1 Surveys.5 Lower River Irwell and upper MSC Fish Survey data Fish population data for the lower River Irwell and upper MSC are lacking from Environment Agency records. 0+ roach were also caught in Wilburn St. Data from fyke nets. additional stockings activity is also reported by Nash et al (2003).500 chub to the tributary rivers.000 dace and 30. indicating that some degree of recruitment occurred in this year.5).APEM Scientific Report . Basin included pike. make it almost impossible to decipher where the fish caught in this survey had originated. and 19. contributing 53% and 37 % respectively to total species composition.5. bream. 1998-2000 These early surveys combined sampling methods over a stretch of water between Salford University on the River Irwell and the Turning Basin of the MSC.000 chub to the Irwell. electric fishing and anglers records from 6 survey zones. the Irk and Medlock during 1997-1998. The further addition of 9. It should be noted that the initial surveys between 1998-2000 were carried out prior to the initiation of the oxygenation programme.4b 6. In the absence of any records of artificial stocking. Basin in 1999. Chub.5. perch showed good recruitment for the 1998 year class. Roach and perch dominated these early surveys. dace. However. trout and a single gudgeon were also caught in the main channel sections.410039 Species composition (% ) of R. 6. rudd and single specimens of tench and carp (Table 6. between March 1998 and February 2000 are presented in Figure 6. It must be remembered that the sampling methods were not suited to 0+ fishes and their absence 39 Final Report – September 2007 .
it appears that at this time.410039 or presence of only small numbers of a species is unlikely to be a true reflection of their abundance. well oxygenated water below Adelphi Weir. dace. The distinctive ribbons of perch spawn were also found in both the Turning Basin and below Adelphi Weir but all eggs became opaque within 24 hours of spawning. despite the availability of faster flowing. perhaps as a consequence of the frequency of intersex observed within the population of male perch. This observation in particular suggests that fertilisation had not taken place. chub and trout were failing to recruit in the lower Irwell and MSC with no dace caught under the age of 4 +. From the data available. By studying back-calculated length/age analysis of fish populations in conjunction with stocking records. or whether adult fishes of mixed ages have immigrated into the reach after recruiting elsewhere in the system. Cyprinids of unknown species were also observed spawning in the lower Irwell. although no eggs were recovered and shoals of unidentified cyprinid fry were caught from the Turning Basin.APEM Scientific Report . it is usually possible to identify recruitment patterns. Cyprinid eggs were observed in Wilburn St. What these data do not demonstrate is whether recruitment occurred within the stretch of water under consideration. Basin. 40 Final Report – September 2007 . although these were rapidly killed by fungus. as discussed later. previous APEM reports also noted various observations of spawning behaviour and the presence of eggs throughout the reach. In addition to these records. The lack of these species in the early stages of development suggests that either water quality or habitat constraints are acting as a bottleneck to the recruitment of the rheophilic species.
5 Fish community structure along the lower River Irwell and upper MSC between March 1998 and February 2000.APEM Scientific Report . 41 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 zone 2 trout dace dace roach perch Zone 3 roach Chub zone 6 bream pike perch chub perch Wodden Basin rudd pike carp tench bream roach perch dace zone 4 bream gudgeon roach perch Zone 5 trout roach roach 500 m perch Figure 6.
EF Electric fishing.1 1.6 2.5 2.1 42 Final Report – September 2007 .1 0. GN Gill netting).410039 Table 6. Zone 2 Species Roach Perch Pike Bream Rudd Chub Dace Trout Tench Gudgeon Carp TOTAL A Zone 3 A FN Zone 4 A Wilburn St.5 Total number of fish caught by specific sampling methods in each survey zone of the lower River Irwell and upper MSC (A angling.3 2.1 0.3 0.4 36. FN Fyke netting.2 0. from March 1998 to February 2000.3 1. Basin EF Zone 5 FN EF FN Zone 6 GN EF Total catch % of catch 1 4 9 3 11 55 201 33 3 312 334 32 27 28 15 5 14 27 33 15 117 5 8 12 3 1 1 16 6 2 10 1 1 1 1 1 1 736 29 22 67 238 20 42 48 122 25 721 493 35 31 28 17 17 3 1 2 1 1349 53.APEM Scientific Report .
5b). all data have been combined for each year to facilitate analysis of the results (Fig 6. 2004-2006 More recent survey data are available for the years 2004-2006. Basin. Although typically classified as psammophilic (spawning on sand) they are also known to spawn on aquatic moss (Fontinalis) in well oxygenated water. bream Roach Minnow Gudgeon Perch 60% 40% 20% 0% 1998-2000 2004 2005 2006 Figure 6. and is encouraging since these gudgeon must have recruited naturally. Gudgeon are known to show plasticity in their habitat requirements.5b Temporal changes in species composition in the upper MSC and lower River Irwell between 1998 – 2006 43 Final Report – September 2007 . with gudgeon dominating the catch. such conditions are thought to exist at Adelphi Weir (Pers observation).2 Surveys. although these surveys utilised just the single method of fyke netting. This has been the case since. Temporal changes in species composition in the upper MSC (all data pooled from fyke samples only) N=135 N=267 N=116 N=298 100% 80% Rudd C. In order to account for the restricted number of nets deployed and the known mobility of fish populations.410039 6.APEM Scientific Report . The 2004 survey revealed a striking shift in species composition from the earlier surveys.5. with fyke traps placed at a number of sites betwen Mode Wheel lock and the entrance of Wilburn St. The lack of 0+ gudgeon in any surveys confirms that the sampling methods used for these surveys are unsuitable for the capture of 0+ fishes. but efforts should be made to identify and protect these habitats in order to maintain the stock. The current spawning and nursery habitats of this fish are presently unknown on the MSC.
water quality and habitat constraints. This is discussed in detail in Section 7. Pinder. using a length weight relationship to assess condition. and the self sustainability of fish populations in the Irwell and MSC. 2001) in order to assess the performance. indicated that fish of all species were generally healthy in all years.410039 An alternative sampling approach was trialled in 2005 with the use of a ‘boom boat’ for electric fishing. With the exception of the above data. confirming for the first time that successful recruitment was taking place on the lower Irwell and upper MSC. Irwell adjacent to Wilburn St Basin October 2005 Total number of fish = 337 Ch ub Gu dgeon Pe rch Ro ach St ickleback Fig 6. this one-off survey produced a good number of 0+ chub. roach and stickleback. 1989. the effective management of these fisheries will always be compromised and informed decisions cannot be made regarding the need for additional stocking or habitat manipulation.5c Boom boat electric fishing survey in the River Irwell near Wilburn Street Basin. with growth exceeding the ‘Hickley Standard’ and both growth and condition within the oxygenated Turning Basin exceeding those values found elsewhere in the upper canal and lower Irwell. 44 Final Report – September 2007 . Without such data. This suggests that previous sampling methodologies have not been adequate to either indicate or assess levels of recruitment. With the exception of perch all other fish were 0+ providing the first indication of good recruitment. Consideration of the health of the adult stock. gudgeon.APEM Scientific Report . the paucity of such records emphasizes an urgent need to carry out surveys specifically designed for the capture of 0+ fishes (Copp. Although this sampling gear was not designed for the capture of juvenile fish.
5 17.070 Basin 7a Basin 7a Basin 7a Basin 7a Basin 7a 2330 12-15 cms 12-15 cms 12-15 cms 12-15 cms 12-15 cms Salford Quays fish survey data Immediately after isolation of the Quays from the MSC in 1986. Stocked 1989 Weight(lbs) Stocked 17. the only fish present were a small population of roach and three-spined stickleback.5 60 17.6 Salford Quays Table 6.5 17.410039 6.APEM Scientific Report .5 400 100 100 200 1000 400 Location Size range (comments) Basin 7c 70 lbs mixed Basin 7a 2200 lbs mixed 1997 1998 2002 2004 2006 TOTAL 500 1500 1000 1070 1000 1000 6.6 Stocking history Year Species 1988 Bream Carp Roach Rudd Tench Carp Chub Dace Perch Roach Rudd Chub Roach Tench Tench Rudd Roach No. The diversity of fish within the Quays has since been enhanced by stocking. 45 Final Report – September 2007 . The dramatically improved water quality in the Quays make this an ideal model on which to study how further improvements in the adjacent Ship Canal could benefit future fish populations. habitat diversification and natural recruitment and today the Quays support a wide range of species.
410039 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% N=126 N=78 N=133 N=237 N=100 N=352 N=112 N=190 1988-1990 eel pike trout tench r x b hybrid rudd roach perch chub carp bream 1999 2000 2002 2003 2004 2005 Figure 6.APEM Scientific Report .6 Temporal changes in species composition in Salford Quays (three-spined stickleback removed from 1988-1990 data) 46 Final Report – September 2007 2006 .
Although roach have been successful in recruiting on a number of occasions. with several species such as tench and crucian carp having probably escaped from an ornamental fishery neighbouring the Micker Brook. Sticklebacks have been omitted from the 1988-1990 data set.. this species dominated the population.7 Upper River Mersey Fish survey data are extremely limited for the upper Mersey. There is little evidence of other species succeeding in recruiting although three 0+ dace were captured in February 1992 and several 0+ pike were caught in 2005.410039 The design and lack of shallow littoral habitats within Salford Quays. Perhaps at the expense of the roach population. A survey the following year was conducted at two sites on the Micker Brook and at three sites on the Mersey between Heaton and Little Ees Lane. but none have been caught since 1992. 47 Final Report – September 2007 . Figure 6. areas sampled and methods used. bream and tench are still occasionally caught or observed. Due to the spawning requirements of these species. fyke netting. Due to heavy rainfall preceding an Environment Agency survey in 2004 the Mersey was unfishable and the survey was restricted to two sites on the Micker Brook. makes sampling fish populations problematic. Since the isolation of this water body from the MSC. Maintenance of diverse fish populations in Salford Quays currently relies heavily on stocking practices. since the late 1990s. Worthy of note was the capture of a 40 cm eel in Dock 7 during an electric fishing survey on November 17. Although carp. although the possibilities of this fish travelling across land from a neighbouring canal (such as the Bridgewater). 2005. available data suggest that this species has struggled to recruit on a consistent annual basis. a tributary of the Mersey. At this time. both in terms of effort. The journey that this fish had undertaken to find a home in Salford Quays is a mystery. sampling techniques have varied.6 summarises the changing species composition between 1988 – 2006. Very few fish were caught from the combined surveys and therefore a robust assessment of the fish population is not possible. 1999). data need to be treated with some caution and may not be a true reflection of the current status of the fishery.APEM Scientific Report . these are adult specimens and show no signs of being able to maintain their population numbers naturally. or that it had been introduced by an angler should not be dismissed. gill netting and electric-fishing. only small numbers of each species were caught. 6. despite the limited success of artificial spawning media (Nash et al. Because of these various sampling inconsistencies. This specimen represents the only record of this species to be captured upstream of the River Bollin since the Industrial Revolution. Therefore data have been combined from all areas for fish captured by angling competitions. Although a total of 12 species were recorded. it seems unlikely that these fish were produced within the Quays and were perhaps discretely stocked by anglers. perch have become very successful with recruitment evident from 1991 onwards.
500 Size range Table 6. Stocked 1993 chub 20000 dace 6000 roach 6000 1994 barbel 1700 1995 chub 10000 1996 chub 1500 dace 1500 1997 roach 5000 dace 7000 2000 dace 12000 2001 chub 13000 dace 3500 trout 2500 2003 grayling 2000 Total 91.7a: Stocking history Year Species 1996 chub 1997 roach chub dace 1998 roach chub 1999 dace 2000 dace roach 2001 chub roach Total No. 48 Final Report – September 2007 .APEM Scientific Report .700 Size range The presence of 0+ roach. Although more detailed surveys are required.7b: River Mersey Fish Survey data Year Species No. Stocked 15000 15000 29000 6000 13000 9000 7000 7000 5500 26000 5000 149. The available data suggesting that these populations are to some extent self-sustainable.410039 Table 6. it would appear that the upper Mersey supports a mixed coarse fishery with some brown trout. trout and perch in the Micker Brook confirmed successful spawning of these species in 2004. with the presence of 1+ dace and gudgeon and 2+ roach in 2005 also suggesting that recruitment of these species had occurred in 2004 and 2003 respectively.
However.8 River Goyt Table 6. four salmon parr were recorded from the Goyt (see section 10). this may be due to the limited scope of the survey and it is quite possible that these species are successful at other sites along the river where specific habitats are perhaps more favourable.8. revealed high species diversity in the River Goyt. the relative abundance of which are summarised in Fig 6. No.700 Size range 49 Final Report – September 2007 . it is perhaps surprising that no chub or gudgeon were caught under 4 years of age.APEM Scientific Report .410039 6.8 Stocking history Year Species 1993 chub dace roach 1994 barbel 1995 chub 1996 chub dace 1997 roach dace 2000 dace 2001 chub dace trout 2003 grayling Total River Goyt Fish survey data Combined data from five sites surveyed by the Agency in 2004. In light of the evidence that these species had spawned successfully. grayling and trout were also caught suggesting that a range of both rheophilic and limnophilic habitats are available. with the first record of a juvenile barbel from the Goyt representing the first evidence of spawning success in this species. Species composition was dominated by minor species. 0+ roach. In addition to the survey data made available. The remaining 24% comprised 141 fish of 12 species. minnow and bullhead making up 76% of the total number of fish. perch. In 2005. Natural recruitment was evident for several species. with stone loach. Stocked 20000 6000 6000 1700 10000 1500 1500 5000 7000 12000 13000 3500 2500 2000 91.
9 Stocking history Year Species 1996 chub dace trout 1997 roach chub dace 1998 chub dace roach 2001 dace Total River Tame Fish survey data Although age data were not available from the most recent survey.500 Size range 5-7” 2-4” 2-4” 2-4” 2-4” 5-15 cm dominant (38%) with gudgeon. Stocked 13000 9000 4000 2000 15000 5000 4000 2000 3000 2500 59. In accordance with other rivers in the system. chub and trout being the prominent species of fisheries interest. This survey showed minnow to be numerically No. In 2005.8 6. 50 Final Report – September 2007 . earlier Agency reports from 2003 confirm good recruitment of trout. with a small number of 0+ grayling also present. dace have been poorly represented in previous surveys on the River Tame.APEM Scientific Report . chub and gudgeon. five sites were electric fished between Mossley Mill and Triviot Bridge.410039 Species composition (% ) in the River Goyt 2004 (minor species removed from analysis) 1% 22% 8% 10% N=1 Barbel Trout Chub Common bream Grayling 3% 1% 2% 2% 5% 25% 1% 20% Gudgeon Pike Perch Roach Rainbow Trout 3-Spined Stickleback Brook Lamprey Figure 6.9 River Tame Table 6.
10.10 River Bollin stocking history Year Species 1995 Chub 1996 Chub Dace 1997 Dace Perch Roach 1998 Roach 1999 Roach Rudd 2003 Trout 2004 Trout 2005 Trout 2006 Bream Barbel Chub Gudgeon Total River Bollin Fish Survey data Data from fish surveys have been made available by the Environment Agency for surveys conducted at six sites between Styal Weir and Heatley Mill during 2004 and 2005.9 6.2% 0. In both years chub and gudgeon dominated catches with perch and roach also being widely distributed among sites. species composition and distribution had remained constant between 2001 No. A total of 13 species were caught over this period and are detailed in Table 6. Stocked 1000 4000 1000 3000 2000 10000 150 7334 1166 200 250 150 200 200 100 1000 31.750 Size range 20cm 20 cm 16-20cm 20-25cm 20-25cm 7-12cm 51 Final Report – September 2007 .10 River Bollin Table 6.3% Brown Trout Chub Gudgeon Roach Stoneloach Bullhead 3 Spined Stickleback Dace Pike 38% Figure 6.410039 Species composition (%) in the River Tame 2005 (minnow removed from analysis) 10% 1% 19% 0. Based on previous data collected by the Agency.APEM Scientific Report .5% 17% N=467 11% 3.
2004). In 2005 no 0+ fish were caught. a single juvenile barbel was captured in this section in 2005. roach and trout in the 1+ age class also indicated recruitment of these species the previous year. gudgeon. Spatial differences were evident. If the stocking records detailed in Table 6. with a constant increase in ‘standing crop’ observed over the same fouryear period. with the section downstream of Heatley Weir proving to be the most prolific in terms of both standing crop and species diversity in all surveys.410039 and 2005. From the available survey results. The presence of chub. Although dace were the only species to demonstrate poor growth rates and little evidence of natural recruitment. indicating that during autumn at least. the dace population would be expected to benefit from the availability of additional spawning substrate further upstream. it would appear that dace are largely confined to this area of the Bollin and if upstream passage of the weir were possible. it is possible for migrating fish to cross the MSC.APEM Scientific Report . age classes ranged from 4+ to 5+ and 2+ to 7+ in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Again the ability of this species to gain access to the river above the weir is only likely to benefit the population. While dace showed poor growth rates compared with the ‘expected standard’ for northern rivers. The Weir at Heatley has been identified as an impassable barrier to most fish migration (APEM. pike and brown trout. perch.10 are complete. Although 0+ dace were absent from both surveys. gudgeon. this would indicate sporadic recruitment being achieved prior to 2003. This is the first evidence of natural recruitment in this species recorded on the Bollin.9 km of the River Bollin or if migration occurs between the MSC and lower Bollin when water quality conditions allow. Adult salmon have been observed leaping at Heatley. with limited scope for rheophilic spawning between Heatley Weir and the MSC. 52 Final Report – September 2007 . perch. With the close proximity of the MSC to the lower survey site it is obviously of great interest to establish whether fish populations are restricted to the lower 2. During the 2004 survey successful recruitment was confirmed by the capture of 0+ chub. all other species demonstrated average to fast growth and confirm adequate availability of food to maintain the current population levels.
6.11 Rivers Weaver and Gowy Species composition in the Rivers Weaver and Gowy flounder 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Weaver Gowy tench rudd eel ruffe gudgeon bream perch roach dace chub trout Figure 6.11 The River Weaver species composition has been calculated using the combined records from 24 angling matches.410039 Species composition (%) in the River Bollin 2005 (minor species excluded from analysis) 0. This is evidence that this species is again entering the lower Ship Canal in search of freshwater rearing habitat.4% 22% Figure 6. Data 53 Final Report – September 2007 .APEM Scientific Report .2% 1% 33% 1% Brown trout Chub N=515 Dace Eel Gudgeon Perch Pike Roach Barbel 26% 0. based on each species frequency of capture. a small number of eels have been recorded from the Heatley Weir stretch.10 In contrast to the rivers of the upper Mersey catchment. entered the river as elvers or as relocating juveniles.2% 16% 0.2% 0. It is not clear whether the eels caught in the Bollin.
1 Growth Rates Growth rates are commonly used as an indication of both individual and population health. currently promotes growth above the expected national average in most species. Likewise. suggesting that habitat within this particular section of the Bollin is of insufficient quality to favour the success of this species. from the age of 4+ growth rates increased to above the expected average. 54 Final Report – September 2007 . while the Weaver flows into the MSC before entering the estuary after crossing the MSC at Weaver Sluices. Where observed growth values are below these standards. although initial growth rates lie below the Hickley Growth Standard. chub attained 112% of the PSG in both the upper Mersey and the Bollin.1 mirrors what has been observed throughout the catchment and emphasises that current growth rates generally exceed national expectations and suggest adequate food supply and healthy physiological composition of the majority of these populations throughout the catchment. rheophilic species such as dace demonstrated reduced growth rates of 89% on the River Bollin. While inter-annual abiotic factors such as temperature can influence growth rates. Figure 7. including the MSC. This illustrates that the Mersey estuary still has a healthy run of elvers. The River Gowy is ducted beneath the MSC thus benefiting form a direct migration route. In some instances. The Rivers Weaver and Gowy are worthy of mention in this review because of their more direct connectivity with the Mersey Estuary. Data from recent surveys reported roach populations attaining 105 and 116% of the ‘Percentage Standard Growth’ (PSG) in the upper Mersey and River Bollin respectively. 7. (All data provided by the EA).APEM Scientific Report . an environmental constraint is likely to be the cause. On examination of Environment Agency data.1) indicates that. The most striking difference between these rivers and the upper catchment is the abundance of eels in these rivers. Calculated retrospectively from the back-calculation of annual length increments from the relative distances between scale annuli. but migration appears to be impeded by the MSC with eels only recorded in small numbers as far up as the lower River Bollin.0 FISH HEALTH 7. it would seem that the Mersey catchment as a whole. this method allows useful comparisons to be made between populations on a spatial scale and also in relation to expected ‘National Standards’ (Hickley & Dexter 1979). Recent growth of roach year classes in the MSC (Fig 7.410039 from the River Gowy were collected from electric fishing surveys carried out in 2004.
Thames 1967 Standard 150 100 50 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Age (years) Figure 7. b usually has a value around 3. Also shown is the Hickley Growth Standard 7. which generated a power value (b) of 2.2b). Salford Quays and the River Thames (at the time of sampling.1 Growth Standard Curve.9.0. Growth rates for roach in the MSC. Furthermore.2c). these values indicate that fish in the MSC were in very good condition. Nevertheless.APEM Scientific Report .410039 300 250 200 Length (mm) MSC 2006 MSC 2005 MSC 2004 MSC 2003 SQ 1999 R.0. 7. 7.2a). Condition is the volume of a fish relative to length and this is taken as a measure of well-being. As the relationship is dependent on volume. the value of 2.2 Condition The weight and length of fish are related by a power relationship (W = a L b). Overall. Undertaking the same analysis for all perch data also produces a figure of 2.9 is still very close to the ‘ideal’ of 3. 55 Final Report – September 2007 . (3. where the value of b can be used as a measure of fish condition. 7. the power relationship was plotted using roach data from all surveys conducted on the MSC during 2006 (Fig.3. such that better condition is assumed with increasing volume (or weight) for a given length. the latter represents an environmentally stressed population).1) (Fig. This value is slightly lower than the figure derived from 2005 data of 3.9 (Fig.0. the figure generated when only data from the oxygenated region are plotted exceeds 3. To maximise the number of data points.
9441 200 Weight (g) 2.9978 Weight (g) 80 40 0 0 50 100 Length (mm) 150 200 250 Figure 7.9149 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 Length (mm) 200 250 300 Figure 7.2b Length / weight relationship for roach caught in the oxygenated region of the upper MSC during summer 2006 56 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 300 250 y = 2E-05x R2 = 0.2a Length / weight relationship for roach caught in the upper MSC during summer 2006 160 120 y = 9E-06x3.1041 2 R = 0.APEM Scientific Report .
1 Fulton’s Condition Factor A further measure of fish condition is provided by Fulton’s Condition Factor (K = W / L3.2c Length / weight relationship for perch caught in the upper MSC during summer 2006 7. The formula is again based on the assumption that for a given length a heavier fish is in better condition. which has been observed to be negatively correlated with decreasing nutrient availability and improving water quality. The subtle temporal negative trend in condition of both species is most likely a reflection of a decrease in density of pollution tolerant invertebrates. 57 Final Report – September 2007 .9274 2 R = 0.APEM Scientific Report .2. where W is weight and L is length).2d provides an inter-annual mean condition comparison for all roach and all perch caught in Salford Quays between 1988 and 2005.9344 200 Weight (g) 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 Length (mm) 200 250 300 Figure 7.410039 300 250 y = 2E-05x2. Figure 7.
the populations within the Quays are restricted to whatever prey are available. Despite fish having to demonstrate plasticity in their feeding preferences and the significant intake of detrital material by roach in Salford Quays. However. dominating with leeches and young fishes also present in those perch feeding in the Wilburn St.. a comprehensive survey of fish diet within the MSC and surrounding watercourses has not been carried out. Another factor highlighted in a previous report (Nash et al. food availability does 58 Final Report – September 2007 . within the Quays. These less nutritious items made up 60% of the gut contents.APEM Scientific Report . more pollution tolerant species featured in the guts of perch with Assellus sp. which may temporarily skew the balance of food naturally available within the Salford Quays area.410039 Annual mean Fulton's K value (+/. In respect of these limited observations it should be noted that populations within the MSC are mobile and can therefore exploit different food resources on both a temporal and spatial basis. In contrast. 2003) was the availability of angling baits such as Chironomidae. Roach also showed plasticity in their food intake. Outside the Quays in the MSC. In particular. preliminary ‘snapshot’ investigations into the diets of roach and perch have revealed opportunistic feeding behaviour in accordance with those prey items available within different areas of the Canal. Assellus sp.SE) for roach and perch in Salford Quays 2 Fulton's K value 1.5 Roach Perch Linear (Perch) Linear (Roach) 1 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1999 2001 2003 2005 Figure 7.2d 7. and in Wilburn St. with the remaining 40% consisting of Chironomidae and copepods.3 Food availability To date. while in the Ship Canal and the Wilburn St. sediment and vegetation. Basin. perch diet was dominated by Copepods and Chydorous. dominated. with the ‘Quays fish’ ingesting much greater quantities of detritus. with changes in abundance and species only likely to occur on a temporal basis. Basin. Basin Chydorous and copepods formed the principal prey items.
High nutrient and organic inputs from the River Irwell accumulate within the deep. (on which many rotifers feed) with phytoplankton models showing a positive correlation with fish recruitment rate (Biktashev et al. It is therefore imperative that the availability of sufficient quantities of suitable food corresponds with the hatching of larvae in order to ensure adequate survival and successful recruitment. 2003). While some species demonstrate varying degrees of plasticity in their requirements. feeding behaviour is complex.. before switching to larger macro invertebrates and detritus. roach have been observed to capitalise on this resource as foraging time is reduced thus benefiting bioenergetics (Nash et al. to satisfy early stages of development. In order to elucidate whether food availability is limiting fish populations a detailed examination of the status of 0+ fish and their gut contents will be required. due to an increase in mouth gape. it is not possible at present to ascertain whether recruitment is being restricted by a lack of appropriate food items. as growth and condition factors are often in excess of the national averages. 1996). As a generalisation. others are more specific and where suitable food is not available the year class will fail. Subsequently. such as weirs and bridges (Mann et al. 1985). 59 Final Report – September 2007 . larval and juvenile coarse fishes are restricted in terms of their diet by the gape of the mouth (Pinder & Gozlan. it is generally recognised that water temperature and turbidity play important roles in the primary production of algae.. (Mills & Mann. 2004). slow flowing sections of the upper Ship Canal and have a fertilising effect. Essentially the increase in DO levels have allowed a much greater diversity of animals to colonise these areas and the species count has increased from four pollution tolerant species (pre oxygenation) to a total of 39 invertebrate taxa recorded to date.. growth rates will become reduced. cyprinid larvae initially require an abundance of rotifers followed by larger crustacea such as Cladocera. During early development. more specific with the first few hours after absorption of yolk reserves being a critical period when large quantities of rotifers are needed in order to progress to the next ontogenetic step. varying both inter. that as water quality improves further. larger prey items may be taken. from observations on other rivers recovering from organic pollution. the observed improvements in water quality have also been reflected in the macro invertebrate communities present. Although species diversity has shown a dramatic increase.APEM Scientific Report . which may be grazed from macrophytes and man-made structures. such as Assellus. such as the Trent. 2003). Since the initiation of the oxygenation programme within areas of the MSC. falling in line with the ‘national average’. This is due to the relative reduction in numbers of pollution tolerant species and it is predicted. Although the environmental parameters driving the production of such food are complex. encouraging the proliferation of pollution tolerant species. total biomass of available fish food has decreased within the oxygenated areas. To summarise.and intra-specifically (Pinder et al.410039 not appear to be compromising the health of fish within the Quays or the MSC.. however. Where there is a local abundance of such taxa within the Canal. The dietary requirements of perch are. During early ontogeny. although the availability of larger food items is currently plentiful and does not appear to be restricting adult performance. 2005).
a measure of intersex severity (1-7) was then allocated to individual specimens. 7. (1998).K. This paper demonstrates the advantage of monitoring for feminising effects using juvenile fish. Beresford et al. Values then increase in accordance with the disappearance of the sperm duct and an increase in the numbers and stage of development of the oocytes. treated sewage effluent. rather than sacrificing sexually mature recruits from an already fragile community. 2002). Salford Quays have not received any sewage effluent or surface water since their isolation from the MSC in 1987 and they. Based on the epidemiological data sets of the U. At this stage.4. (2004) reported the detection of endocrine disruption in juvenile roach. it is of no surprise that the feminisation of several species has been observed from these watercourses. or after.1 Occurrence of intersex in the MSC With up to 90% of the dry weather flow of the lower River Irwell and MSC. direct-exposure studies with early life-stage roach (from fertilized egg and juveniles) confirm that sewage effluents induce a number of feminizing effects. 2006). Using an index similar to the intersex indices used in the past (EA. therefore act as a valuable control in order to assess the impact of sewage inputs on the feminisation of local populations.4). it is now acknowledged that the occurrence of feminised fish is associated with effluent discharges and that the incidence and severity of feminisation is positively correlated with the proportion of treated sewage effluent in receiving waters (Gross-Sorokin et al. along with a further 51 roach and 61 perch taken from the enclosed Salford Quays (Table 7. 1997). 2006). At stage 6.APEM Scientific Report .. endocrine disruption has been a major avenue of research internationally. implying that the expression of this condition is progressive and appears at. where low values indicate the presence of an ovarian cavity in testes but absence of oocytes. However. the onset of adulthood (Environment Agency 2002a). intersex males and true females were distinguished by the presence/ lack of any sign of testicular tissue. Between 1998 and 2001. 1998). 78 roach and 19 perch. These include vitellogenin induction and duct disruption in the very earliest stages of development (Gimeno et al. using the formation of an ovarian cavity as their main criterion for assessing the degree of oestrogenic activity. Although fish are thought to be susceptible to the effects of such pollutants throughout adulthood. Intersex has sometimes been stated to be a rare condition in fish younger than 3 years of age. at best.. Histological analysis of the gonads was performed using the methodology of Jobling et al. with the effects of duct disruption being irreversible (Gross-Sorokin et al.410039 7. that are initially more abundant. some of which may be capable of successful reproduction. 100% of the gonad was ovarian. In contrast to the MSC. still.4 Endocrine disruption Following the initial discovery of this phenomenon.. with a wide variety of chemicals now known to disrupt normal endocrine function in fishes (Sumpter. 60 Final Report – September 2007 . and Europe. from the MSC were analysed for occurrence sexual abnormalities. over 50% of the gonad was ovarian and at stage 7.
indicating the presence of frequent occurrence of primary and/or secondary oocytes within the testes. Intersex gonads were observed in >50% of male roach sampled in the MSC while in the cleaner water of the Quays this was only evident in 24% of males. until at age 6+ the male: female ratio was 3:1. p=0. Table 7. younger specimens displayed more equal ratios between sexes. so did the sex ratio in favour of males. In contrast. with females becoming predominant at a male: female ratio of 1:3 from the age of 3++. sex ratios of perch in the MSC were dominated by females with only 1 in 10 fish of this age group being male. However. with 100% of all males having intersex gonads. (b) Perch At the age of 4+. males % Intersex males Mean male intersex index (± SD) 97 54 24 54 45 29 14 24 45 22 10 100 2. Higher index values were ascribed to a number of individuals in both populations. This compared with a male:female ratio of 1:4 within the enclosed Quays for roach aged 5+ and older. The effects of oestrogenic compounds on the perch population of the MSC was found to be extremely alarming.7 (± 1) 61 Final Report – September 2007 . so did the ratio of females to males. Roach MSC Salford Quays Perch MSC Salford Quays Sample size No. and the severity of gonad corruption also being greater than those observed in either of the roach populations previously examined.4 Intersex incidence and mean intersex index score for male roach and perch in the MSC and Salford Quays. retention of sperm duct and the presence of a low number of primary oocytes.9 (± 1. while in both habitats. It was not until 5+ that these females became mature and this corresponded with a sudden change to an equal sex ratio of male to females. In addition to the contrasting sex ratios observed between the two habitats.5) with mean index values of 2.5. on average a male:female ratio of 1:10.410039 (a) Roach Results from the MSC showed that as age increased. the severity of intersex did not differ significantly between the two populations (Mann Whitney U = 33.5) 1.6 (± 2.5) 66 37 26 0 0 1. the younger perch in Salford Quays were dominated by males. From this point. with fish age classes of 4 onwards having.APEM Scientific Report . indicating the development of an ovarian cavity. females No. as the year class increased. the 26 male perch sampled from Salford Quays displayed no evidence of intersex.
both within the Quays and the neighbouring MSC. Indeed the Environment Agency and the U. Within Salford Quays. roach were indigenous and dominated the 62 Final Report – September 2007 . with fertilization success reduced by up to 75% when compared with less severely intersex. when contamination levels are increased. but it is not clear whether successful spawning occurs locally or whether young. In severely intersex roach. Although sex ratios in coarse fish populations are known to fluctuate naturally (Jamet. Regardless of pinpointing the exact or combined causes. Although data currently available from the Mersey system are limited. Thus it would appear. 2002). The combination of skewed sex ratios and the incidence and severity of intersex within the roach and perch populations of the upper Canal raises serious concerns about the additional fragility of these populations. sperm motility has been shown to be reduced by up to 50%. perch show elevated sensitivity over roach to the effects with 100% of males becoming compromised to some degree in their reproductive capacity.410039 (c) Ecological significance While the natural recruitment (albeit limited) of both roach and perch has been observed in both the MSC and Salford Quays. 1993). quantity and fertilisation success in roach. such as phenolic compounds are responsible.. are all negatively correlated with increasing degree of feminisation. it is interesting to compare the situation in respect of perch and roach. fish (Jobling et al. that contrary to current scientific opinion. previous studies have demonstrated that sperm quality. government have taken the view that the effects observed by the scientific community can be considered harmful and. once present in all other respects the habitat appears to be very much suited to roach and perch as evidenced by the high growth rates and condition factors demonstrated. presumably larval stage recruits are merely displaced downstream into the upper Canal. or unaffected. together with the reasonable likelihood of population level effects. it is not clear whether these contaminants originate from organic sewage effluent which was trapped within the sediments prior to the isolation of the Quays or whether other compounds known to be oestrogen mimics. However. 2006). the severe occurrence of the intersex condition in the MSC fish is apparently not restricting the development of the fish population. as in the MSC. it should be stressed that in all other respects the development of the roach and perch populations appears to be proceeding well in the upper MSC.K. 2006). it is currently unknown whether oestrogenic compounds or other water quality parameters may influence skewed sex ratios in the MSC and Salford Quays.APEM Scientific Report . Although background levels of contamination within Salford Quays are clearly high enough to have a feminising effect on roach. with every male suffering some degree of gonad corruption is not an efficient scenario in favour of production and population sustainability. it appears that perch are less susceptible to the effects of lower levels of these contaminants. However. It has already been flagged that this phenomenon may have chronic impacts on the sustainability of fish populations (Gross-Sorokin et al. Recruitment is obviously occurring. In either case.. that this damage is unacceptable for the long term (Gross-Sorokin et al. Clearly a male: female sex ratio of 1:10 in perch.
roach and perch numbers have been maintained in equal proportions. The fact that perch demonstrate high incidents of intersex in the MSC. the upper MSC and Salford Quays offer a superb model environment in which to further investigate the ecological consequences of endocrine disrupting substances on fish population dynamics. with perch capitalising on increased spawning success? There could be many reasons for this observed shift in species composition within the Quays.410039 population structure until end of the 1990s. 63 Final Report – September 2007 . After this time the perch population exploded with this species becoming more and more dominant. apparently at the expense of the roach population. The availability of suitable spawning substrate is another likely cause. In contrast. nevertheless.APEM Scientific Report . but are unaffected in the Quays raises the question: are the roach in Salford Quays struggling to maintain a population due to the prevalence of intersex males. but. despite the success and overall dominance of gudgeon in the MSC.
reveals a clear association between numbers of migrating salmon and elevated river discharge. it is not possible to assess the annual migratory pattern of salmon on the Mersey (Fig 8a).410039 8.0 THE RETURN OF SALMON TO THE MERSEY Despite anecdotal evidence from anglers that salmon had been observed jumping weirs on the lower Mersey and the River Bollin. adults can traverse the 8km of MSC dividing the Mersey. the general tendency in salmon populations over the last three decades has been to move towards Autumn running salmon (single sea winter fish – 1SW) rather than Spring salmon (multiple sea winter – MSW). Examination of the temporal records of fish trapped in October-November. Although this discovery has confirmed that under favourable water quality conditions. However. autumn freshets also tend to move fish on that have been residing downstream of potential spawning areas. elevated flows will also enhance water quality promoting better mixing of the water column and reducing or eliminating zones of oxygen deficiency. it is still unknown whether smolts can tolerate conditions during late spring on their journey to sea. In 2005 the first juveniles were recorded. Dee) or North (e. At this stage. Ribble). either continually or at least bi-weekly sub-sampling. However.APEM Scientific Report . 64 Final Report – September 2007 . where an automatic counter operates throughout the year (Richard Cove Pers comm. and to date. as an initial guide to the likely shape of the Mersey run. it was not until November 2001 that the first adult salmon was trapped by Agency staff at Woolston Weir near Warrington. when three parr were captured on the River Goyt. On entering the MSC.) The Environment Agency have undertaken radio telemetry studies on some fish caught at Woolston Weir. although at the time of writing. although adults may migrate into rivers during spring and early summer.g. spawn successfully and produce healthy parr. this species was present once again.g. Since the initial capture. it is not clear whether these fish were homing to their natal river or were strays from known salmon rivers to the South (e. data have kindly been made available by Dee Stock assessment Programme. This was proof that. This is a typical cue for migratory species with increases in flow commonly triggering the migratory response. no reports were available. From data currently available. for the adjacent River Dee (Fig 8b). In order to assess the true numbers and the seasonality of the migration it will be necessary to run the trap on a more frequent. the trap at Woolston Weir has been operated for limited periods during the autumn. for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. 71 adults have been briefly intercepted and examined as they made their way upstream.
Data from continuously operated fish counter. 40 20 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D Month Figure 8a: Number of adult salmon trapped at Woolston Weir during 2005-2006. or 2) Fish have to wait until autumn when water quality is more likely to allow successful navigation of the Canal in order to reach % of total run 65 Final Report – September 2007 . which would mean that the numbers of adults running the Mersey are currently being under estimated.APEM Scientific Report . 1991-2006 data combined.410039 Salmon numbers trapped at Woolston Weir (all data 2001-2006 combined) 60 No. Note. Results from the Dee would suggest that either 1) larger numbers of salmon are entering the MSC during the summer months when water quality parameters are less favourable. The Woolston trap has only been operated during the months of October and November Seasonal proportion (%) of u/s migrating salmon on the River Dee (all data 19912006 combined) 50 40 30 20 10 0 J F M A M J J A S O N D Month Figure 8b: Seasonal proportion of upstream migrating salmon on the River Dee.
410039 potential spawning grounds in the upper catchment. Initial results clearly show that the vast majority of Mersey salmon migrate to sea after spending two years in the river. these data accord with the Mersey population. For comparative purposes. Agency staff have been able to interpret how long each fish had spent in freshwater as a parr and the time spent at sea. Where water quality conditions are seasonally more favourable at some times than others. Although data from the Dee show that a small number of fish spend an extra year either as parr. where migrating adults may be at high risk from perturbations in water quality. as the limited sampling window of October-November may skew these results. It is therefore of critical importance to assess the annual temporal distribution of the Mersey run in order to identify peak periods of vulnerability.1a). the timing of the run alone could govern the success/failure of the population. summer and autumn months. or at sea as MSW adults. it is first important to understand the life history traits of the population in question. More frequent trap operation is probably the most appropriate technique to use.APEM Scientific Report . 66 Final Report – September 2007 . By removing a scale from each adult intercepted on the Woolston trap between 20012006. adults also vary their time spent at sea. Although salmon typically spend one or more years as parr in freshwater before migrating. data for the River Dee are also provided (Fig 8. and potentially early winter. with the majority of adults returning to spawn as grilse after only one year at sea (1SW) (Fig 8. These data need to be treated with caution. in that both populations show a propensity to spend more than one year in freshwater and return after one year at sea as grilse. 8.1 The potential for a future salmon fishery In order to manage the future fishery potential of the Mersey system.1b). throughout the spring.
1991-2006 data combined.1a: Life history data from all adult salmon caught on the Mersey at Woolston Weir No. 1+ 2+ 3+ 67 Final Report – September 2007 .1b: Life history data from all adult salmon caught in the River Dee. of years spent in freshwater as parr and years spent at sea of returning adults (%) (all data 2001-2006 combined) 100 freshwater 80 60 % 40 20 0 1+ 2+ 1+ (grilse) 2+ (MSW) marine Figure 8.APEM Scientific Report .410039 No. of years spent in freshwater as parr and years spent at sea of returning adults (%) on the River Dee (all data 1991-2006 combined) 100 freshwater 80 60 % 40 20 0 marine 1+ 2+ 3+ (grilse) (MSW) (MSW) Figure 8.
68 Final Report – September 2007 . mitigation efforts have not been implemented despite the recognition that salmon are now regularly observed in autumn attempting to jump Heatley Weir and gain access to the Bollin (Environment Agency web site).1. sea trout. With the gradual cleansing of the Mersey Estuary. lamprey sp. for the re-establishment of both anadromous and catadromous migrant populations (APEM. 2004) and have identified a total of 12 impassable structures.410039 8. Comprehensive walkover surveys of the available habitat within this system have been carried out (APEM 763. Although salmon are known to have traversed the MSC and succeeded in spawning in the River Goyt. 2004). To date. less arduous journeys across the Canal are being thwarted by a number of obstructions in the River Bollin.APEM Scientific Report .1 River Bollin The River Bollin has previously been highlighted as potentially the most important part of the Mersey catchment. which currently deny the access of migrants to spawning and rearing habitats. which if absent or made passable would open up a total of 97.1). and eels are all expected to have flourished within this river historically. Salmon. these species are present once again and have been captured at Woolston Weir on the Lower Mersey.600 m2 of spawning habitat (Table 8.525 m2 of suitable juvenile salmonid rearing habitat and a further 5.
893 66.958 2.575 1.449 85.600 Cumulative Parr Area Parr + Mixed Juvenile (m2) 1.214 49.882 44.606 1.4 Obstacle No. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Obstacle Distance From MSC (km) 0 3 7 26 30 31 32 40 41 42 47 52 59 Stretch of Bollin/Dean opened up Cumulative Spawning Area (m2) 0 0 1.974 70.575 1.515 67.750 1.659 3.APEM Scientific Report .298 1.1 Summary of obstacles and cumulative increments of spawning and nursery habitats for salmon beyond each obstruction.914 5.839 97.392 80.575 1.726 1. Habitat categories based on Table 5.854 48.585 49.410039 Table 8.034 46.525 MSC Heatley Weir Little Bollington Crump Weir Styal Weir Wilmslow Weir (church) Wilmslow Crump Weir Wilmslow Park Weir Wilmslow Park Large Weir Prestbury Park Weirs Prestbury Village Weir Dale Brow Weir Stanneylands Crump Weir Deanwater Hotel Weir MSC to Heatley Weir Heatley Weir to Little Bollington Crump Weir Little Bollington Crump Weir to Styal Weir Styal Weir to Wilmslow Weir Wilmslow Weir to Wilmslow Crump Weir Wilmslow Crump Weir to Wilmslow Park Weir Wilmslow Park Weir to Wilmslow Park Large Weir Wilmslow Park Large Weir to Prestbury Park Weirs Prestbury Park Weirs to Prestbury Village Weir Prestbury Village Weir to Dale Brow Weir Dale Brow Weir to Macclesfield Weir on Bollin Stanneylands Crump Weir to Deanwater Hotel Weir Deanwater Hotel Weir to Brrok House Weir on Dean 69 Final Report – September 2007 .963 5.
This is indicative of the potential importance of the River Dean for the production of salmonids prior to industrialisation and river engineering and its likely historical contribution to the Mersey catchment as a whole. the lower Bollin has been graded on the border of categories D and E. 1975. The spawning habitat requirements of lamprey are similar to salmon so the ability to access these areas would benefit these species equally. Above Styal Weir. Using these figures to model the impact of adults overcoming the first two obstacles and navigating the river as far a Styal Weir. Based on Environment Agency’s National Fisheries Classification Scheme (NRA. although eels. should they return to the system are unlikely to be hindered significantly by such barriers as upstream migrating elvers are capable of traversing around the wet walls of weir structures above the water level.spawning migrations (Clough & Ladle. 2003) has revealed that providing fish passes around the first two weirs (as far as Styal Weir). or provision of means of by-passing these barriers is likely to also be of benefit to these populations. 1996). Beyond this. it is apparent that neither the success of cyprinids or salmonids should be compromised by the water quality in the lower River Bollin. barbel and chub. 1994). Water Quality On examination of water quality data parameters available for the Bollin at Heatley Mill. Dace and barbel in particular are known to undertake pre. 1981. such habitats would benefit from an annual cleaning programme by jet washing. This provides a realistic and attainable estimate of a population density of 9 fry/100m2 and 3 parr/100m2.and post.034 m2 of suitable parr/mixed juvenile habitat. with an abundance of silt margins in which ammocoetes could burrow. 1997) and the removal of. This would provide migrating adult salmon with 44. In addition. successful navigation of a further two obstacles on the River Dean would facilitate a further 54% of the total available spawning habitat of the entire system.410039 Cost benefit analysis (APEM. Other migratory species such as trout and lamprey would also benefit. In order to maximise incubation and hatching success. Mann. 1997. larval habitats for lamprey are plentiful in the Bollin. such as dace. Long term trends in 70 Final Report – September 2007 . In particular those species within the rheophilic guild (Balon. this has been found to contain high levels of fine sediments. Despite the availability of suitable sized spawning media in the lower Bollin. Impact of barriers on coarse fish populations in the River Bollin The relatively fast flowing nature of the River Bollin also lends itself well to the sustainability of coarse fish species. Engineering access to the lower Bollin in such a way would also provide a good deal (23%) of the entire river’s available habitat suitable for salmonid spawning. predicts the Summer standing crop of salmon parr for the River Bollin between Styal Weir and the MSC at a figure of 1321. would be the minimum requirement to create a self sustaining population. little spawning habitat exists until a further 26 km and 8 obstructions have been navigated.APEM Scientific Report . Lucas & Frear.
the Goyt begins its course on the Derbyshire moors between Buxton and Macclesfield and feeds Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs before making its way to Stockport where it meets the River Tame and becomes the Mersey. Although the installation of a fish pass on the Mersey at Northenden has facilitated a migratory pathway to access the river. in May when water quality conditions are likely to be poor. between Marple and Stockport the river is regarded as a quality coarse fishery. this proves the potential of the Mersey system to support migratory fish stocks once again. Undoubtedly the most significant discovery on the River Goyt and indeed the entire system. Only if this phase of the migration pattern is fulfilled.2 The River Goyt Probably the least environmentally stressed river under consideration in this review. was the capture of four 0+ salmon parr near Stockport Town Centre during 2005. spawning adults must first navigate the 8 Km of lacustrine channel of the MSC from Rixton Junction before picking up the course of the upper Mersey at Irlam. with an abundance of large chub and Barbel. In addition. In the lower reaches. thus maintaining a healthy flow and supports a mixed salmonid and coarse fishery.APEM Scientific Report . Dissolved oxygen also exceeds the standards set out for salmonid fisheries and the vast majority of monthly BOD levels over the last two years also conform to salmonid fishery status. ammonia levels have only exceeded the guideline standards of 0. with good quality spawning habitat available in the many tributary streams. Despite the occurrence of some juvenile fish it appears that there may be factors limiting natural recruitment. with current levels well below the imperative standards for both cyprinids and salmonids. Physical habitat and obstructions The River Goyt is not without its problems. However.2 mg/l in three of the 24 months where measurements were taken. Water Quality Long term data sets have been not available in order to establish long term trends in the status of the water quality of the River Goyt. recent data over the last two years. the Goyt itself has a further 15 structures which are classified as impassable under Q90 conditions. More remarkable still would be if downstream migrating smolts were capable of tolerating such poor conditions. DO and ammonia well within target levels throughout the year. with all BOD measurements being well within the limits for cyprinids. 8. 71 Final Report – September 2007 . Indeed. Below the reservoirs the Goyt benefits from compensation discharge from Fernilee reservoir. over the last two years. suggest that water quality of the Goyt is currently capable of supporting a salmonid fishery.1. during a particularly vulnerable period in their life history. This is particularly remarkable because to reach the River Goyt. For the first time since the industrial revolution. will a self sustaining population of salmon be achievable in the Mersey. In the upper reaches the Goyt supports a thriving brown trout fishery. with the fishery’s reputation relying heavily on stocking practices.410039 Ammonia show a dramatic decline. with BOD. there are further cross-river structures for fish to navigate.
the latter being sufficient to accommodate over 190 spawning pairs of salmon. being categorised as grade 2 and 3 obstructions. 2006) revealed that the Goyt could provide 170. It is worth considering the benefits of a gravel-washing programme in the future in order to enhance spawning success and egg survival of both salmonids and cyprinids of the rheophilic guild. 1997). the rheophilic spawning habitat required by both salmonids and some coarse fish species. such as dace and barbel. This was particularly evident in the lower Goyt reaches in 2006. This is due to excessive siltation problems. due to the relatively low abundance of suitable habitat for both spawning and rearing of salmonids in these streams. 72 Final Report – September 2007 . Access from the Goyt into its tributaries. when a fine layer of silt and algae covered potential suitable substrates (APEM. A walkover habitat study of the river (APEM. such minor structures have been identified as being potentially problematic to successful migration to spawning areas (Lucas & Frear. is considered as poor in the Goyt.811m2 of potential spawning habitat. Overcoming obstructions to allow the passage of migratory species would provide a good deal of quality rearing habitat for salmonids within this river.APEM Scientific Report . In general. 2006).410039 although these are considered to be passable under most conditions.288 m2 of suitable rearing habitat for young salmon throughout their juvenile riverine phase. the River Sett and Black Brook should not be regarded as high priority. with a further 1.
with both longitudinal and vertical ranges becoming minimal during the summer months. Because of the limited availability of oxygen within these habitats. tench. silver bream. this may be due to low levels of fish density currently present. growth. In addition. hypoxic condition can affect fish in many ways. the MSC and Salford Quays could potentially support the following species: roach. common carp. Although growth rates and condition factors of the adult stock remain favourable. 2007)) clearly indicate that DO and ammonia levels are not currently meeting EC FFD target levels for cyprinids. Should EC FFD water quality targets be achieved.APEM Scientific Report . the MSC and Salford Quays. In considering the lower River Irwell and the MSC.0 FACTORS CURRENTLY AFFECTING THE SUCCESS OF COARSE FISH SPECIES 9. This is reported to shift trophic interactions. common bream. in tandem with the provision of appropriate physical habitat structure. Where this happens fish are likely to be at greater risk from avian predators. limnophilic cyprinids are not well suited to the higher flow characteristics of the upper catchment and prefer deeper. This may be manifested as either vertical redistribution of the population to the surface layers or towards confined areas where oxygen levels are more favourable such as downstream of weirs. 73 Final Report – September 2007 . Focus on these species is therefore centred on the Lower River Irwell. rudd. as indeed they are present in the Turning Basin area. such as cormorants. predation risk is likely to be further elevated by the effective ‘herding’ of fish shoals within areas of acceptable water quality. reproductive capacity and ability to avoid predation. being subject to inadequate oxygen levels.1 Limnophilic species In accordance with Huet’s zonation model. According to an extensive search of the relevant literature. with benthic invertebrates becoming inaccessible.including increased susceptibility to pollution. gudgeon would be supported throughout the MSC. Vertical habitat shifts by adult fish may also be impacting directly on the survival of 0+ fishes. These data also provide information regarding the seasonality of water quality issues and also fine scale detail of the diel cyclic pattern of oxygen availability.410039 9. In addition. perch and pike. Because of contrasting water quality between those areas that currently do and do not benefit from amelioration measures. larval fishes occupying the upper littoral zones become a more viable food resource for adult fishes. factors constraining limnopils will be considered for each of these areas in turn. Should stock density increase then the health of these populations is likely to be put under greater pressure with food availability becoming limited within the areas of the Canal that the fish are able to tolerate. . As mentioned above. fish populations are seasonally constrained by the areas of the Canal they can exploit. the sustained swimming capability of fish is also compromised. making them more vulnerable to predation. slow flowing. lowland habitats. the water quality data presented within this report (and in greater detail in (APEM. which frequent the Canal.
Other major factors threatening the fish of the upper MSC and lower Irwell include the immediate effects of episodic input from storm overflows. Although reducing sewage inputs will benefit the aquatic ecosystem in many ways. and indeed is the central area of investigation in this study. as was seen with the substantial fish kill that occurred in May 2006. Whether recruitment is constrained by sex reversal requires more detailed investigation. Although the direct ecological relevance of these impacts is not clearly understood at present. the historic deposition of organic sediments and the lack of physical mixing which causes the system to stratify. resulting in mass mortalities from the effects of organic pollution.e. colonisation of the upper MSC with coarse fish has already successfully occurred. are then trapped with no avenue to escape during the episodic. The lack of appropriate ‘off river’ sanctuaries from floods is also a major issue potentially retarding recruitment in this area of the catchment. when low oxygen concentrations in the Mode Wheel to Barton pound resulted in the death of several thousand fish. hence the observed mortality. With the lower pounds the option for fish to move to more favourable conditions is either absent or extremely limited. fish have been encouraged to colonise these areas. improvement in inputs and associated oestrogenic compounds are likely to maintain a more balanced sex ratio. offer an alternative refuge from the oxygenated water below Adelphi Weir. relatively few dead fish were observed. This is a potentially critical area for the future development of coarse fish populations within the MSC. In addition to achieving these goals. these areas extend the spatial habitat available to fish populations throughout the summer and during periods of hypoxia. Despite similar water quality conditions in the Turning Basin. However. Mode Wheel to Barton. This may also potentially show immediate benefits to the survival of successfully fertilised fish eggs.1. Barton to Irlam and possibly from Bollin Point to Latchford Locks) prevents fish movement away from areas of deteriorating water quality. biological and physical factors.APEM Scientific Report . Ironically. Exposure to such bacteria may play a very important role in influencing the survival of embryonic and larval stages of development. This issue is of great significance. 9. but unwittingly. Sewage effluents are also clearly affecting fish populations within the MSC as a consequence of endocrine disruption. Limnophilic cyprinid eggs are no more tolerant to the affects of ‘sewage fungus’. with excellent growth and condition. indicating that most of the fish previously present (from APEM/EA sonar surveys) had apparently moved upstream towards the Irwell where channel morphology affords a degree of vertical mixing and hence maintains higher oxygen levels.1Oxygenated areas The oxygenation programme was primarily initiated to improve the aesthetic value of the upper MSC. as they are deposited in areas with little or no flow to refresh them. poor water quality events. increase male fertility and may ultimately increase reproductive success. 74 Final Report – September 2007 . with the success of the water quality improvements. as stated earlier. However. it alone will not combat the combination of the physical structure of the Canal.410039 The oxygen levels currently observed in these habitats are brought about by a combination of chemical. it should be recognised that the physical structure of the MSC – with effectively impassable pounds between locks (i.
2 Salford Quays Within Salford Quays fish populations depend on the maintenance of oxygen levels via ‘Helixor’ mixers. This alleviates the immediate problems arising from low DO levels. Until this point. thus highlighting the physical factors that are currently affecting the fish populations. Ideally the provision of a littoral shelf 2-3 metres wide with a mean depth of 1m would encourage the colonisation of macrophytes and the associated communities of macro invertebrates and zooplankton. This is primarily due to physical habitat constraints within these areas. the lack of such marginal habitats is likely to be a key issue retarding the natural recruitment of roach and perch while apparently. carp. with little benefit at the longer-term population level. will fall to the sediment where cutaneous respiration has to be maintained until enough energy has been absorbed from the yolk to make the journey to the surface. once water quality problems have been resolved. this watercourse no longer receives any sewage input and therefore any oestrogenic compounds present must have been locked into the Quays at the time of their isolation from the MSC. The softer bank engineering elsewhere.410039 Despite these benefits the artificial injection of oxygen to the Canal currently offers little more than a temporary life support system to individuals. which if rectified could prove highly beneficial to the selfsustainability of limnophils within the Canal. The key physical issue within the Quays is a lack of littoral habitats. 1996). more easily than in the sheer banked areas of the Canal. Although there is still evidence of endocrine disruption in the roach population of the Quays. which are needed to provide macrophytes for spawning. ‘free embryos’ have negative buoyancy and in the absence of macrophytes to support them. 9. The creation of such habitats throughout the rest of the upper Canal would also be of great benefit to fish recruitment. it stands to reason that endocrine disruption is likely to continue to influence the 75 Final Report – September 2007 . In turn these habitats would provide ideal nursery habitats with appropriate food supplies for larval fish and because oxygen levels are maintained at desirable levels. As the MSC sediments are similar in origin and nature. limnophils are poorly developed and rely on yolk reserves in order to gain enough energy to swim to the surface and fill their swim bladder.APEM Scientific Report . a sanctuary from predation and the provision of zooplankton production on which larval fish can feed. with which they attach themselves to macrophytes to avoid sinking to the lower anoxic layers (Braum et al. the provision of appropriate spawning media would increase egg survival. With the spawning of limnophils typically occurring between May and July. which currently benefit from oxygen supplementation. some species such as pike have developed adhesive cement glands. severely limiting the recruitment of bream. In order to cope with such conditions. may facilitate the creation of such habitats.. In effect this provides an insight into the future regarding the future for fish populations in the MSC. On hatching. With the shear nature of the banks within the Quays and mean depths of 7 metres. with nocturnal oxygen sags at this time of year resulting in complete depletion of oxygen in the surface layers throughout the majority of the Canal’s entire length. upon hatching. the availability of appropriate habitats within areas where oxygen levels can be maintained are extremely limited. rudd and tench.
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condition of fish within the MSC in the future, even following water quality improvements.
9.3 Rheophilic species Rheophilic species have a general requirement to be lithophilic spawners, i.e. depositing eggs either beneath or over gravel and occasionally on macrophytes in flowing water. This generally restricts spawning to the mid to upper zones of the catchment, although within healthy ecosystems the Cyprinidae in particular can utilise a whole range of habitats throughout the catchment in accordance with varying life stage and temporal physiological requirements. Typically, assuming a lack of physical barriers, rheophilic cyprinids undertake an upstream migration to their spawning grounds, thus allowing a good distance of downstream rearing habitat into which their larvae can drift and rear within suitable nursery habitats. Dace in particular are known to have extensive home ranges and often congregate in large numbers within the tidal zone of rivers (Pers. observation) with diel shifts in spatial habitat also observed (Clough & Ladle 1997). Barbel is another species which have received attention regarding their annual movement and have been recorded making upstream migrations up to 20 Km in order to reach suitable spawning grounds (Lucas & Frear, 1997; Baras et al., 1994). The presence and regularity of impassable structures within the Mersey catchment, (both physical and in the case of the MSC chemical) highlight these constraints on fish movement as a factor potentially restraining the success of these populations. In addition to movement being impeded and a restricted choice of spawning grounds being available, these populations are also subject to additional pressures. Where fish movement is confined, forcing fish to spawn below an impassable structure, with no future upstream migration occurring, these populations become vulnerable to pollution events. In the event of a fish kill, recolonisation of these communities would have to originate from upstream. There are thought to be in excess of 500 potential barriers to fish movement within the Mersey catchment. Indeed, in addition to the above, the long-term health of populations within the Mersey is also currently compromised by a lack of genetic mixing; with potentially isolated populations existing, which are vulnerable to the effects of poor genetic diversity. A detailed examination of in-stream barriers and their impacts on restricting access to habitats for both coarse fish and salmonids is thus required across the catchment. Lithophilous spawners are more specific in their habitat requirements, with a combination of appropriate water quality, velocity and substrate all critical to the survival and subsequent hatching of the eggs. Because of the direct proximity to the substrate, eggs may be at risk from industrial toxins already present within the bed sediments. Mechanical sedimentation of spawning gravels has also been reported to be an issue within the catchment, particularly in the Rivers Goyt and Bollin, with high loads of fine sediment blocking the interstitial spaces between gravel particles and thus reducing oxygen flow over the eggs. Another issue potentially retarding hatching success below Adelphi Weir is a coating of algal slime, which has been reported as covering much of the gravel substrate. This condition may only be alleviated by considerably reduced phosphate delivery from sewage treatment inputs.
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APEM Scientific Report - 410039
From the fish survey data available to date, chub appear to be the most spatially successful rheophillic cyprinid, although despite good numbers of adults in the River Goyt, recruitment has not been evident in this river in the last four years. There is very little evidence of naturally sustainable populations of dace throughout the catchment, including the Rivers Weaver and Gowy. This is despite extensive stocking efforts to reinstate this species. Although degraded water quality is undoubtedly unfavourable to dace, the effects of barriers to migration need to be further investigated to establish the direct relevance of this environmental component to dace stocks. Although locally sustainable populations of brown trout are evident within the upper reaches of most of the catchment, grayling recruitment appears to be sporadic. This species requires better water quality than the Cyprinidae and under current conditions it is unlikely that stocks of this species will increase naturally, except in those tributaries outside of the main conurbation. Limited recruitment of barbel has been observed to date, with individual 1+ specimens recorded from the Rivers Goyt and Bollin being the only indications of successful recruitment. In the case of the River Bollin the juvenile specimen was captured below Heatley Weir. As this structure is impassable to smaller fish, this highlights the current restriction for these species to access many miles of good quality spawning and nursery habitats further upstream. In the case of barbel it is likely that instream barriers to migration are the key factor restricting recruitment success. Within parts of the catchment, the effects of ‘sewage’fungus’ may also be a major issue influencing the survival of embryonic and larval stages of development. At present there are no data available either identifying spawning sites or quantifying survival rates of eggs of any of the species under consideration. Without these key data it is not possible to ascertain the precise factors restricting the success of rheophilous or lithophilous fishes, although it is likely to be a combination of the factors discussed. Although the lower River Irwell and MSC do not offer suitable spawning habitats for rheophilic species, this component of the catchment, under further water quality and habitat improvements, has the potential to accommodate good numbers of these species at all life stages. This is on the condition that restoration measures can be initiated in order to allow passage around weirs and other barriers to allow access to a wider range of habitats.
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APEM Scientific Report - 410039
10.0 FACTORS CURRENTLY AFFECTING THE SUCCESS OF MIGRATORY SPECIES
10.1 Catadromous species 10.1.1 Eel (Anguilla Anguilla) There is generally no kind of natural or artificial water body that is not inhabited by eels, provided they can reach it and find food (Tesch, 1991). Historical anecdotes record an abundance of eels in the Rivers Irwell and Irk prior to the Industrial Revolution, with the last reports of the presence of eels from Mode Wheel Lock as recently as 1907 (Corbett, 1907). Other records highlight the lower Mersey as an important eel fishery. In 1190 Liverpool was known as 'Liuerpul', meaning a pool or creek with muddy water, although other origins of the name have been suggested, including 'elverpool', a reference to the large number of eels in the lower Mersey (http://www.liverpoolcityportal.co.uk/history/history_index.html). Historical records of salmon in the upper catchment indicate that eels would not have had any problem in navigating either physical or water quality barriers and it is fair to assume that they were once an important component of the ichthyofauna of both the Irwell and upper Mersey catchments. The eel has been regarded as one of the most pollution tolerant of fish and was evident as one of the first species to take advantage of improving water quality in the Thames (Jones, 2006). Wheeler (1979) notes that even during the height of the pollution in the Thames, eels could be found in the river’s upper reaches. It is unclear whether these stocks originated naturally from the successful ascent of the river by elvers or from the substantial numbers of elvers that are now known to have been imported via the Thames, for food consumption. The reasons for the total extinction of eels from the upper Mersey catchment is not known, but the extended freshwater phase of the European eel can typically range between 7-19 years (Maitland & Campbell, 1992), making them particularly susceptible to bioaccumulation of various pollutants as well as more immediate sensitivity to poor oxygen levels during migration in either direction. Despite their avoidance of low oxygen concentrations, eels commonly occur in deep stratified water-bodies, but favour the shallower littoral zone, only venturing into deeper water for limited periods to feed (Tesch, 1991). The apparent tolerance of eels to poor water quality poses the question: of whether water quality has improved enough to support eels? The presence of salmon migrating through the MSC and the subsequent survival of salmon parr within the River Goyt would suggest that this is the case and that physical barriers are also not likely to be a significant hindrance to recolonisation, should migration through the Canal be possible. Studies of the fish populations of tributaries of the Weaver system, carried out in 2001 by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology revealed that eels of mixed size classes dominated species composition (personal observation), Environment Agency angling records and electric fishing surveys also report eels and river lamprey in both the
Final Report – September 2007
which Sorensen (1986) reports to be comparatively weakly attractive. It is therefore unlikely that this species will complement the fish community structure of the MSC and its tributaries in the foreseeable future. 79 Final Report – September 2007 . This odour is believed to play an important role in guiding the migration of elvers to suitable habitats for rearing to adulthood (Miles. freshwater habitats are not essential for flounders to complete their life cycle.410039 Weaver and the Gowy. from work carried out specifically on eel species. A possible explanation for the continued absence of this species would be a lack of a biochemical signal emanating from these rivers. suggest that eels show a strong attraction to geosmin. (2004) also reported the increased attraction of migrating glass eels to a fish pass where the water had been buffered with the odour of adult eels. either for spawning or rearing purposes (Baker & Hicks. An alternative or perhaps additional explanation.2 Flounder (Platichthys flesus) Although primarily considered as a marine species. 1993). it is likely that the distribution of this species would have extended into freshwater. 10. 2003). there is little incentive or benefit to this species in migrating upstream. Where migratory species do not show specific homing preferences to natal streams. within which it is confined today. (1995) provide strong evidence that adult sea lampreys select spawning streams based on a pheromone released by upstream larval fish. There is clearly substantial scope for an experimental approach towards the reintroduction of this species to the catchment. Unlike the eel. which comprises unique bile acids. ahead of the estuary. Prior to the construction of the MSC. habitat and feeding conditions are good. 2) such odours are present but are being masked by the water chemistry of the MSC. This may be more important than the odours produced by conspecifics. the European flounder is also classified as catadromous. but the upstream migration and subsequent dispersal of these fish is exclusive of the River Mersey upstream of the confluence with the MSC.1. Indeed Li et al. including Anguilla anguilla. unless water quality. Therefore.APEM Scientific Report . 3) there is a lack of pheromone signal from conspecifics. Thus there appear to be several possible explanations for the failure of eels to have recolonised the upper Mersey: 1) naturally produced odours are not present in the upper Mersey. Tosi& Sola. This indicates that the Mersey Estuary still has a healthy input of elvers. 4) any combination of these factors. 1968. a naturally produced odour originating from terrestrial and freshwater microbes. often migrating large distances into freshwater. evidence exists to support the use of pheromonal cues provided by conspecifics to aid navigation to suitable habitats. Briand et al.
1 Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) The fact that salmon are already attempting to make a natural comeback to the Mersey system is of immense encouragement and confirmation that future investment in the continued improvement of water quality will show ecological rewards. which needs to be answered. it may be that Mersey salmon would benefit from adapting an alternative migration strategy (autumn) in order to succeed in re-establishing a self sustaining population in the catchment. which exerts major stresses on the individual. Indeed. These results are summarised in chapter 8 of the current report. water quality must be of a high enough standard and stability to allow successful incubation and hatching of eggs and the subsequent survival of parr. The smolt run on neighbouring rivers (Dee and Ribble) typically takes place in May. and whether Mersey smolts are capable of surviving the water quality of the MSC on their seaward journey is a key issue. The consequence of barriers to migration and the potential for salmon production by providing a means for salmon to bypass such structures was examined in detail for the River Bollin (APEM. The presence of 4 salmon parr in the River Goyt in 2005 demonstrates that the river is capable of producing healthy juvenile salmon. A primary consideration is the seasonality of migration patterns and use of various habitats by different life stages. it has recently been highlighted that in some rivers a significant proportion of the juvenile salmon population begin their 80 Final Report – September 2007 . Current access to these habitats is heavily compromised by the presence of instream barriers to migration. such as weirs.2 Anadromous species 10. However. in order to complete their life cycle. With rising water temperatures also increasing the risk of stratification and hypoxic/anoxic conditions at this time of year. This is perhaps the most critical phase in the completion of the life cycle. following successful navigation to sites with suitable physical habitat. availability of suitable habitats and barriers to migration must still be regarded as poor. During smoltification salmon undergo both a physical and morphological transformation. depending on how many years the adults have spent at sea.APEM Scientific Report . when increased flow. Adult fish typically migrate into freshwater between February and November. 2004). thus making this life stage particularly sensitive to perturbations in water quality. Suitability of the catchment in terms of water quality. when river flows can be low and water quality poor. smoltification must occur. It is quite possible though that successful migration into the MSC and beyond can only be achieved later in the Autumn. However. as was seen in the MSC fish kill in May 2006.410039 10. Following passage to the rivers.2. It is also important that. in relation to their relevance to the Mersey catchment generally. adults need to locate suitable spawning gravels in which to deposit their eggs in late December/early January. followed by successful migration back to the marine environment. lower water temperatures and elevated oxygen levels facilitate the navigation of the MSC. and suitable rearing habitats for the juveniles also need to be available. sensitive management of these issues would dramatically increase the successful development of a sustainable salmon population.
regardless of the presence of additional toxins. pers obs. The preferred silt habitats do not contain high organic content hence. Water quality improvements and the provision of fish passes could potentially boost trout stocks as well as benefiting salmon.2.3 River and sea lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis and Petromyzon marinus) The water quality requirements of lamprey species are not dissimilar to that of salmonids. It is without doubt though. that any returning adults are going to be restricted in their upstream passage by current instream barriers. Downstream migration of metamorphosed sea lamprey typically takes place in May and June. the timing of immigration and emigration periods do differ between the two families and between the two lamprey species. 10. 10. the challenges posed by poor water quality will increase. 2007). the habitat requirements of early life history stages differ markedly. clean gravels required to facilitate successful spawning. While the upstream migration of sea lamprey peaks during May and June. these fish continue to develop in the upper estuary prior to becoming smolts and continuing their journey.) Future fish surveys should therefore aim to identify whether or not smoltification occurs in these populations. these individuals are probably presently lost from the population. with good quality. thus making the return journey to their natal streams impossible. at present. 81 Final Report – September 2007 . Suitable spawning and rearing habitats are therefore likely to be restricted to the tributary rivers such as the Bollin. The larval life stages of lamprey (ammocoetes) are sedentary.410039 seaward migration as parr during the autumn (Pinder et al. Clearly. However.2. adult sea trout peak migration period is in the summer months during the worst water quality conditions in the Canal. Indeed sea trout have been observed in distress during low oxygen conditions in the Mersey estuary around Runcorn (Hendry. If it does. the. Although not capable of tolerating saline conditions. sediment within the MSC is unlikely to provide a suitable habitat for lamprey ammocoetes to develop. Obviously more detailed work is required on this important issue. no data on habitat availability are available for these protected species. with river lamprey remaining in their natal rivers until late Winter to early Summer.. should this be a viable option.APEM Scientific Report . river lamprey enter rivers during late Summer to Autumn. The premature migration of Mersey parr could be beneficial in enabling the negotiation of the MSC when both water quality and individual physiological fragility are more favourable. where migration occurs during periods of warm weather and low flows. which may have implications for the seasonal effects of poor water quality on migration success. It is quite likely that some juveniles do undergo smoltification and set off in a seaward direction but whether or not this does occur and whether individuals are able to tolerate water quality parameters on their outward journey is not currently known. In addition. While parallels can also be drawn between the habitat requirements of adult salmonids and lampreys. where individuals remain in burrows within the silt for several years until metamorphosis occurs. However.2 Sea trout (Salmo trutta) The presence of natural populations of brown trout in headwater streams of the system suggest that a proportion of these individuals would be likely to become successful migrants. Mersey and Irwell.
over the Bollin and those rivers feeding the MSC. indicating a preference for these rivers.. this provides scope for experimental reintroductions and monitoring to take place to establish the viability of an extended restocking programme to the rivers of the upper Mersey drainage.APEM Scientific Report . river lamprey commonly occur in the Weaver and Gowy systems.410039 A major factor retarding the recolonisation of lamprey populations could be the lack of pheromone signal (Li et al. Assuming water quality parameters and habitat availability are similar between the Weaver and the Bollin. Like the eel. 1995) from the upper Mersey Rivers. 82 Final Report – September 2007 .
the physical nature of the MSC. analysis of historical data. both in the tributary rivers and the Canal. will always restrict the recovery of fish populations for a variety of reasons. resulting in reduced particulate carrying capacity and consequently the upper Canal acts as a settlement sump. Indeed in a parallel study conducted by APEM. This final section of the report focuses directly on the influence of the MSC on the current status and the future recovery of the Mersey Basin fisheries. while decreasing the retention time of pollutants. promoting anoxic conditions. which typically varies between 5 and 9 metres. with the exception of ammonia.410039 11. which has direct implications for the transport of pollutants. water velocities can be non-detectable.APEM Scientific Report . Although a continuous trend in water quality improvements is evident. Designed with scant regard for the future environmental demands of the catchment. the canal was constructed to serve its purpose as a major navigation route between the Mersey Estuary and the Manchester conurbation. 11. The key physical factor in the design of the Canal is the sheer volume of the water body. in its current state. DO. pH and ammonia. 410039). all of the rivers of the upper catchment. by a combination of intrinsically linked chemical and physical factors.0 THE INFLUENCE OF THE MSC ON THE RECOVERY OF FISH POPULATIONS THROUGHOUT THE MERSEY BASIN Despite significant improvements in the water quality of the peripheral rivers of the Mersey catchment. where the historical accumulation of contaminants within the substrate exert high levels of BOD and a subsequent propensity for the water to stratify. on entering the upper MSC. based on the depth of the canal and the historic accumulation of organic sediments. show only 83 Final Report – September 2007 . Although the water chemistry of the Lower River Irwell is not dissimilar. including the Mersey and the Irwell have been severely impacted by their effective isolation from their estuary. This alone is directly responsible for the lacustrine nature of the Canal. reviewing the water quality of the MSC (APEM. particularly the depth. such as a lack of macrophytes and shallow margins also seriously limits the value of the MSC as a sustainable fishery in its own right. 11. This highlights the constraints on future water quality improvements by the physical morphology of the MSC. The homogeneity of in-stream habitat types. while severely compromising scope for the natural oxygenation throughout the system.1 Physical Nature of the MSC The MSC extends for approximately 35 miles from Salford Quays to Easton and is classified as a Heavily Modified Waterbody. the water quality of the Irwell now conforms to EC FFD targets for both BOD and DO for much of the time. the eradication of any future pollutants from the tributaries may not alleviate the rise of anoxia. Consequently. and to some extent in the MSC itself. and consequently. However.2 Water Quality Issues The key parameters impacting on the ecological health of the MSC have been highlighted as BOD. the shallower nature of this water body promotes higher velocities and reoxygenation.
due to the human population density of the upper catchment. Although sonar surveys provide evidence that fish populations do exist within the MSC. by increasing the concentration of unionised ammonia (NH3). in the pound between Mode Wheel and Barton Locks in May 2006. 11. during periods of low flow.APEM Scientific Report .4 Endocrine Disruption The occurrence of intersex and the severity of feminisation is known to be positively correlated with the proportion of treated sewage effluent in receiving waters (GrossSorokin et al. 84 Final Report – September 2007 . contrasted by the super saturation of oxygen levels during daylight. the continuous delivery of nutrients from WwTW effluent and increased light penetration.410039 minor improvements in DO over the last 20 years. These events often result in a rapid deterioration in water quality and where fish are unable to move into areas of acceptable water quality. Further to this. such as discharges from combined sewer overflows during periods of wet weather and low oxygen stratified periods during quiescent weather. 11. the proportion of flow in the Irwell that has not passed through sewage treatment works has been estimated at less than 10 percent. all increase the risk of severe algal blooms and hyper-eutrophic conditions. the continued improvements in pollution input which have promoted improved water clarity in recent years gives rise to additional problems previously not experienced in the Canal. are likely to be disastrous. and more sudden ‘episodic’ events. excessive algal growth promotes a rise in pH to harmful levels while also increasing the toxicity of ammonia. 2006). each pounded stretch of the Canal below Mode Wheel Locks has repeatedly failed to achieve concentrations of dissolved oxygen greater than the standard of 4 mg/l which is required for compliance with the EC FFD to support a cyprinid fishery. In addition to the stress caused to fish by low levels of DO. The production of such blooms can have a dramatic effect on fish populations by causing severe oxygen sags during darkness. This is believed to have been the cause of a major fish kill.3 Eutrophication Ironically. Consequently the Canal is a volatile ‘knife edge’ habitat for fish and subject to both extended periods of poor water quality. The combination of the historical accumulation of phosphate within the substrate. the Canal itself is not capable of supporting fish on a permanent basis and in particular fails to accommodate the spawning requirements of adults and the ecological demands of the more vulnerable early life history stages.. resulting in extensive fish mortalities. Although the ecological impacts of this phenomenon on the fish populations of the MSC are not presently understood. With an ever growing population it is clear that the effects of feminisation on fish in the MSC is a permanent issue and under current sewage treatment methods is not likely to improve in the future.
However. Barton and Irlam.410039 11. this not only compromises the natural recolonisation of pollution impacted areas. With the ever present threats of fish kills from various sources or processes. 85 Final Report – September 2007 . with Atlantic salmon often negotiating a number of lakes. little evidence exists to suggest that the impacts of anthropogenic lacustrine habitats on river systems in northern England and Scotland have a serious impact on upstream migration. leaving isolated populations vulnerable to a range of environmental conditions. The influence of the lack of flow is also likely to impact on successful migration. as river discharge often acts as an important cue for the timing of either upstream or downstream migration. Where fish are unable to detect the direction of flow. seriously restrict the spatial mobility of stocks. algal production or pollution input from ‘point source’ the inability of fish to migrate to areas of acceptable water quality is likely to result in large scale fish kills. reservoirs or lochs before reaching their spawning grounds. this said. such as weirs. but with these barriers only being passable on an infrequent basis. in-stream barriers. the MSC between Rixton Junction and the River Irwell is also physically impounded by lock gates at Mode Wheel.6 Additional impacts on migration and consequences Throughout the Mersey catchment. This not only causes serious problems to all fishes which either depend on or benefit from an open migration route between the estuary and the upper catchment.APEM Scientific Report . Where water quality deteriorates due to anoxia. or in some cases may eliminate genetic mixing. upper Mersey and Irwell is unlikely to occur on a frequent basis. due to water quality characteristics. this may also cause disorientation. The combination of poor water quality and physical obstructions in the MSC suggest that the movement of coarse fish stocks between the Rivers Bollin. also holds serious implications for the entrapment of fish in confined areas. 11. but will also reduce.5 Physical barriers and impoundment of stocks Although the MSC upstream of Rixton Junction severely compromises the migration of fish.
reducing the potential for fish kills and need for refuge. Discharge outflow from Davyhulme water treatment works As part of the MSC investigation. Plate 12.1. APEM attended a substantial fish kill incident that occurred between Mode Wheel and Barton locks.410039 12. However.0 ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL FISH REFUGE AREAS DURING POLLUTION EVENTS USING AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY 12.1 shows a typical flow out of Davyhulme WwTW). and as such fish kills can be common in the summer months.1 Introduction As discussed in APEM 2007 periods of sustained heavy rain within the Irwell catchment cause storage tanks to overflow in a combined sewage overflow (CSO) spill. where thousands of coarse fish died. potential fish kills and the associated need for refuge is considered to be low as fish can escape up the River Irwell. The environmental implications of this type of discharge can have numerous negative impacts. This threat means that the fish populations would need to migrate to safe areas (refuges). Hence the purpose of this section therefore is to focus on the MSC 86 Final Report – September 2007 . including oxygen crashes which ultimately lead to fish kills. Upstream of Mode Wheel locks.APEM Scientific Report . discharging sewage directly into the Canal (Plate 12. For example in May 2006. In fast flowing rivers the impact is lessened as the polluted water is flushed through the system quicker. This incident clearly highlighted the need for refuge for fish during pollution incidents. to avoid death. Downstream of Mode Wheel there is no oxygenation to maintain reasonable levels of water quality. an aerial photography survey was undertaken taken by APEM to identify potential refuge areas along the stretch of the MSC between Mode Wheel Locks and Latchford Locks. the canalised nature of the MSC means that water can be retained and impounded for a number of days between the locks posing threats to all aquatic life. Furthermore the Turning Basin at Salford Quays is artificially oxygenated throughout the typically drier hotter months of the summer (May – September) sustaining reasonable oxygen levels.
running through Trafford Park. or help to oxygenate a small area due to the action of the cascading water entering the Canal.APEM Scientific Report . As such fish are totally enclosed between the lock gates and have no ‘escape route’ away from deoxygenated water.5km) This stretch of the MSC is the most industrial reach of the Canal under investigation.3). although as stated. Mode Wheel locks to Barton locks. Trafford Park. These could potentially provide a zone of cleaner water where they enter. In both circumstances. However it is worth noting that there were a number of drains and other outflows along the Canal (Plate 12. Plate 12.) showed that the entrance to Salteye brook was easily passable.4. Photographs taken from the ground survey (Plate 12.410039 downstream of Mode Wheel. overall there are no suitable large scale fish refuges in this pound. 12. these could create small.2. the residential areas of Eccles and derelict land before reaching the UU water treatment facilities at Davyhulme and Barton Locks. 87 Final Report – September 2007 .2). localised refuge areas of improved oxygenated water. 3. While more detailed analysis will be discussed in the final reporting stage of this investigation. Aerial imagery in conjunction with a ground level inspection of the MSC (by boat) were compiled into GIS software to determine potential locations of fish refuges within the three pounds identified.2km) Immediately downstream of Barton locks on the northern bank is the mouth of Salteye brook (Plate 12. initial findings are discussed below. where areas for fish to escape from stressful environmental conditions are required. From analysis of the aerial image it appears that Salteye brook could offer reasonable refuge for fish. 12.3 Barton Locks to Irlam Locks (approx. Interrogation of the aerial photography and ground survey showed that there were no naturally flowing streams in this stretch that could provide natural refuge for fish. Outflow on the MSC. Barton locks to Irlam locks and Irlam locks to Latchford locks.2 Mode Wheel locks to Barton locks (approx 5.
APEM Scientific Report . may provide an oxygenated zone at its inflow. Bents Lane brook. 88 Final Report – September 2007 . Salteye brook Salteye brook confluence Plate 12. Downstream of Salteye brook there were no other sources of external ‘escape’ refuges from the MSC in this pound. Further investigation into Salteye brook through the GIS showed that the length of the stream was at least four kilometres in length.5). however. offering an ample refuge area. Plate 12. The mouth of Salteye brook. emphasising the brook’s importance. Aerial image showing the confluence of Salteye brook with the MSC immediately downstream of Barton locks (right of picture). but a small weir makes it impassable for coarse fish (Plate 12.410039 comprising of three culverts which allow fish to pass freely.4.3.
and approximately 2 metres high making it impassable to coarse fish. Aerial Image showing the entrance to the old course of the River Irwell near Irlam. Although impassable to coarse fish. the only other point of interest was the old course of the Irwell. 12. The aerial photography (Plate 12.6.6) showed the old course had the potential to provide a certain level of refuge from the MSC.4 Irlam Locks to Latchford Locks (approx. although further analysis from the boat survey indicated that the entrance to this section becomes exposed and impassable during low flows. For migratory 89 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 Plate 12. the cascade effect of the water entering the Canal (especially in higher flows) would create a highly localised oxygenated region.5.7 and 12. 12km) The first notable point regarding this stretch is the entry of the River Mersey. downstream of the of the Irlam railway bridge.8) measured sixty metres in width. The weir (Plates 12. Old course of the Irwell MSC Plate 12.APEM Scientific Report . immediately downstream of the Hulme ferry crossing. Bents Lane brook Continuing downstream. which could act as a temporary refuge. but passable to salmonids (which have been reported further up the Mersey catchment).
7. 90 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 salmonids.8. MSC River Mersey Plate 12.10).9 and 12. The mouth of the brook measured approximately ten metres wide. and was approximately twelve kilometres long providing adequate refuge area (although further analysis of barriers to movement will show how much of the brook is available for refuge). Weir at the entrance of the River Mersey into the MSC The next potential refuge is downstream of Cadishead at the confluence of Glazebrook (Plates 12.APEM Scientific Report . the Mersey would act as an extremely effective refuge and allow access to spawning habitats further up the Mersey catchments (the River Goyt). Aerial image of the Mersey weir entering the MSC Plate 12. Analysis from aerial imagery and GIS indicated that Glazebrook would provide good refuge from the MSC.
Redbrook would also provide refuge from the MSC (Plates 12.APEM Scientific Report .10. 91 Final Report – September 2007 .5km from the MSC confluence). Redbrook enters the MSC roughly four hundred metres downstream on the opposite bank (southern bank). The stream provides 11. Mouth of Glazebrook Beyond Glazebrook.12). Similarly. Confluence of Glazebrook with the MSC Plate 12. assuming there are no obstructions in channel to prevent fish movement.11 and 12.410039 Glazebrook Glazebrook confluence Plate 12. Although smaller than Glazebrook.5km of potential refuge (Redbrook splits into Caldwell Brook and Sinderland Brook approximately 3. Redbrook appeared to be suitable to accommodate fish populations.9.
This survey showed that at least three kilometres of river is available as a refuge.12. Again. Plate 12. Further downstream at Rixton junction (Plate 12. aerial imagery of the confluence highlighted that the Bollin is a reasonably large river that would provide good refuge from the MSC.11. which like the Mersey has records of salmon migration.410039 Redbrook confluence Redbrook Plate 12. A previous walkover survey by APEM (2004) of the Bollin catchment. Firstly is the River Bollin. prior to the first major obstruction (Heatley weir) being encountered.APEM Scientific Report . Confluence of Redbrook with the MSC. mapped fisheries habitats and obstructions to salmonid migration.13). there are two potential refuge points. Mouth of Redbrook. 92 Final Report – September 2007 .
a fish pass offers passage to migratory salmonids. measuring three to four metres in width near its mouth. Approximately five hundred metres beyond Rixton junction.Rixton junction showing the confluence with the River Bollin and where the River Mersey leaves the MSC. Woolston weir (three kilometres downstream from the MSC confluence) acts as a barrier to coarse fish.410039 River Mersey MSC River Bollin Plate 12. although more detailed water quality investigation (particularly with regard to oxygen concentration) would be required.APEM Scientific Report .14).1km of potential refuge (depending on any obstructions to fish movement). Three kilometres of good quality river habitat are available with a modest flow regime. Aerial photography showed that Sow Brook is a relatively small narrow stream. The River Mersey on the opposite bank could also offer important refuge.15) confirm this. Howley weir represents the tidal limit of the River Mersey. Sow Brook enters the MSC (Plate 12. offering considerable potential as a refuge for both migratory salmonids and coarse fish. MSC . as the brook to be relatively shallow.13. and although is a barrier to migration. A further 7km downstream. 93 Final Report – September 2007 . on the southern bank. suggesting that Sow Brook could offer some refuge for fish but mainly restricted to higher flows. Ground survey photographs (Plate 12. Interrogation of the GIS showed that Sow Brook could offer up to 2.
410039 Sow Brook confluence Sow Brook Plate 12. Confluence of Sow Brook and the MSC.16) shows that the old course could provide refuge.APEM Scientific Report .15. Aerial photography (Plate 12. the old course of the River Irwell. 94 Final Report – September 2007 . Mouth of Sow Brook. Beyond Sow Brook approximately 650m downstream.14. this point of potential refuge is blocked approximately two hundred metres from the MSC and therefore offers little refuge. Plate 12. However similar to the old course deviation in the Barton to Irlam pound. the next point of interest is provided by another deviation from the MSC.
17).19) indicated that it would take significantly higher flows for the brook to become 95 Final Report – September 2007 . there are two more potential points of refuge. Old course of the Irwell. The GIS showed that Massey Brook could offer up to 4km of potential refuge. Aerial imagery showed that Massey Brook is again a small stream that could offer potential refuge for fish (Plate 12. providing very little refuge for larger fish further upstream the brook. Ground survey photographs (Plate 12. but once again any obstructions to fish movement could limit how much refuge habitat is available.5km of potential refuge habitat. Confluence of Massey Brook with the MSC.410039 MSC Old course of the Irwell Plate 12.APEM Scientific Report . before the end of the study zone at Latchford locks. aerial photography showed that the brook is very small at its confluence.2km downstream from the old course of the Irwell respectively. however further investigative work would be required to determine the extent of habitat.16. Massey Brook and Thelwall Brook are located 2. From the point of the old course of the Irwell. Massey Brook confluence Massey Brook Plate 12.2km and 3. Thelwall Brook provides the last potential point of refuge within the study zone. Located approximately 450m upstream of Latchford locks.17. The GIS showed that the brook could offer up to 2.
18.APEM Scientific Report . It is worth noting that in lower flows. Thelwall Brook confluence with the MSC Thelwall Brook Plate 12. the mouth of the brook cascades into the MSC. Plate 12. although inaccessible. Confluence of Thelwall Brook with the MSC. 96 Final Report – September 2007 .410039 accessible. Thelwall Brook. providing some small localised aeration.19.
Although the availability of larger food items is currently plentiful and does not appear to be restricting adult performance. The later survey should then be carried out in September. These methods offer excellent value in terms of the quality of data collected and the relatively low demands on man-power required to undertake such surveys. Without such data. Furthermore. Recommendation 1 Initiate an annual sampling programme to assess the status of 0+ fishes using appropriate methodologies such as point sampling with reduced anode diameter and micromesh seine netting of littoral habitats (Copp 1989. Although the availability of potential spawning and nursery habitats are known to be limited within certain areas of the catchment. Recommendation 2 In order to elucidate whether primary productivity and food availability is limiting fish populations. 97 Final Report – September 2007 .1 Monitoring and scientific investigation 1. It is recommended that a minimum of two surveys are performed per year. 2. both temporal and spatial data are lacking regarding the occurrence of spawning (be it successful or unsuccessful). it is not possible at present to ascertain whether recruitment is being restricted or denied by a lack of appropriate food items to satisfy early stages of development. This leaves many questions unanswered regarding the environmental parameters (both chemical and physical) that may be responsible for constraining recruitment. the effective management of these fisheries will always be compromised and informed decisions cannot be made regarding the need for additional stocking or habitat manipulation.APEM Scientific Report . 3. By timing the first survey to target young larvae as soon as later spawning species have hatched will provide an initial assessment of spawning success and thus indicates that a species is not constrained by habitat bottlenecks. Pinder.410039 13. Using data currently available it has not been possible to provide a robust assessment of natural recruitment of fish within the system. a detailed examination of gut contents will be required from 0+ fish captured in fry surveys. 2001). The lack of suitable food may be an indication of water quality issues. when the presence and condition of species will provide a prediction of recruitment strength.0 RECOMMENDATIONS AND CURRENT KNOWLEDGE GAPS 13. few data currently exist regarding the abundance and distribution of such habitats.
physical examination for eggs. from both within and outside Salford Quays. Recommendation 4 In order to assess the ecological impact of intersex on fish populations in the MSC and surrounding catchment. In order to elucidate how habitat constraints may be limiting the natural recruitment of fish populations. By focussing such surveys around expected spawning seasons. Further experimental comparisons could be made between the fertilisation and hatching success of healthy stock originating from aquaculture and the stocks within the Canal. While the future monitoring of parr populations would provide an indication of the age and annual timing of smoltification. Recommendation 5 To understand how river discharge and water quality may influence the timing of adult salmon (and sea trout) ascending the MSC. This would allow preliminary observations of egg viability to be made. Such monitoring would also provide an estimate of the total number of salmon entering the lower MSC. a simple and rapid comparison could be achieved by comparing the fertilisation rate of the eggs of perch and roach. while identifying specific sites for more detailed examination in the future. The impact of intersexuality on spawning success and egg survival to hatching is currently poorly understanding. which are 98 Final Report – September 2007 . The numbers of adult salmon successful in navigating the MSC and participating in spawning is not currently known. Such data would allow the quantification of the impacts of intersex on spawning success within contaminated habitats.APEM Scientific Report . the Woolston trap would need to be operated on a monthly basis. Without such data it will not be possible to assess the instream survival of eggs and parr. 5. The timing of salmon migration patterns has not yet been established on the Mersey. 6.410039 Recommendation 3 Previous APEM habitat surveys of the Rivers Bollin and Goyt have facilitated the quantification of habitat limited spawning potential. 4. it is suggested that a scoping study is initiated to assess the feasibility for the use of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) telemetry. to investigate the precise temporal pattern of downstream migrations of both parr and smolts. such surveys will need to be conducted on a catchment wide scale. within such habitats will also allow spawning sites to be mapped.
It is strongly recommended that a study for the feasibility for the reintroduction of eels and migratory lamprey should be initiated. to the Bollin.410039 fundamental requirements for the future management of recovering salmon stocks in the Mersey Basin. 2. 1. growth and general health of juveniles to be monitored. in that it is the only watercourse in the British Isles known not to support the species Anguilla anguilla. 7. What degree of impact do instream barriers currently have on the recovery of fish populations? 99 Final Report – September 2007 . Future growth and health of the initial stocking could then be monitored. 8. Mersey and Irwell. potential mortality within the MSC).e. Thames and Great Ouse. The mapping of redds could be rapidly achieved with the use of high definition aerial photography and would also facilitate studies into hatching success.APEM Scientific Report .) Bleak would provide an additional species to satisfy anglers in the MSC and would probably spread throughout the canal as they naturally occupy the surface water layers. Recommendation 6 Mapping of redds in conjunction with data from the Woolston Trap would allow an estimate of the numbers of fish unable to reach suitable spawning grounds (i. If spawning can be achieved. This could easily be tested by translocation of elvers from the estuary or other rivers. where oxygen levels are usually more favourable. Current literature suggests that pheromones may play a role in acting as a signal for migratory conspecifics. which may outperform those species that have previously been stocked? Recommendation 7 Look into the possibility of stocking surface dwelling cyprinids such as bleak. Are there species of coarse fish not presently in the Mersey system. Why have eels not returned to the upper catchment? Recommendation 8 The Mersey system appears to be unique.) The presence of this fish in the Lower Irwell and upper MSC would provide a visual spectacle for the general public. This species constantly breaks the surface as they rise to take food which would provide a tangible sign of water quality improvements. this species is often prolific. forming huge shoals as seen on the Severn. with the Woolston trap then used to monitor the return of elvers to the catchment. 9. The benefits of the addition of this species are twofold. Wye.
The strategic provision of such habitats would also benefit both phytophilic spawning and act as important nursery areas for all species. Creation of marginal shelf habitats in the lower Irwell and upper MSC. in conjunction with habitat mapping would facilitate the best future management of such structures. few habitats exist in which fish. Creation of ‘Off River Supplementation Units’ (ORSUs) Due to historical river engineering throughout the catchment. thus increasing survival rates. capable of maintaining oxygen levels from natural wind action on the water surface. Jet washing of spawning gravels Jet wash gravels on the Goyt where salmon are known to have spawned. 3. In addition to adult habitat being severely limited.410039 Recommendation 9 As many as 500 barriers to fish migration are thought to exist throughout the Mersey Basin. The addition of macrophytes to such areas would provide important spawning and nursery areas. As well as directly enhancing recruitment. The creation of a marginal shelf (0. along the course of the MSC would also act as safe havens in times of poor water quality within the Canal. are able to seek shelter from high flows. The poor spawning of rheophilic species throughout the catchment would also improve the chances of natural recruitment. these areas would also provide a refuge from elevated flows and predation. should gravels be cleaned of algal slime. there is a complete lack of spawning and nursery habitats. it is essential to address both the distribution and impact of individual structures throughout the catchment. allowing the provision of best financial and ecological value mitigation options.5m wide x 1m deep) would eventually provide a marginal zone of dense macrophytes.g. This would enhance the incubation and hatching success of the eggs thus providing more parr. The lower River Irwell and upper MSC currently lack any suitable habitat for the requirements of coarse fish throughout many of their life history stages.APEM Scientific Report . River Dean) identified as highly important areas for salmonid recruitment. sewage fungus and fine sediments. 2. but. 100 Final Report – September 2007 . With the upper tributary rivers of the catchment (e.2 Catchment Management Recommendations 1. Rapid data collection from aerial surveys. The creation of such habitats along the length of the MSC could provide shallow waterbodies. 13. particularly larvae and juveniles.
Lambert. (1994) A Comprehensive Assessment of the Failure of Barbus-Barbus Spawning Migrations through a Fish Pass in the Canalized River Meuse (Belgium). 15241530. E. and Hicks. Kemp. Project Report: EA 877. (2001). D.D. Project Report: EA 763.. APEM (2007) Manchester Ship Canal: water quality review..J. APEM (2006) River Goyt walkover habitat survey. APEM Ltd.K. In: Urban Waterside Regeneration: Problems and 101 Final Report – September 2007 . J. Shurben.K.S. Aquatic Living Resources 7(3). Project Report: 410039. Ladle.S.J. London. Baker. S. (1979) The survival of smolts of salmon Salmo salar L. C.A. Butterworth Scientific. J. Armstrong. Fish. N. and Griffiths. 377-389. APEM (2004) River Bollin habitat survey for migratory fish.APEM Scientific Report . Journal of Fish Biology 58(6). APEM Ltd.J.N. at low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. E. J. K. Baras. (1993) Nutrient cycling in an enclosed dock and its biological implications.. Manchester. (1975) Reproductive guilds of fishes: a proposal and definition. P. APEM (1991) Salford Quays Fisheries Investigations: Phase III... K and White. APEM Ltd. G. (2003) Habitat requirements of Atlantic salmon and brown trout in rivers and streams. Fisheries Research 62(2). APEM (1990) Mersey Basin water quality study. Balon..410039 REFERENCES Alabaster. J. and Lloyd. 181-189.. Bd Can 31. and Milner. E. (1982) Water quality criteria for freshwater fish. Density-dependent refuge use among over-wintering wild Atlantic salmon juveniles. E.G. Armstrong.C. M. and Mallet. Res.G. (2003) Attraction of migratory inanga (Galaxias maculates) and koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis) juveniles to adult galaxiid odours.W. Balon. APEM (1989) Salford Quays Fisheries Investigations: Phase II. J. Bellinger. Journal of Fish Biology 15. and Philippart. R. 143-170.D. Hendry.. Manchester. Manchester. Kennedy. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37. 1-8. B.S. H.J.. Environmental Biology of Fishes 6. (1981) Additional and amendments to the classification of reproductive styles in fishes.F. Alabaster. 821-864. 291-299. M. J.
A. M.H. Corbett. Peterson. Internationale Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 81. (1996) The adhesive organ of larval pike Esox lucius. and Ladle. P. juveniles exposed to different dissolved oxygen levels. S...410039 Prospects. J.. A.N. Wilhelm. S. B. Braum.N. (1907) The River Irwell: pleasant reminiscences of the nineteenth centuary and suggestions for improvement in the twentieth. (Ed: White.R and Smatresk. D.. E. 1824).) Ellis Horwood. Lucio Loro. Journal of Fish Biology 59(5). Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard. G. N. Welch. 1117-1119. Beresford. R. Journal of Experimental Biology 123. 21-33. J. (2003) Phytoplankton blooms and fish recruitment rate. and Hochachka. A. V and Baldisserotto. 473-477. London. Bellinger. Brindley. growth and biochemical parameters of silver catfish. M. Journal of PlanktonResearch 25 (1). E.P. USA: CRC Press. J. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 53. ladder and trap. and Horwood. Winter habitat of selected stream fishes and potential impacts from land-use activity. (2004) Role of eel odour on the efficiency of an eel. R. V. Burleson.. Leuciscus leuciscus (L.. 39-54. 102 Final Report – September 2007 . (1986) Metabolic responses of trout (Salmo Gairdneri) to acute environmental hypoxia. M and Hendry. 2nd edn. 267282. 101-108.. Rose. Braun. and Newroth. B.. Lima de Lima. and Stolz. Peters.R. G. (1996). K. D. N. Dunn.W. S. (2001).D.W. Briand. J. 1336-1349. (1993) Restoration and Management of Lakes and Reservoirs. 1524-1531.G. M.. Anguilla anguilla. Copp. Cunjak. Journal of Fish Biology 50. (1997) Diel migrations and site fidelity in a stream-dwelling cyprinid..J.L.. 453-462.A.F. Jobling. Clough.). C.L. N.H. R.J. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 178. P 358-366.R. Symes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 65. and Sumpter. 548 pp. Moraes. Aquaculture and Fisheries Management 20. (1999) Linking water quality to larval survival: predation mortality of fish larvae in an oxygen-stratified water column. Saul.B. Boca Raton.A.APEM Scientific Report . (2006) Survival. J. and Cowan Jr. P. (2004) Endocrine disruption in juvenile roach from English rivers: a preliminary study. K.. (Pisces). K. E. D. (1989) Electrofishing for fish larvae and 0+ juveniles: equipment modifications for increased efficiency with short fishes. and Legault. Chichester. N. Williams. 580-586. Cooke. Fatin. Journal of Fish Biology 64. Abel Heywood. The influence of fish size on the avoidance of hypoxia and oxygen selection by largemouth bass. J. Biktashev. Breitburg. 229-242.." Aquaculture Research 37 (15)..
J. (2006) Assessment of Feminization of Male Fish in English Rivers by the Environment Agency of England and Wales. Griffiths. Environment Agency (2002b).J. J. and Armstrong. and Bowmer. North West Water and the Mersey Basin Campaign. S. J. S. Manchester Ship Canal Project Flore. Hellawell. effluent. Journal of Fish Biology 25. J. Metcalfe. Environment Agency (1997) The quality of rivers and canals in England and Wales 1995. N. Venderbosch. (1998) The effect of water current on foraging behaviour of the rheophilic cyprinid Chondrostoma nasus (L.Y.D and Brighty.and inter-specific competition for winter concealment habitat in juvenile salmonids. M.D. 363369. E. Environmental Health Perspectives 114. Ebbw. (1997) Disruption of sexual differentiation in genetic male common carp (Cyprinus carpio) exposed to an alkylphenol during different life stages.W.M. H.A. and Armstrong. Harper. E. 393-403. HMSO. and Keckeis.R.C. In: Ecology of European Rivers (Ed. (2002) Intra. Roast. and Williams. Manchester. Manchester Ship Canal Company. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 59(9).A. (1984).W. London. Komen. B. Fraser.W. Gross-Sorokin. A. (2002). 103 Final Report – September 2007 . T. P.APEM Scientific Report .B. Environmental Science and Technology 31. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 14 (1).) Blackwell Scientific publications. (1989) Biological indicators of freshwater pollution and environmental management. Journal of Fish Biology 60(2). Environment Agency (1998) The identification of oestrogenic substances in STW Environment Agency (2002a).. Gimeno. (1984) The effects of a settled industrial domestic sewage works effluent from percolating filters on the embryo viability and hatching success of rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri Richardson.D. S. H.W..F. Elsevier Applied Science. R.. Harwood. L.410039 Edwards R.. R&D Technical Report W2-014/TR. (2000) The Manchester Ship Canal: water quality report.. 1515-1523.) during ontogeny: Evidence of a trade-off between energetic gain and swimming costs. Williams. Oxford. Rearing conditions influence refuge use among over-wintering Atlantic salmon juveniles. Report for Environment Agency. The identification of oestrogenic effects in wild fish – Phase II. Griffiths. 141-154. G. s-1. Whitton. 2884-2890. London. P. S. Environment Agency R&D Publication P7.L and Clark.M.
430-440. (2006) Water quality and fisheries in the Mersey estuary. In: Urban Waterside Regeneration: Problems and Prospects. (1994) Differences between marine and freshwater fish larvae: implications for recruitment. Lake Aydat Revue des Sciences Naturelles d’Auvergne 57 (1-4) 1992-1993. S. Saul. (1979) A comparative index for quantifying growth in length of fish.. M. 64. Hickley.. Jones. Keckeis. A.. (1993) Biology of the adult roach (Rutilus rutilus. G. and Sumpter. and Kamler.D.K. K.D.G.. Pisces: Cyprinidae).F. P. 147-151. Cambridgeshire Libraries Publication.J. White. A.W. Houde. Hendry.G. Journal of Fisheries Biology 33. 23-33. University of Manchester Hendry.410039 Hendry. 91-97.. K.B. 155-163.) Ellis Horwood.N.. E. Bellinger. P.. (1993) Water quality and urban regeneration – a case study of the Mersey Basin. ICES journal of marine Science 51.APEM Scientific Report . Holland. Conlan. J. (1984) Mersey. Brighty.. Jamet. Chichester. and Harding. pp. L. Symes. K. A. A.D.P. and Gallaher.. J. Oxford. and Parsons. D.L. (1971) The biology of polluted waters.R.J. P. H. (1996) Effects of reduced oxygen level on the mortality and hatching rate of Chondrostoma nasus embryos. Bauer Nemeschkal. K.C. D. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 88 (3). (Ed: White. Fisheries Research 62(2).P. M. Liverpool University Press. pp1 113-144. and Hawkins. Sorensen.. 171-192. H. O’Grady. PhD Thesis.. (2003) Management of habitat for rehabilitation and enhancement of salmonid stocks. B). Liverpool. H. K. Journal of Fish Biology 49 (3). (1991) The Ecology and Water Quality Management of Disused Dock Basins and Their Potential for Alternative Uses. In: Ecology of European Rivers (Ed. K. S.. Marine Pollution Bulletin 53.. Environmental Science and Technology 32. J. Li. Blackwell. Fisheries Management 10 (4). K. 144-154.N.J. (1959) Profiles and biology of Western European streams as related to fish management. (1988) Lord Orford’s Voyage round the Fens in 1774. M and Hendry.F. K. (1998) Widespread sexual disruption in wild fish. Webb. Hynes.. Jobling.. Jenkins. Nolan. Bewsher. Huet. (1988) Disused docks as a habitat for estuarine fish: a nation-wide appraisal. England: a historical perspective. 1758. E. 239-241. E. D. Whitton.. H. Cragg-Hine. Tyler. C. S. and Stephen. 2498-2506. M.N. Sambrook. W. E.N. (1995) The olfactory system of migratory adult sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is specifically and acutely sensitive to unique 104 Final Report – September 2007 . and Dexter. Hendry. K..
Journal of Fish Biology 50(2). Journal of Animal Ecology 68(2). D. R. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 25. Mills. P. H. & Campbell.APEM Scientific Report . R.A. Malborough. (2004) Fish habitat requirements as the basis for rehabilitation of eutrophic lakes by oxygenation. Mann.C.V. R. D. and Stadelmann. (1985) Environmentally-induced fluctuations in yearclass strength and their implications for management.K. Miyakoshi.G. Fisheries Management and Ecology 11. Y. and Irvine. Fraser. and Pinder..S. in autumn and winter.D. K.. London. Regulated Rivers. K.B. Fisheries Management and Ecology 9(4). 217-223. Nagata. S. Miles.N. Harper Collins. (1996) Temporal and spatial variations in the diet of 0 group roach (Rutilus rutilus) larvae and juveniles in the River Great Ouse in Relation to prey availability. Hendry. Longmans Green & Co. K.J. 569587.T. P. Fisheries Management and Ecology 6.. B. (1999) Food availability and the nocturnal vs. 371-381. J. 251-260.) (Gadidae) in Britain.T..C. White.H. Nash.B. 287-294. Mann.. Oncorhynchus masou. Bass. D. 349-355. Hayano. Leach. (1968) Rheotaxis of elvers of the American eel in the laboratory from different streams in Nova Scotia.H. (2002) Importance of instream cover for young masu salmon.410039 bile acids released by conspecific larvae. (1999) The use of brushwood bundles as fish spawning media. Journal of Fish Biology 2. M. and Mann. N. N. S.A.. K. and Frear. Muller. Lucas. M. (2003) The effect of water quality on coarse fish productivity and movement in the lower River Irwell and upper Manchester Ship 105 Final Report – September 2007 . Journal of Fish Biology 27 (suppl A). Omori. (1970) The status of the burbot Lota lota (L. 223-235. A..H. and Hendry.C. 217-222.A. and Skertchly. 1591-1602.H. 13. J.. (1992) Freshwater Fishes of the British Isles. S. London. M.. R. Hydrobiologia 323. P. cyprinid. 382396. H. (1996) Environmental requirements of European non-salmonid fish in rivers. Maitland. R.R. Journal of General Physiology 105. Nash. 209-409. (1997) Effects of a flow-gauging weir on the migratory behaviour of adult barbel. diurnal foraging trade-off in juvenile salmon. C. (1878) The Fenland Past and Present. Metcalfe. Miller.H. K and Cragg-Hine. and Burns.K..K. a riverine.
Keckeis. Journal of Experimental Biology 206 (20). 3667-3673. (1955) Pollution and fisheries. Rimmer. Salvelinus-Fontinalis (Mitchill).A. (2005) Ontogenetic induced shifts in the ecology of sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus during early development..B. U. and Saunders. Winkler G. K. and Schiemer F. Pinder. (1999) Zooplankton abundance in the River Danube. (2007) Evidence for an autumn downstream migration and the subsequent estuarine residence of 0+ year juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. Wasser. A... and Bass. APEM Scientific Project MSC 484. Riley.E.. Ver. 768-771. D. Sollid. W. Scoping Study (Phase 1). W. Distribution of Fingerling Brook Trout. p. 47-50. Pinder. in Dissolved-Oxygen Concentration Gradients. A T & Beaumont. (2005) Fish Populations In: Environmental consequences for flood risk assessment. Spoor. Scientific publication No. R. (1990). De Angelis. Environmental Biology of Fishes 17(3).410039 Canal: a watercourse recovering from historical pollution. Ambleside 134 pp. P. Journal of Fish Biology 36(3)..W. F.. (1986) Origins of the freshwater attractant(s) of migration elvers of the American eel Anguilla rostrata. 363-373. R.D. Gozlan. Reckendorfer.T. 2001.. 762-775. Freshwater Biology 41 (3).C. Ibbotson..E. Limnol. Beyer. A. W. Freshwater Biological Association.APEM Scientific Report . A. Int. Journal of Fish Biology 67 (Suppl B). (1984) Die Zustandsentwicklung des Baldeggersees (1900 bias 1980) und die Auswirkung von seeinternen Massnahmen. A. A. Pinder..C. K. Energie.C. 583-591. (2004) Early ontogeny of sunbleak. J. 106 Final Report – September 2007 . Ramsbottom et al. 60. Pinder. Stadelmann. 177-185.. in England. Paim. Gundersen. Pentelow.C. G. J. 260264. W. (1983) Autumnal Habitat Shift of Juvenile Atlantic Salmon (Salmo-Salar) in a Small River.. 205-217. Keys to larval and juvenile stages of freshwater coarse fishes from fresh waters in the British Isles. Sorensen. A. Luft 76.L.C. Journal of Fish Biology 71. M.C. H.. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 40(6).E. 85-95. (2003) Hypoxia induces adaptive and reversible gross morphological changes in crucian carp gills. 12.. Journal of Fish Biology 64.K. and Gozlan. and Nilsson.R. P. Austria: the significance of inshore retention. 671-680. Verh. Bristol: Environment Agency (Report EX5126 R&D Technical Report) Pinder. by D. R.
Zhou. & Rebbeck.-W... Thorpe. (2000).410039 Sumpter. K.S. J. 1160-1171.. D. Hendry. In: The handbook of Environmental Chemistry. 235-238. Routledge & Kegan Paul. Ip.K and Chew. Anguilla anguilla (L. (1979) The Tidal Thames: The History of a River and its Fishes. 388-437. (2002) Endocrine disruption in the aquatic environment. (2000) Metabolic adjustments in the common carp during prolonged hypoxia. and Huntingford. F. (1999) Nocturnal habitat use of Atlantic salmon parr in winter. Calif. In: WEFTEC 2000. Lam.J.. 271-289.W. S. Y. Wilson.. S. Vol. P. A. Animal Behaviour 54..APEM Scientific Report .P. USA. C. B. N. 177-185. J. Clupeidae and Angullidae (Hoestlandt.. London. M. 107 Final Report – September 2007 .S.G. 1405-1412. in guiding glass eel. F. L. (1997) Seasonal changes in sheltering: effect of light and temperature on diel activity in juvenile salmon.) migration. Tosi. B. D. 1543-1550.). K. pp. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 56(9). (1991) Anguillidae In: The Freshwater Fishes of Europe. Wilson. ed. Oxygenation project on the Manchester Ship Canal in the North West of England. R. Metcalfe. Journal of Fish Biology 57. ed. and Sola. Valdimarsson. Randall.). S.B.. and Taylor. Part M: Endocrine Disruptors. (1993) Role of geosmin a typical inland water odour.K.S. H.K..F. Journal of Fish Biology 33 (Supplement A). pp. Berlin. Whalen. and Parrish. Proceedings of the Water and Environmental Federation 73rd Annual Conference & Exposition. Aula-Verlag Wiesbaden. Anaheim. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.A.J. Wheeler. Wu. D’Arcy. 3. (1988) The return of fish to the Mersey estuary. Ethology 95.. J. K..L.S.E. J. Part II (Metzler. Tesch.
dissolved oxygen and total ammonia. Where ‘greater than’ values are recorded for ammonia. these signify minimum and maximum values.APEM Scientific Report . an additional graph displaying annual means is also included.O. The following graphs focus on biochemical oxygen demand (B.D). The guideline and imperative (also known as mandatory) levels set out on the graphs relate to the EU FFD requirements for cyprinid fish. thus highlighting the extreme parameters that may be overlooked if only considering monthly means or 95 percentile values. it is likely that these sporadic peaks relate to storm sewage discharges. Historical records for these parameters are variable in their completeness on both a temporal and spatial basis. 108 Final Report – September 2007 . but where long-term datasets illustrate clear temporal trends. the sites of focus in the current review were chosen as they were considered the best spatial representation of water quality throughout the catchment. Where error bars appear on the graphs.410039 APPENDIX I – Water Quality Data Although data are available from many more sites throughout the catchment.
B.O.410039 EC FFD .D (mg/l) 109 APEM Scientific Report .D.D. (mg/l) Salford Quays Mean Monthly B.O.O.O.D (mg/l) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 B. (mg/l 1986 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 0 Jan-05 Feb-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06 Feb-06 Mar-06 Apr-06 May-06 Jun-06 Jul-06 Aug-06 Sep-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 EC FFD Figure A1a 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Salford Quays Figure A1b Final Report – September 2007 Salford Quays Mean Annual B.
APEM Scientific Report . (mg/l) 16 14 12 D.O. (mg/l) 14 12 10 D.410039 Salford Quays Mean Annual D.O. (mg/l) 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jan-06 Jul-05 Mar-05 May-05 Mar-06 May-06 Jul-06 Dec-06 Sep-05 Sep-06 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level Figure A2b 110 Final Report – September 2007 . (mg/l) 8 6 4 2 0 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A2a Salford Quays Mean Monthly D.O.O.
APEM Scientific Report .410039 Salford Quays Mean Annual Ammonia (mg/l) 16 14 Ammonia (mg/l 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 EC FFD (1 mg/l) Figure A3 111 Final Report – September 2007 .
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
R.Irk Mean Annual B.O.D. (mg/l)
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995
EC FFD guideline level
R.Irk Mean Monthly B.O.D. (mg/l) 2005-2006
18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Mar-05 May-05 Jul-05 Sep-05 Mar-06
EC FFD guideline level
Final Report – September 2007
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
R.Irk Mean Annual D.O. (mg/l)
8 D.O. (mg/l)
100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level
0 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005
100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level
R.Irk Mean Monthly D.O. (mg/l) 2005-2006
14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Oct-05 Mar-05 Mar-06 Feb-06 Nov-06 Jan-06 Jun-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Jul-06 Oct-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 May-05 May-06 Dec-06 Feb-05 Apr-05 Sep-06
Final Report – September 2007
APEM Scientific Report - 410039
R.Irk Average Annual Ammonia (mg/l)
9 8 7 Ammonia (mg/l) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 EC FFD guideline level
R.Irk Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 2005-2006
1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Mar-05 Mar-06 Oct-05 Feb-05 Apr-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 May-05 May-06
EC FFD guideline level
Final Report – September 2007
2006 40 35 30 EC FFD BOD (mg/l) 25 20 15 10 5 0 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 Nov-06 Dec-06 Figure A7a R.APEM Scientific Report .2006 18 16 14 12 BOD (mg/l) 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Mar-05 Mar-06 Oct-05 Jul-06 Feb-05 May-05 Feb-06 May-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 Sep-06 Oct-06 Apr-05 Apr-06 EC FFD Figure A7b 115 Final Report – September 2007 2006 . Medlock Mean Annual BOD (mg/l) 1978 . Medlock Mean Monthly BOD (mg/l) 2005 .410039 River Medlock R.
O. Medlock Mean Annual D.O.2006 18 16 14 12 D.410039 R. Medlock Mean Monthly D.APEM Scientific Report . (mg/l) 2005 . (mg/l) 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Mar-05 Mar-06 Feb-05 May-05 Feb-06 May-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 Nov-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Jul-06 Oct-05 Jul-06 Oct-06 Apr-05 Apr-06 Dec-06 Sep-06 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A8b 116 Final Report – September 2007 .O. (mg/l) 1978 . (mg/l) 8 6 4 2 0 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A8a R.2006 14 12 10 D.O.
8 1.2006 R.2 0 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 EC FFD 2006 1 Ammonia (mg/l 10 Figure A9a Figure A9b Jan-05 Apr-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Final Report – September 2007 Jun-05 Jul-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Jan-06 Apr-06 Jun-06 Jul-06 May-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 R.410039 Dec-06 . Medlock Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 2005 .Ammonia (mg/l 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0.4 0.2 0. Medlock Mean Annual Ammonia 1978 .6 0.2006 117 Oct-06 Nov-06 Feb-06 Mar-06 May-06 EC FFD Sep-06 APEM Scientific Report .
O.O.O. (mg/l) 2005-2006 12 10 B.D. (mg/l Figure A10a Irwell Mean Monthly B. (mg/l 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Mar-05 May-05 Mar-06 Feb-06 May-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 Aug-06 Sep-06 Dec-05 Nov-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Jul-05 Oct-05 Jul-06 Oct-06 Apr-05 Apr-06 Dec-06 EC FFD guideline level Figure A10b 118 Final Report – September 2007 2004 .D.D.O.APEM Scientific Report .410039 River Irwell Irwell Mean Annual B. (mg/l) 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 EC FFD guideline level B.D.
(mg/l) 16 14 12 D. (mg/l) 12 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 10 8 D.O. (mg/l) 6 4 2 0 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A11a Irwell Mean Monthly D. (mg/l) 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Feb-06 May-05 Mar-06 May-06 Dec-05 Nov-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Jul-05 Oct-05 Jul-06 Oct-06 Apr-05 Apr-06 Figure A11b 119 Final Report – September 2007 Dec-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 Aug-06 Sep-06 .O.O.410039 Irwell Mean Annual D.APEM Scientific Report .O.
410039 Irwell Mean Annual Ammonia (mg/l) 7 Ammonia (mg/l 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1977 1980 1983 1986 1989 1992 1995 1998 2001 2004 EC FFD guideline level Figure A12a Irwell Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 2005-2006 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Nov-05 Jan-06 Jan-05 Jul-05 Mar-05 Mar-06 May-05 May-06 Sep-05 Ammonia (mg/l EC FFD guideline level Jul-06 Figure A12b 120 Final Report – September 2007 Dec-06 Sep-06 .APEM Scientific Report .
Turning Basin MSC (Turning Basin) Mean Annual B.D.D.O.D. (mg/l) 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1986 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 B. (mg/l) 2005-2006 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jan-06 Jul-05 Mar-05 May-05 Mar-06 May-06 Sep-05 Jul-06 B. (mg/l EC FFD 2003 Figure A13a MSC (Turning Basin) Mean Monthly B.O.410039 Manchester Ship Canal. (mg/l EC FFD Sep-06 2005 Figure A13b 121 Final Report – September 2007 Dec-06 .O.APEM Scientific Report .D.O.
APEM Scientific Report .O.O. (mg/l) 2005-2006 12 10 D. (mg/l) 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jul-05 Mar-05 Jan-06 Sep-05 Mar-06 Jul-06 Sep-06 May-05 May-06 Dec-06 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A14b 122 Final Report – September 2007 .O.O.410039 MSC (Turning Basin) Mean Annual D. (mg/l) 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A14a D. (mg/l) MSC (Turning Basin) Mean Monthly D.
O.APEM Scientific Report . (mg/l) 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jul-05 Jan-05 Jan-06 Jul-06 Mar-06 May-05 May-06 Mar-05 Sep-05 Oct-06 Figure A16 123 Final Report – September 2007 Oct-06 Apr-05 Apr-06 .410039 Manchester Ship Canal at Irlam Irlam Mean Monthly BOD (mg/l) 2005 .2006 10 9 8 7 BOD (mg/l) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Nov-05 Oct-05 Feb-05 Feb-06 May-06 May-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Dec-05 Sep-06 Mar-05 Mar-06 Nov-06 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level EC FFD Jan-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jun-06 Jul-05 Jul-06 Figure A15 Irlam Mean Monthly D.2006 12 10 8 D.O. (mg/l) 2005 .
(mg/l) B.D.410039 . (mg/l) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 0 2 4 6 8 Figure A17a River Mersey at Flixton Figure A17b Final Report – September 2007 Mersey at Flixton Average Annual B.D.B. (mg/l) 124 EC FFD EC FFD Ja nFe 05 b0 M 5 ar -0 Ap 5 r-0 M 5 ay -0 Ju 5 n0 Au 5 gAu 05 gSe 05 p0 O 5 ct -0 N 5 ov D 05 ec -0 Ja 5 n0 Fe 6 b0 M 6 ar -0 Ap 6 r-0 M 6 ay -0 Ju 6 n06 Ju l-0 Au 6 gSe 06 p0 O 6 ct -0 N 6 ov D 06 ec -0 6 19 76 19 77 19 78 19 79 19 80 19 81 19 82 19 83 19 84 19 85 19 86 19 87 19 88 19 89 19 90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05 20 06 APEM Scientific Report .O.O.D. (mg/l) Mersey at Flixton Average Monthly B.O.D.O.
O.O.410039 Mersey at Flixton Mean Annual D. (mg/l) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A18a Mersey at Flixton Mean Monthly D. (mg/l) 8 6 4 2 0 Jan-05 Oct-05 Jun-06 Feb-06 Mar-05 May-05 Aug-05 Aug-06 Dec-05 Oct-06 Apr-06 Dec-06 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for EC FFD imperative level 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level Figure A18b 125 Final Report – September 2007 . (mg/l) 10 9 8 7 D. (mg/l) 14 12 10 D.O.APEM Scientific Report .O.
5 0 Jan-05 May-05 Oct-05 Jun-06 Mar-05 Feb-06 Aug-05 Dec-05 Aug-06 Oct-06 Apr-06 Dec-06 EC FFD Figure A19b 126 Final Report – September 2007 .5 0 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 EC FFD Figure A19a Mersey at Flixton Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 3.5 3 Ammonia (mg/l 2.5 1 0.410039 Mersey at Flixton Mean Annual Ammonia (mg/l) 3 2.APEM Scientific Report .5 1 0.5 2 1.5 Ammonia (mg/l 2 1.
(mg/l 4 3 2 1 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jan-06 Oct-05 Feb-05 May-05 Dec-05 Feb-06 May-06 Mar-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Mar-06 Jun-06 Apr-05 Jul-05 Apr-06 Aug-06 Sep-06 Figure A20b 127 Final Report – September 2007 .O.O.D.APEM Scientific Report . (mg/l 6 4 2 0 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 Nov-06 Dec-06 Figure A20a River Bollin at Heatley Mean Monthly B. (mg/l) 12 10 EC FFD 8 B.410039 River Bollin at Heatley River Bollin at Heatley Mean Annual B.D. (mg/l) 7 6 EC FFD 5 B.O.D.O.D.
O. (mg/l) 2005-2006 18 16 14 D.O. (mg/l) 6 4 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 2 0 1976 1979 1982 1985 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2003 2006 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level Figure A21a River Bollin at Heatley Mean Monthly D.O.APEM Scientific Report . (mg/l) 12 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level 10 8 D.410039 Bollin at Heatley Mean Annual D. (mg/l) 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Jan-05 Feb-05 Mar-05 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Jul-05 Aug-05 Sep-05 Oct-05 Nov-05 Dec-05 Jan-06 Feb-06 Mar-06 Apr-06 May-06 Jun-06 Aug-06 Sep-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 Figure A21b 128 Final Report – September 2007 .O.
0 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 Figure A22a River Bollin at Heatley Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 1.6 1.8 0.0 Nov-05 Feb-05 May-05 Feb-06 May-06 Aug-05 Sep-05 Dec-05 Aug-06 Sep-06 Nov-06 Jan-05 Jun-05 Jan-06 Oct-05 Jun-06 Apr-05 Jul-05 Apr-06 Dec-06 Mar-05 Mar-06 Figure A22b 129 Final Report – September 2007 .2 0.4 0.2 1.410039 Bollin at Heatley Mean Annual Ammonia (mg/l) 1.6 0.2 Ammonia (mg/l EC FFD 1.4 1.0 0.4 0.APEM Scientific Report .6 0.2 0.8 0.0 EC FFD Ammonia (mg/l 0.
(mg/l) 4 3 2 1 0 Ju l-0 5 Se p05 No v05 Ja n05 Ja n06 ar -0 5 Ap r.D.Goyt Average Monthly B.410039 River Goyt R.O.D.O. (mg/l) 2005-2006 16 14 12 D.APEM Scientific Report .O. (mg/l) 10 8 6 4 2 0 Nov-05 Jan-05 Jul-05 Jan-06 May-05 May-06 Mar-05 Oct-06 Apr-06 Sep-05 Dec-06 Aug-06 50% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 100% compliance required for EC FFD guideline level 50% compliance required for imperative level Figure A24 130 Final Report – September 2007 .0 6 M ay -0 6 Au g06 O ct -0 6 De c06 ay -0 5 M Figure A23 M R.O.Goyt Mean Monthly D. (mg/l) 2005-2006 7 EC FFD 6 5 B.
8 0.2 Ammonia (mg/l 1.6 0.410039 R.0 0.4 0.2 0.0 Nov-05 Mar-05 May-05 Sep-05 EC FFD Figure A25 131 Final Report – September 2007 Sep-06 Nov-06 Jan-05 Jan-06 Jun-06 Jul-05 Apr-06 .Goyt Mean Monthly Ammonia (mg/l) 2005-2006 1.APEM Scientific Report .
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