stocks were the catalyst for the formation of the
Wye Foundation. Building on the efforts of volunteers,
the Foundation began in 1995 with the generous backing
and support from fishermen, owners and others interested
in the well being of the river. Initially a full time
fisheries graduate, Richard White was engaged and
work began with a full survey of the tributary system.
the survey showed that there were considerable problems.
Blockages, pollutions, damage from excessive grazing,
over shading. Timber blockages, some as high as twelve
feet were removed - over 500 in total to assist the
passage of both brown trout and salmon to their native
spawning streams. Specific access projects such as
fish passes on the Clettwr, Duhonw and Clywedog now
allow salmon and trout freer access to better quality
habitats as well as lobbying the Environment Agency
to rectify earlier unauthorised weir construction.
Several cases of pollution including sheep dip have
also been resolved as a result of our work.
The next phase
of the Foundation's work - and perhaps the most interesting
- involves restoring the habitat of the tributary
system to its former state when the river corridor
supported a much richer and more diverse range of
fish, birds, animals and plants - the most important
being the Atlantic salmon - since so much of the local
economy depends on this one species. In partnership
with The Environment Agency, Countryside Council for
Wales, Game Conservancy Trust and Brecknock, Radnorshire
and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts, the Foundation
was successful in obtaining European and Welsh Office
funding. For the past three years we have been using
this to restore the habitat of a number of key tributaries
that will kick-start the brown trout fishing as well
as improve the nursery habitat of salmon and a whole
range of other important species. On the 1st May 1998
the Wye Habitat Improvement Project (WHIP) was launched
to carry out this work.
We also turned
our attention to the need to conserve adult salmon.
Initial lobbying of both Environment Agency and fishermen
to return fish culminated in a 'Fish for a Fish’.
Backed by Sportsfish of Winforton and the Agency,
in 1998 we offered a side of smoked salmon to anyone
who returned a fish. That year we increased the percentage
of returned fish from 7% to 24%.
would still not be sufficient, we embarked on a plan
to reduce the effects of commercial fisheries in the
estuary. This allowed us to become involved with the
Owners and Fishermen of the Usk. We found a unity
of interest and shared a number of common problems,
so in 2002 we became the Wye and Usk Foundation. Full
details of our projects are on our web site.
Wye and Usk Foundation
The Coach House The Old Rectory Llanstephan Brecon Powys LD3 0YR
T: 01982 560357 / 07818 072270 E: firstname.lastname@example.org