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Fishy tale to bike ride along Tyne

Environment Agency staff set off from Tynemouth on their bike ride mimicing migrating fish in the River Tyne.
Environment Agency staff set off from Tynemouth on their bike ride mimicing migrating fish in the River Tyne.

Environmental staff got on their bikes to mimic the journey of migrating fish along the River Tyne.

Employees from the Environment Agency were joined by Sammy the Salmon as they rode the 36 miles from Tynemouth, through Newcastle and Northumberland, to Hexham Fish Pass for World Fish Migration Day.

And the following day, they hosted a family cycle ride taking in the seven-mile journey from Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder to Kielder Salmon Centre, where people took part in ‘smolt trapping’ and saw the work of the salmon centre.

Many migratory fish species are severely threatened, with the main causes being man-made obstacles like dams, weirs and sluices, which disrupt the natural flow of rivers and prevent fish migration.

Robbie Stevenson, fisheries technical officer at the Environment Agency in the north east, said: “Migratory fish make up a crucial link in the food chain and play an important role in healthy and productive river systems.

“The River Tyne is an excellent example of a river which has improved drastically in water quality and is now a thriving river for migratory fish, such as salmon and sea trout.”

He added: “The event was aimed at raising awareness of the importance of migrating fish by highlighting the long and arduous route they take between Tynemouth and Hexham, and then into those tributaries of the Tyne to reach their upstream spawning grounds.”