Eel Passes – Fishtek Consulting

Fishtek Consulting is a fisheries and engineering consultancy, specialising in providing solutions to the problems facing fish populations. In particular, they are specialists in designing, manufacturing and installing fish and eel passes and have worked on projects across the UK and further afield.

Fishtek have been a customer of Cottam Brush for over 10 years to source eel pass substrates.

Since the 1980s, there has been a 95% decline in the number of European Eels. As a result of this decline, there is currently a European strategy and associated legislation to restore the population. Businesses working in the waterways industries may need to follow The Eels (England & Wales) Regulations 2009, part of which requires an eel pass be built to allow the free passage of eels over structures which may impede them.

Gauging weirs are used in waterways to give an accurate reading of the flow passing downstream in a river. Due to their size, these weirs present a barrier to the migration of eels and other fish.

One example is Mogden Weir, based near Isleworth (West London) and operated by Thames Water.

Fishtek were commissioned to design and install an ‘up and over’ eel pass at the site, taking account of the ‘flat-V’ shape. Cottam contributed to this project by providing eel pass brushes that fit the project perfectly.

Our eel passes are designed in collaboration with the Environment Agency and manufactured in the UK. The boards are made using polypropylene or SBR, depending on flexibility, before being filled with polyester tufts. This hardwearing, non-absorbent material is ideal for use in water and is flexible enough to accommodate migrating eels.

Fishtek have worked with Cottam on other projects, including Marlow Weir in Buckinghamshire.

Adam Fryer, Associate Director at Fishtek Consulting said about working with Cottam:

“Cottam are a great company to work with. In particular, we value that they are a UK based supplier, which means that their turnaround times are generally quick. From the quote stage, where we are reassured of consistent pricing, to the packaging and delivery of the final product, we know we will get good customer service by using Cottam.”

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