Scottish hydro energy scheme ‘caught’ in fishy goings-on

Fish ladder at the Galloway Hydro power scheme
Fish ladder at the Galloway Hydro power scheme

Something definitely fishy has been going on at a Scottish Power hydro energy scheme in Dumfries-shire.

In fact, a total of 40 fish have been rescued and given a ‘leg-up’ to safety after becoming trapped in the Carsfad reservoir in the Galloway hydro scheme when it was partially-drained for maintenance works.

Various ‘fish ladders’ are permanently installed around the network of dams and hydro-electric power stations in Galloway to ensure the generation of clean renewable energy and also help conserve wildlife and habitats.

The ladders consist of a series of ascending pools, some of which are large resting pools, each connected by a submerged gate into the reservoir through which the fish can swim.

Water flow is altered during the works to allow river life to pass safely. However a number of fish were found to be isolated in the fish pass as the dam level dropped.

A spokesman for Scottish Power explained: “As we begin draining, our main priority is to ‘retrieve and recover’ any fish caught before the work actually takes place. We work closely with Galloway Fisheries Trust and ensured they were on hand to catch the fish and move them to a safer area. It was great to see them all swimming on their way.”

Here's one of the 40 fish that got away in the Galloway hydro power scheme
Here’s one of the 40 fish that got away in the Galloway hydro power scheme great escape

In total 20 brown trout, 17 rainbows, 2 sticklebacks and a perch were helped back into open water.

The Galloway Hydros, commissioned in the mid-1930s, was the first large-scale integrated hydro-electric complex to be built in Britain for the purpose of public electricity supply.

The scheme can produce a total peak power of around 106 megawatts and powered around 150,000 homes using Scottish hydro power last year.

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