Members of the Mersey and Weaver Fisheries and Angling Consultative were celebrating good news for the “King of Fish” at their last meeting.

The main river in the MWFACA area, the River Mersey, was formerly one of the most polluted river systems in the UK, but in recent years industry has cleaned up its act and as a result salmon are now returning.

The Mersey and Weaver is predominantly a coarse fishing area but members value all species of fish and recognise the benefit of having salmon in their area.

The Environment Agency has made much use of this in publicity material and monitored the numbers returning through its fish trap on Woolston Weir, near Warrington.

However in 2006 the numbers returning showed an apparent down turn despite the public watching more than ever jumping at the weir.

Investigation revealed that the EA Fisheries Team had been diverted from checking the fish pass and given other work to do so that by the time they got there, the main run had gone through.

The MWFACA was so concerned that it wrote to the Regional Director about the priority attached to this.

He has now personally re-assured the consultative that the EA attaches the highest priority to ensuring the return of salmon and that in 2007 Fisheries staff will be able to monitor the run at the correct time. Members and the Fisheries Team – and no doubt the Salmon – were pleased at this satisfactory result.