Nith District Salmon Fishery Board
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Nith Catchment Fishery Trust
Nith District Salmon Fishery Board
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Monitoring at House Of Water

The former surface coal mine at House of Water has ceased producing coal since July 2020. The site is now in a phase of restoration in accordance with the planning conditions which accompany such industrial sites. From its conception as a surface coal mine, Nith District Salmon Fishery Board (NDSFB) have worked with the various operators and contractors who have been involved with the site and its operations, due to the fact that the River Nith runs through the centre of the site. NDSFB is a statutory body with the responsibility to ensure the safety and survival of migratory salmonid species of fish throughout the entire River Nith catchment.

In order that NDSFB and the owners of the House of Water site have the necessary information to enable an accurate assessment of any impacts in the aquatic environment, a series of fishery surveys was designed to enable any impacts emanating from the site to be detected. The fishery surveys are conducted annually, reported upon and made available to the Technical Working Group that supports the House of Water site and East Ayrshire Council. As the House of Water site continues through its after care and restoration phase, the eventual future use of the site has been considered by its owners Hargreaves. In accordance with other land use in the locality, forestry has been considered as a potential use. However, as with many former industrial sites the productivity of the land is limited by virtue of lack of nutrients. To resolve this issue at House of Water, beneficial organic material including dewatered sewage sludge has been brought onto site, in accordance with a SEPA Para9 waste management exemption and carefully incorporated over the site, thus increasing the nutrient content of the land.

NDSFB and Hargreaves want to know what, if any, impacts these actions will have on the fish known to reside within the House of Water site and in the River Nith downstream of the site. In addition, NDSFB and Hargreaves want to know if there are any alterations in the aquatic invertebrate populations which exist in the vicinity of the site. To answer these questions NDSFB have been commissioned by Hargreaves to continue their annual fishery surveys and to support them with the inclusion of aquatic invertebrate surveys. To date NDSFB cannot detect any adverse impacts within the River Nith resulting from actions on the House of Water site.

Stonefly larvae from aquatic invertebrate surveys conducted on the River Nith at House of Water
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