AN ORGANISATION representing fishermen has criticised the charity looking after Britain’s canals and rivers for planning a series of hydroelectric dams – including three on the River Don in South Yorkshire.
Projects are being backed by the Canal and River Trust for Aldwarke Weir and Kilnhurst Weir, Rotherham, and Jordan Dam, Sheffield.
Fish Legal, a not-for-profit membership association, fears the ‘money-making programme’ could cause great damage to fish stocks and other aquatic wildlife.
There are 45 hydropower schemes planned by the trust, which has replaced British Waterways.
Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust and Fish Legal chief executive, said: “This industrial development activity by a charity leaves serious questions to be answered.
“Is it really being operated for the public benefit – as required by law – or is it seeking profit?
“How does the development of commercial hydro installations over rivers and fisheries fit in with their recreational and environmental duties?
“What environmental assessment has the charity carried out of the cumulative impact of all these developments on rivers, fish stocks and angling?
“We will be pressing them for answers.”
Fish Legal said many rivers where hydro-electric projects are proposed are recovering from centuries of industrial pollution.