Fisheries Management and Habitat Improvement

Fisheries Management and Habitat Improvement

We offer a range of fisheries management services and advice aimed at improving habitats, angling access and the performance and sustainability of fisheries. Our team have a proven track record in designing and delivering habitat improvement projects in a range of situations, often at high profile, public sites.

We combine our knowledge of fish and their habitats, with our wider ecological and design capabilities to deliver habitat improvements; not only to improve the fishery, but to bring wider benefits for the biodiversity value of a the waterbody. We are also skilled in the assessment, management and remediation of water quality issues.

Our services include:

  • Design, Creation and Restoration Projects for Lakes and Rivers
  • Feasibility Studies and Project Management
  • Fish Population Assessment and Manipulation
  • Fishery Management Plans
  • Topographic, Bathymetric (Depth) and Silt Surveys
  • Aquatic Weed Assessment and Management
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Aeration Solutions
  • Fish Health Assessment & Mortality Investigations
  • Predator Management

Case Studies

Mount Pond Restoration Project, Clapham Common Case Study

OHES have recently completed the first phase of a significant and high-profile restoration project in the heart one of London’s most popular green spaces. Mount Pond had suffered with fish mortalities, poor water quality and degraded habitat in the past, leading to low biodiversity value and restricted recreational use. The London Borough of Lambeth appointed us to complete a feasibility study and detailed design to improve the aquatic and terrestrial habitats of Mount Pond.

Our experience of wetland and aquatic ecology, habitat restoration combined with our project management expertise has resulted in a significant improvement in the habitat quality which will benefit both wildlife and people.

Dr Iain Boulton, London Borough of Lambeth Parks Project Officer said,

The restoration programme, which involved draining and de-silting the pond as well as adding new fishing platforms, marginal habitat around the pond banks and central island, plus installing new floating islands, has certainly radically improved the look, feel and ecological quality of Mount Pond, and generated loads of positive publicity for everybody involved in the project. Like all major environmental projects there will always be more to do and plenty to keep us busy, but OHES have certainly given us a pond that will be not only one of the best urban coarse fisheries in London but also a fantastic place for people and wildlife to use and enjoy.

We certainly look forward to working with OHES again on many other exciting projects”

Post-Pollution Remediation of a Major Fuel Spill and Rail Incident at Stewarton, Ayrshire - Network Rail.

Following a major rail incident involving a bridge collapse and subsequent train derailment, fire and fuel spill, OHES were appointed to manage the incident response, environmental monitoring and remediation. Over 250,000 litres of diesel and kerosene were lost to ground and surface waters and over 27km of the River Irvine and tributaries were heavily polluted.

Because a section of the Garrier Burn (the tributary into which the majority of the fuel spilled) was so heavily impacted, it needed to be completely excavated and re-instated. This was achieved by importing locally sourced, natural stone and gravel to recreate the habitat which was lost. We also used faggots and natural geo-textiles to soften the bank, creating a vegetated margin to enhance the habitat. We also conducted extensive land investigation and remediation; and groundwater monitoring as part of this contract.

Restoration of Decoy Pond, Hampden Park, Eastbourne.

Working on behalf of Eastbourne Borough Council, this Heritage Lottery Funded scheme was aimed at improving the biodiversity value and hydrological functioning of the Decoy Pond and its surrounding area. The project involved de-silting and the creation of newly planted marginal berms and other habitats. It also included fish bio-manipulation, restoring sluices and outlets, the creation of new wetland areas and ponds and the construction of a new footbridge. The project has enhanced a very popular public space for wildlife and people.

Restoration of The Swiss Garden, Old Warden Park

As part of a major restoration project (£3.5 million), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Shuttleworth Trust and the Local Authority; OHES was commissioned to conduct the feasibility study and design for the restoration of the water bodies within the Swiss Garden; a 19th century garden in the grounds of Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire. Old Warden Park is registered as Grade II* on English Heritage’s Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest, with the national (high) significance of the Swiss Garden being highlighted in the entry.

As part of the feasibility study, OHES conducted a bathymetric and topographic survey to assess the quantity and distribution of sediment. We also carried out inspections of the control structures to assess their integrity. A fishery survey was conducted to assess the size and nature of the fish population, to inform plans for any future de-watering of the lake. In order to provide baseline information for measuring the success of the improvement work, water quality, sediment and aquatic macro-invertebrate samples were also collected and analysed.

On the basis of the preliminary surveys conducted, habitat restoration plans were devised, utilising our range of experience in lake and wetland creation. New reed beds, water control structures, marginal berms and angling platforms were proposed, along with careful tree work to open up the canopy and allow marginal planting to thrive. Bat and other protected species surveys were conducted as part of this work to assess the potential for each tree proposed for felling to house protected species.

On approval of the designs, OHES was appointed to project manage the construction phase, and manage the tender process on behalf of the Shuttleworth Trust. The restoration work was successfully delivered under budget and on time; and it has been very well received.

Wicksteed Park – Lake Restoration and River Corridor Enhancement

Wicksteed Park is a well-established and popular greenspace situated on the southern side of Kettering. It was the United Kingdom’s first leisure park, founded by Charles Wicksteed over 80 years ago and combines open-air amusements, playground areas and open areas for a wide range of visitors. The site is situated in the Ise Valley corridor, and consists of 59.48 hectares of green spaces, lakes and woodland. The Park is owned by the Wicksteed Trust and managed by Wicksteed Park Ltd on behalf of the Trust.

OHES was commissioned to undertake a study to obtain Round 2 approval for Heritage Lottery Funding focussing on the restoration of the lake and the River Ise corridor which flows alongside the lake and through it. This was as part of the study, ecological and fishery surveys were conducted to supplement the existing information from the Round 1 proposals (which were conducted by Ecology, Land and People; which has been part of OHES since 2008). This fed into a feasibility study and detailed design for lake improvements; which included the creation of wetland areas, marginal habitats, sediment removal and fish biomanipulation. It also incorporated designs for fish passes in the intake and outfall from the lake and habitat enhancements within the River Ise corridor itself.

The project received Heritage Lottery Funding and the improvements were implemented recently.