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Blue Bridge flow deflector project

Blue Bridge flow deflector project Dorchester Fishing Club
Funded by the FP&WDFA

Ten years ago the Dorchester Fishing Club devised a plan to improve the habitat and the fishing on one of their beats just north of Dorchester. The reach was devoid of any fish holding structure, very limited cover, and totally uniform in flow and depth.

The plan was hatched and consent obtained from the Environment Agency (National Rivers Authority back then).

Six upstream flow deflectors were constructed using Hazel and Willow bundle’s, upstream facing to push the flow into the middle of the river, washing and scouring gravel on the bed of the river, giving it the energy required to create a much needed variation in depth and flow.  Equally important, slowing the flow down along the banks, allowing for a certain amount of silt build up and in turn a huge increase in marginal vegetation and habitat.

This picture shows the Dorchester Fishing Club working hard on their flow deflectors over ten years ago.

As the years crept on, the in stream, marginal, and bank side vegetation increased as did the wildlife, and as a result of this the fishing improved.  There is also proof of Salmonid spawning in this area, observed in our annual redd count, and a massive increase in all year classes of fish, visually observed when wading and recorded when we electric fish.

All habitat improvement work needs looking after and from time to time re instating; well we identified this as a worthwhile and very affordable project to fund, the stretch had become fairly overgrown and the flow deflectors need some attention. Consent was obtained from the Environment Agency and works were carried out over the first week in August to complete some tree trimming and re building of the flow deflectors using all the willow on site.

Re building the flow deflectors using live Willow, just laid from the bank and wired to posts driven into the bed of the river.


Nothing more rewarding than working with natural products knowing your doing a huge amount to help the entire aquatic echo system.

Anyone who would like to chat about this and other projects, or would like a site visit please contact me.
john@riverworks.co.uk