Salmon have to ascend two major obstacles. The first is a set of hatches at Bindon Mill and the second is the Loud’s Mill Weir at Dorchester. Once beyond there, the fish can reach the rich spawning gravels of the upper Frome and tributaries.
Analysis, by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (C.E.H) of tagged smolts (young salmon migrating to sea) indicates that survival of salmon parr (baby salmon in the river) is less than 30% in the main stem of the middle river and as much as 80% in upper river tributaries. This underlines the value of making it as easy as possible for salmon to reach the upper catchment.
The Environment Agency first improved the Bindon Mill hatches in 2008.
Then the completion of the Loud’s Mill fish pass in January 2009 at Dorchester and was partly funded by donations given to the FP&WDFA. Oliver Letwin MP officially unveiled the new fish pass at a special ceremony.