The Institute, along with The Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust and Salmon and Trout Conservation UK, have raised concerns over the potential impacts of beavers on already imperilled migratory salmonids in a joint letter to Rebecca Pow MP.
As a group we understand and support the desire to re-introduce beavers into English rivers and recognise the potential benefits these animals could contribute both to our environment and biodiversity as a whole.
However, current EA monitoring clearly shows that no river in England has a healthy salmon population and that sea trout are at risk in over half our rivers.
Against this background of severely declining stocks, we have serious concerns about the potential impact of any additional pressures on the survival of both adult and juvenile migratory salmonids.
We would like to see further releases of beavers being into enclosed locations on river catchments that do not currently support populations of migratory salmonids .
These sites can be in the vanguard of making our rivers “fit for beavers”, where the surrounding environment is managed specifically for beavers, e.g. by removal of man-made barriers, planting of riparian woodland, provision of adequate buffer strips, improved land management that prevents sediment build up behind beaver dams, and in locations where landowners are fully supportive.
You can read the full letter below