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Stainless gates help Eels at Caversham


Water control specialists ECS Engineering Services has installed three stainless steel sluice gates and an eel pass at Caversham Lock. The gates update the existing water control facilities at Caversham Weir, an area that has seen water control infrastructure on the river since the late 15th century. Type 316 stainless steel vertical rising sluice gates were specified due to their excellent corrosion resistance and strength.

Provision of a new suitable power supply to Caversham was also part of the works, therefore a single vandal proof control cabinet was also required to house the incoming power supply, authority metering and other electrical components, and improved lighting was also required.

The addition of an eel pass was also specified by the Environment Agency, due to a dramatic decrease in eel populations along the river over the last few decades. Sluices and weirs can greatly disrupt the migratory paths of river wildlife, consequently reducing the number of animals that reach spawning grounds to breed. The design of the pass allows the eels to use plastic brushes mounted in aluminium sections to propel themselves upstream, with the brushes specifically optimised for the eels and elvers. The eel pass serves to cause as little disturbance to wildlife as possible after the installation of the new gates, while also preserving the local fishing traditions surrounding them.