A stroll to the fish ladder and waterfall about a quarter of a mile from Barnutopia makes for a lovely and interesting interlude before continuing to the local pub or returning for an evening around the campfire.
Directions to Fish Ladder
- Turn right out of the Barnutopia main gates
- Walk for about a quarter of a mile to a stone bridge over the lane
- Cross the bridge and turn left into the field over the stile or through the gate on the public footpath
- Follow the public footpath a little way and the fish ladder is visible behind the fence on the left
- Continue along the path until you come to Glascoed weir waterfall.
Glascoed weir, just below Pont Pentre-gwyn, was originally built to provide hydro-electric power to Llansilin village, according to Llansilin Newsletter No 88 (Winter 2014). At almost 12 feet high, it became an insurmountable obstacle for salmon returning along the Tanat river to spawn. Because of its heritage value the weir was left intact and a route provided around the weir by adding a fish ladder.
Value of Fish Ladder for Salmon Spawning
The low-flow fish pass consists of a series of inter-connected pools on the Cynllaith, a tributary of the Tanat. It is longer than would have been necessary for just salmon to ensure that fish of all species can reach the upper water, no matter what the height of the river. When the river itself is low the pass takes no more than 10% of the flow, so there is no adverse effect on the stream. However, the fish ladder opens up a further 6-8 miles of potential spawning grounds including the rivers Ogau and Ysgwennant.
Previously, data recorded by the fish counter at Carreghofa on the Tanat show that between 200 and 400 salmon came up the Tanat every year to spawn. Monitoring above and below the weir showed that while salmon reached Glascoed none were found above the weir.
Funding was provided by the European Fisheries Fund, administered by the Welsh Government and this project was part of NRW’s “Salmon for Tomorrow” programme which has completed many similar projects across Wales .
For further information, peruse the National Resources Wales website.