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1.3 Little Ouse River Improvement

Construction of a single flight Larinier Fish pass that also provides passage for canoes.

Delivery Lead Organisation: Environment Agency

Fantastic photos of fish by the newly installed fish pass were captured this month by Nicola Crockford @numenini.

‘Never seen more fish than the big swirling shoals of Roach, Perch & Chub enjoying the turbulent outflows.’

Fish pass at Brandon Staunch

The fish ladder and canoe pass are 98% complete. The larinier pass is open and functioning, as well as the eel pass which is functioning as designed. The site is currently being demobilised; footpath reopened. Awaiting safety signs, access gantry.

In April 2021 we took a visit to the site at Brandon Staunch to see how the project is doing and to take some photos.

Brandon Staunch Before & After

Before photo taken back in April 2021 and after photo taken in July 2021




The Little Ouse was impounded in the 1600’s for Navigation and Milling.  Navigation on the river has since ceased between Brandon to Thetford, but the remnants of the structures were left in, being adapted and modified to provide suitable water levels for amenity use.

The remaining structures have impounded the river along all its reaches preventing connectivity. To allow passage between structures they need removing or modifying.

The construction of a Larinier will provide a vital link in restoring the watercourses Upstream and enabling Sea Trout and coarse fish to access their natural breeding grounds.

By making Brandon passable it contributes to a wider programme of long-term habitat and barrier removal work being planned Upstream, it also feeds into the fish pass constructed at Denver, which is allowing migratory species into the system.

If you’d like to get involved in this project contact us for more information or to be added to the project mailing list:

c: F. Meeres (Thetford & Brandon Through Time)

Brandon Staunch

c: J. Brokenshire-Dyke, Environment Agency


The Aim of the project is:

To improve Fish, Eel and Canoe Passage at Brandon Staunch without increase to flood risk

The Objectives are:

To construct a single flight Larinier Fish pass that can provide passage for canoes as well.


A Larinier type fish-pas

A Larinier type fish-pas

  • Topographic Survey
  • Upstream and Downstream Water level monitoring
  • Hydraulic analysis of the Little Ouse
  • Completion of flood modelling
  • Produce detailed designs of a fish and eel pass (including canoe passage)
  • Construction of Larinier Fish Pass and Canoe pass winter/spring 2021
  • Demonstrate project success through monitoring
  • Raise awareness of issues relating to impoundment of rivers and barriers to free movement of migratory fish species


River Structures Improved