ENVIRONMENTALISTS have lauded work which they say will make vast improvements in traffic flow - for fish.

A new ‘fish pass’ has been created in Odney Stream, Cookham, which is said to be one of the most important for spawning in the area.

Whilst it has been hailed as “great news for fish” it is also hoped that stocks of the scaled aquatic creatures will increase - meaning more success for anglers along the lower Thames.

The passageway, which was constructed as part of £10,000 project by modifying the existing weir at the top of the channel, will provide an extra 100 metres of spawning habitat.

It will benefit species such as barbel, chub and dace in particular.

George Gerring, fisheries technical specialist for the Environment Agency, who carried out the work, said: “Odney Stream is one of the most valuable spawning grounds for flow dependent fish species in Berkshire.

“Modifying the existing weir is great news for fish as it gives them a better chance to spawn and will mean that the stream will thrive with life in years to come.”

Low summer flows have threatened valuable breeding spots in recent years.

This has been caused by a weir at the head of the channel which not only restricts flows but also prevents fish from migrating.

Brook Lamprey, a freshwater species have already been seen building nests on the new gravels.

They are considered to be an important conservation species which require clean rock beds for spawning.

Mr Gerring added: “We will be closely monitoring the scheme this spring and summer and we are very confident our work at Cookham will improve fish stocks and angling in the lower Thames.”