CONCERNED fishermen have spoken out against a proposed hydroelectric project on the River Towy.

Should the scheme go ahead the development will see a 25metre by 2.27metre concrete weir being built on the river near Rhandirmwyn plus underground pipeline leading to a powerhouse.

A similar planning application at the same site was rejected a number of years ago, but the project has now been taken over by Hydro Electric Power Ltd with support from Ellergreen Hydro Ltd.

Project engineer Adam Cropper from developers Ellergreen gave a presentation during a recent community council meeting, where members of the public were invited to listen and raise their concerns.

During the meeting fishermen from angling associations across Carmarthenshire voiced their many concerns over the proposal.

Clive Davies, Treasurer of Llandovery Angling Association said he was concerned how the river obstruction would affect the water flow, spawning migrations, and water quality.

He said the creation of Llyn Brianne dam in 1970 has already had a detrimental effect on the rivers salmon and sewin.

“Surely this is going to be another blow for the River Towy and us fishermen,” added Clive.

Even though fish stocks are lower than recent years the Towy still remains one of the best places in Wales to fish for salmon and sewin.

Llandovery Angling secretary Michael Davies said fishermen are still fighting the damage the dam has caused to the Towy.

“The dam already has its own hydroelectric scheme running at 4.5 watts whereby water comes from the bottom of the dam down the river. However this causes a big problem for the fish as the water is much colder at the bottom than it is at the top.

“The water should be flowing naturally over the top of the dam for better effect.

“This area should be left alone; developments such as this have already caused enough damage.”

Residents from Rhandirmwyn said there was still a lot of unanswered questions and wanted to know how they would be compensated for such a large project.

Following the meeting Adam Cropper from Ellergreen said he felt the meeting went very well and he hoped he managed to sway the decision of those opposed the development.

However fishing club members said they were going to do “everything in their power to stop this from going ahead.”

As yet no formal planning application has been submitted by the developers, who are looking to put one forward late summer into early autumn.