Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023




Fish species. Brown Trout and Eel are found in Barnsley’s rivers, and there are signs of Salmon nearby as it returns to the Dearne and the Don. As national priority species we have highlighted them and added Bullhead, a fish found locally and at risk, as Local Priority Species.

Local Priority Species

Local Priority Species include the three National Priority Species found in or near Barnsley:

Brown Trout, Salmo trutta

European Eel, Anguilla anguilla

Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar

These are UKBAP priority species and NERC Act Section 41 Species of Principal Importance, however there isn’t a UK Fish Red List.

Bullhead, Cottus gobio, and Grayling, Thymallus thymallus, are additional Local Priority Species, giving five Local Priority Fish Species in total.

There are no fish species found locally identified for ‘strict protection’ under the Habitats Directive Annex 4 or the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

However fisheries legislation and the need for fishing licences provide some protection.

Salmon and Bullhead are listed in Annex 2 of the EC Habitats Directive as a species of interest for conservation, requiring Special Areas of Conservation.

Barbel, Grayling and Salmon are listed in Annex 5 as subject to required management measures.

Local Wildlife Site criteria include water courses with a population of Bullhead, Brown Trout or Salmon.

Brown Trout and Bullhead are widespread in the Upper Don catchment; other fish include Grayling and Stone Loach; Brown Trout is the most numerous.

Brown Trout, BullHead and Eel are found in the Dearne and Dove catchments; other fish include Barbel, Chub, Dace, Gudgeon, Perch and Roach.

For further information on the individual priority fish species please follow the following links. More general information for all of the priority fish species are given via the links at the bottom of the page.

Fish need varied habitat niches, such as backwaters, gravel beds, riffles and pools for spawning. Marginal and bank-side vegetation provides overhead cover, shaded conditions and invertebrate food.

Some migratory fish species such as Salmon and Eel need river systems that are unobstructed from the sea. Other species simply need access from one part of a river to their spawning grounds.

Low and declining native fish stocks are predominantly due to pollution, siltation, habitat deterioration and barriers to passage, and in some cases increases in predation.

For further information on distribution, conservation and actions please follow the following links …

Other wild fish species in Barnsley rivers and streams










Stone Loach

Brown Trout caught in Upper Don river Eels in net at Old Moor

Brown Trout.Upper Don. Stuart Crofts

Eels: Old Moor. Image: Matthew Capper

 Fish Species