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Water released to help boost fish stocks

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nrwNATURAL RESOURCES WALES is taking steps to encourage salmon and sewin (sea trout) to reach their spawning grounds and improve stocks. The dry September weather has been a welcome treat for most but for Wales’ fish populations the lack of rain is hindering their annual migration. To combat this, NRW has worked with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to release water into the rivers Tywi and Cleddau to encourage adult salmon and sewin to enter the rivers from Carmarthen Bay.

Dave Mee, Fisheries Team Leader for Natural Resources Wales, said: “The River Tywi and its population of salmon and sea trout is worth an estimated £10.2 million to the Welsh economy and the release will benefit anglers as well as boost fish numbers. “The prolonged dry summer has meant that flows in all our rivers are unusually low but it’s hoped the release will encourage migratory fish, especially salmon, to enter the rivers from the sea.” The release will take place over five days, beginning on Monday morning, with water from Llyn Brianne and Llys y Fran reservoirs being released into the rivers.

The release of additional water from the reservoirs will not affect the public water supply and people who use the river have been alerted to take care as the flow will increase to four times its current level. When Llyn Brianne Reservoir was built in the late 1960s a water bank was created to help mitigate against the loss of natural floods and to help fish migrate at critical times of the year. A similar but much smaller release from Llys y Fran has been arranged for the Eastern Cleddau and it will be the first time the fisheries’ water bank has been used to help fish stocks in the Cleddau. Although indications are that sewin numbers have slightly improved this year, salmon returns continue to struggle.

Dave added: “As well as this release of water, anglers too can help us protect and improve these vulnerable stocks by releasing the fish they catch so they can continue on their way to spawn.” Tony Harrington, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s Director of Environment said: “After the driest September in almost 100 years, we are pleased to be working with Natural Resources Wales on this project which will help protect aquatic life in these rivers. “As well as storing water for drinking water purposes, some of our reservoirs also play a vital role in helping to regulate river levels to ensure fish habitats are protected.

This is particularly true after such a dry spell such as this and reflects our commitment to protect the natural environment in our care. “The release of the water will be carefully managed to ensure that the reservoirs continue to meet the drinking water needs of our customers in the surrounding areas.”

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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