Somerset rivers restocked

Over 5,500 fish have been released into rivers across Somerset to restock them. The Rivers Frome (pictured) and Sheppey lost a large number of fish to pollution incidents in 2016 and 2018. The Leveller recently reported on the poor water quality in Somerset river systems and the poor diversity of species.

The Environment Agency is hoping that releases like these will reverse those trends. The EA breeds coarse fish at Calverton Fish Farm near Nottingham. These are specifically for release into rivers and still waters across England to boost local fish populations.

By the 17 December the EA had 2,900 fish into the River Sheppey and 1,450 into Marston Pond. A further 1,259 fish were released into the West Sedgemoor main drain.

Earlier in December the EA re-stocked 4 other rivers and still waters. The Frome, Yeo, Bird’s Quarry and Rust Pond all benefited from the restocking program. Various species were released including chub, roach, tench, barbel, dace, rudd, bream and crucian carp.

The restocking is part of an annual programme funded by income from rod licence sales. Restocking occurs in winter because water temperatures are low. This minimises any stress on the fish, giving them the best possible survival rates.

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