Lots more fish in the…Sheppey

In 2018 we reported on a pollution incident in the River Sheppey near Godney. The river lost a large number of fish following the incident. And as you’ll read in the December Leveller (out next week) our river systems are still blighted with pollution problems. So last week fisheries officers from the Environment Agency (EA)restocked the river. 1,500 fish were put into the River Sheppey including chub, roach, tench, barbel, dace, rudd, bream and crucian carp.

The EA’s Calverton Fish Farm near Nottingham breeds coarse fish for release into rivers. Every year fish are released into rivers and still waters across England to help boost fish populations. Restocking is done where numbers are low, or have been depleted following a pollution incident. However sometimes fish are added to create new fisheries and opportunities for anglers.

A further 1,100 fish were added at Blakespool, a coarse fishery used by Blakespool Angling Club in Bridgwater.

Christmas is a good time to introduce the fish into rivers. It enables them to acclimatise to their new surroundings, ahead of their spawning season in the spring. As water temperatures are low, this minimises any stress on the fish, giving them the best possible survival rates. The EA tell us that fish play a critical role in sustaining a river’s finely-balanced eco-system.

Liam Timothy, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, told us: “Somerset boasts many angling clubs which is evidence that there is a healthy amount of fish in the county’s waterway. But occasionally a helping hand is needed to restore the natural balance in the wake of an incident or decline.”

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