The EA has released over 18,000 of young fish into North East rivers to give stocks a boost. Areas targeted were those previously impacted by pollution incidents or where there are barriers for fish passage.
Fisheries officers targeted fish stocking activity, using data from national fish surveys to identify problem areas for breeding or survival. More than 1,600 barbel were released into the River Tees at Broken Scar, Darlington; and more than 2,300 roach into the River Skerne at South Park and Darlington. Almost 11,000 fish were released into stillwaters across County Durham and Northumberland. The team also put almost 2,000 bream and 1,300 rudd into Lockwood Beck.
Pollution incidents can devastate fish populations, making them priority areas for restocking activities. An incident late last year saw thousands of fish killed in the River Clywedog near Wrexham (D+I 13-Sep-19).
All the fish were reared at the Environment Agency’s national fish farm using funding from rod licence sales. The work forms part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing plan to develop and restore rivers and fisheries across the region.
The water quality of many of England’s industrialised rivers has improved in the last 30 years. Targeted and appropriate restocking helps the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.