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Fish stocks boost for three North East rivers

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject: Fish stocks boost for three North East rivers Reply with quote


Three rivers in the north east region will be stocked with 6,000 chub tomorrow, in a bid to boost natural populations of the species.

The Environment Agency will stock the Clow Beck near Darlington and the Rivers Wear and Team near Durham and Newcastle with the chub, which have been reared at its own fish farm.

These rivers have suffered from poor water quality and poor habitat in the past, but a concerted effort by the Environment Agency is helping to turn these watercourses around.

The Clow Beck flows into the River Tees near Darlington and has recently had two fish passes constructed.

Good news for local anglers

The stocking on the River Wear will be done around Croxdale to boost fish stocks in areas that have previously had poor populations. Stocking the River Team near Newcastle is part of an ongoing project to help restore stocks from this once fishless river.

Environment Agency Fisheries Officers Paul Frear and Phil Rippon will be introducing the chub to their new homes.

Paul said: “Coarse fish on the River Wear don’t breed very well, mainly because of the numerous weirs preventing the adult fish from reaching their spawning grounds, and the River Team also needs a hand to help fish stocks recover.

“It is good news for local anglers as there should be a wider variety of healthy adult fish to catch next season.”

The chub come from the Environment Agency’s Fish farm at Calverton, in Nottinghamshire, where between 350,000 and 500,000 fish are produced to stock rivers across the country each year.

Chub are a slow growing fish that can live for 25 years but they don't breed very well from year to year, so they need a helping hand. This is particularly important now because of highly variable weather patterns and summer floods that can hamper successful fish breeding.

Nick Eyre, from the Environment Agency Fish Farm at Calverton said: “When we see these fish getting stocked and helping to restore our rivers back to the wonderful state they once were it makes all our hard work extremely worthwhile.”

The Environment Agency releases fish into our waterways annually. Fisheries officers target fish stocking activity using data from local fish surveys to identify where there are problems with poor breeding and survival.

Calverton Fish Farm

Calverton Fish Farm is a major source of river coarse fish in the UK, producing chub, barbel, dace, roach, bream, tench, rudd, crucian carp and grayling. All of the fish produced at the site are used by the Environment Agency to replace stocks lost during fish kills and in the development of new fisheries throughout the length and breadth of the country.

The work at Calverton is funded by anglers purchasing fishing licences so, as well as contributing to the environmental benefits, anglers buying a rod licence will be improving the sport for future generations.

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