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Fish Stocks Boost for North East Rivers

Sustainability Breeding & genetics Politics +3 more

UK - Fisheries experts will be stocking barbel, dace and chub at several locations in the North East as part of the Environment Agencys ongoing plans to develop and restore rivers in the region.

3,000 barbel, 3,000 dace and 5,000 chub, reared at the Environment Agencys fish farm, will be stocked into the Clow Beck near Darlington, the River Wear in Durham and the River Tyne at Hexham to help restore and boost natural populations of fish. Dace will also be stocked in the River Gaunless.

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

The Clow Beck flows into the River Tees near Darlington, and has recently had two fish passes constructed and two kilometres of habitat improvement for barbel and dace created by the Environment Agency and the Tees Rivers Trust.

Helping rivers to recover

The Environment Agency is restoring fish passage upon the River Gaunless by removing a redundant weir near Bishop Auckland that blocks the passage of species like dace, and the Wear Rivers Trust have carried out habitat improvement works to provide good fish cover and spawning. The introduction of dace will help kick-start the recovery of the River Gaunless.

Environment Agency fisheries officers Paul Frear and Robbie Stevenson will be introducing the fish to their new homes.

Robbie said: We are pleased that we can provide these fish for stocking as part of our obligation to rod licence-paying anglers. Restoration and the creation of new fisheries for everyone to enjoy is a very important aspect to our work.

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

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