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Protecting Wild Trout Your Views Needed

by the Fish Site Editor
05 November 2007, at 12:00am

UK - Fishery experts, fish farmers and fisheries managers from across England and Wales have been meeting with Environment Agency fisheries scientists, as part of a review into how the native wild brown trout population can be protected, whilst continuing to stock rivers with farmed fish to meet the needs of anglers, angling clubs and fisheries owners. Now, your views as anglers are needed!

Stocking trout is a widely practised and legitimate fishery management tool, and many successful fisheries are regularly stocked to maintain catches, thereby supporting fishery value and benefits for the local economy.

About one million brown trout are released into rivers and lakes every year in England and Wales. Most farmed fish have been subject to long term domestication and are bred for an attractive appearance and rapid growth rates, but are not necessarily well suited to survival in the wild. However, when released into rivers some of these trout will breed with wild stocks, potentially reducing the viability of the population as a whole.

The Environment Agency has a responsibility to make sure the right policies are in place to allow wild trout stocks and the fisheries they support to thrive well into the future, particularly given the predicted changes to our climate. It is analysing the most up-to-date research and listening to leading experts in trout fisheries management to decide whether or not the current stocking policy needs changing.

The strategy covered a wide range of topics, including water quality, habitat improvement and exploitation; but the most talked about has been the interim policy designed to protect wild brown and sea trout populations from the adverse effects of stocking with domesticated farm reared trout. This policy currently limits the stocking of fertile brown trout and promotes the use of all female sterile brown trout as an alternative. A further option is to use the progeny of locally sourced wild broodstock; although we recognise that this option can be difficult in practice.

Source: FishAndFly

the Fish Site Editor