Councillors splash out on cash for fish

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COUNCILLORS are splashing out £200 to boost fish stocks in the River Wansbeck.

Members of Morpeth Town Council have awarded the sum to the Wansbeck Angling Association following a request for funds.

Coun Derek Thompson said: “I propose that we give this grant. I think this is an important part of the ecology and wildlife of Morpeth and we ought to do all we can to support it.”

The association buys new trout every year to keep up stocks along the free stretch in Morpeth and for members to fish further downstream. But with wildlife such as otter and heron claiming a share of the spoils and the fish costing £3.50 each, it is taking a toll on funds.

Vice-Chairman Doug Graham said: “We supply the fish for the river from Mitford Road and through Morpeth, where it is free until the old slaughter house. It has to be a special trout that can’t breed.

“We have an increasing amount of life on the river at the moment. We have more herons that we have ever had and there are three otters, and we like them being here, but if they just take one fish each a day it soon adds up.

“People come into the town to fish and it is a nice day out for them, which is marvellous, but there is not enough trout to go round. That’s why we are trying to keep the stocks fairly high so that it is good for our fishermen, who pay £50 or £60 a year, and good for the free stretch for everybody to use.

“I would like to thank the council very much for the money.”