Increasing fish stocks in North East rivers

Paul Armstrong releasing fish into the River Pont at Ponteland last June.
Paul Armstrong releasing fish into the River Pont at Ponteland last June.

Thousands of young fish have been released into North East rivers to help boost stocks.

Staff at the Environment Agency released more than 40,000 chub, dace, roach, bream, barbel, tench, grayling, crucian carp and rudd during 2017.

All the fish were reared at the agency’s fish farm near Calverton, Nottinghamshire, using funding from rod licence sales.

The work is part of the agency’s ongoing plan to develop and restore rivers and fisheries in the region, targeting those which have previously been affected by pollution or where barriers affect fish passage.

Paul Frear, Fisheries Officer for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Restocking is one of many things we do, together with our partners, to develop fisheries, including reducing the impact of pollution, improving habitats and removing barriers to fish migration.”

The agency releases fish into 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.

Mr Frear added: “By releasing fish into the rivers it helps the process of natural recovery and development. We’re pleased to be able to provide these young fish as part of our commitment to rod licence-paying anglers. Restoration and the creation of new fisheries for all people to enjoy is a very important aspect of our work.”

Fishing is free for children under 16, although those aged between 12 and 16 still need a junior licence.

For anyone over 16, a full annual licence costs from £30, with some short-term and concessionary licences also available. For more information visit www.gov.uk/fishing-licences