Fish stocks boosted in river

A THOUSAND extra coarse fish have been released into the River Don to boost stocks.

Staff at the Environment Agency last week introduced 500 barbel into the River at Kilnhurst and a further 500 at Blackburn Meadows at Sheffield.

The fish, from the Environment Agency’s fish farm at Calverton in Nottinghamshire, have been introduced into the Don as part of an ongoing restocking programme, to boost recovering populations in rivers where water quality is improving.

Fisheries officer Peter Mischenko said: “The fish we’re stocking later this week will be the last we put into the River Don.

“We started the stocking programme around 10 years ago to help the river recover from its industrial heritage which had a massive impact on fish stocks.

“Our fish surveys tell us that stocks are now at a sustainable level, with the population breeding well, so there is no need for us to continue to supplement it with additional fish.

“We will continue our other work, including managing obstructions such as weirs to ease the passage of fish, so our rivers can continue to improve for all users of our watercourses.”

The Environment Agency said this time of year is good for restocking as fish travel better in cold water, which contains more oxygen.

The barbel are one of the native species bred at their fish farm and have been marked, meaning they are easy to identify if caught during the annual fish surveys.