Fish numbers on Northumberland rivers given a helping hand by Environment Agency

Thousands of young fish have been released into stillwaters and rivers in the Northumberland to give stocks a boost and offer more opportunities for anglers.
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All the fish were reared at the Environment Agency’s national fish farm near Calverton, Nottinghamshire, using funding from rod licence sales.

Alongside increasing vital fish stocks and supporting wider habitat improvement projects, the Environment Agency hopes the restocking will encourage people to go fishing and reap the well-known wellbeing benefits of the sport.

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Over 23,000 fish were released into the rivers and stillwaters across Tees, Wear, Tyne and Northumberland catchments.

Environment Agency teams restocking fish numbers.Environment Agency teams restocking fish numbers.
Environment Agency teams restocking fish numbers.

The fish, which included barbel, chub, tench, bream, roach, rudd and crucians were carefully transported using specialist equipment.

The work at Calverton is essential in boosting fish stocks and giving nature a helping hand in rivers and lakes.

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Some of these introductions are to fisheries that have suffered from pollution incidents and others are done where numbers are low.

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Restocking also takes place to support the development of new fisheries in areas where there are a shortage of angling opportunities, as part of wider efforts to expand and improve local angling resources.

The Environment Agency restock during winter because water temperatures are lower and this minimises any stress on the fish during the stocking process.

Niall Cook, Environment Agency fisheries officer, said: "The North East has a variety of excellent fishing opportunities and there is often a healthy amount of fish in our rivers and stillwaters, but occasionally some need a helping hand to restore stocks in the wake of an incident or decline in numbers.”