By Ema Brewer
The Environment Agency has revealed that a record number of coarse fish were released into England’s rivers last year.
In 2015, more than 452,220 fish and 1.3 million fish larvae were released into rivers up and down the country. They were all bred in the Environment Agency’s specialist fish breeding farm in Calverton, Nottingham. It’s said to be the farm’s most successful year to date.
Calverton is the agency’s lead supplier for the restocking and restoring of coarse fish when numbers are low or populations have been killed off by pollution incidents.
For the past 31 years, the farm has produced up to nine species of fish including chub, tench, barbel, bream, roach and crucians. All the farms funding comes from rod licences income.
Rivers that fish have been released into include the Great Ouse, River Nene, East Angelia, The Yorkshire Derwent and the River Tees in the North East. They were released by the thousands.
Alan Henshaw, the fish farm team leader, said: “Many of our industrialised rivers have improved dramatically in water quality in the last 30 years and concerted restocking from Calverton has accelerated the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.
“Last year was no exception and, while it wasn’t a good summer for getting a tan, it was the perfect for growing fish.”
The process of breeding fish is complicated and takes approximately 18 months in total to complete.
“Growth and production rates of fish that have been grown on the farm for 18 months have been the highest recorded at Calverton,” he added, stating that many makes lakes and rivers have benefited from the hard work of the staff on the farm and are now paying tribute.