Thousands of fish released into North East rivers

The Environment Agency has released thousands of fish to give stocks a boost and encourage people to go fishing.

Thousands of young fish have been released into North East rivers to give stocks a boost and encourage people to go fishing.

This week more than 1,600 barbel were released into the River Tees at Broken Scar, Darlington, and more than 2,300 roach into the River Skerne at South Park, also in Darlington.

The team also put almost 2,000 bream and 1,300 rudd into Lockwood Beck, which is just south of Guisborough. Add to that the almost 11,000 fish released into stillwaters across County Durham and Northumberland last week and it means more than 18,000 young fish have been released across the North East.

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

The work is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing plan to develop and restore rivers and fisheries in the region, to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy angling.

Image shows Richard Pitman with a barbel

Natural recovery and development

Paul Frear, Fisheries Officers 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.

This past two weeks has seen more than 18,000 young coarse fish released into rivers and stillwaters to help the process of natural recovery and development. We hope it will encourage more people to get out and enjoy fishing on the North East’s beautiful rivers.

We target out work to rivers which may have suffered from previous pollution incidents or where there are barriers for fish passage. Restoration and the creation of new fisheries for all people to enjoy is a very important aspect of our work.

More than 11,000 fish – roach, bream, tench, crucian carp and rudd – were released into six stillwaters in the region across County Durham, and Northumberland last week.

Those that received a boost in County Durham were Greencoft Pond near Annfield Plain, and Wellfield Lake near Wingate, while in Northumberland fish were released into Hebron Lakes near Morpeth, Dissington Pond near Ponteland, the Environment Agency’s Wydon Water at Hexham and Northumbrian Water’s Whittle Dene reservoir at Harlow Hill.

Image shows Paul Frear releasing roach into the River Skerne

The Environment Agency releases fish into our 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, as well as supporting angling clubs to boost local fishing spots.

Many of our industrialised rivers have improved dramatically in water quality in the last 30 years and targeted and appropriate restocking has helped the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.

Angling is a great way to keep healthy and enjoy the natural environment. All rod licence income is used to fund work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

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 just £30, with some short term and concessionary licences also available. You can buy your rod licence online

Getting out on the region’s rivers is a great way to support the 2019 Year of Green Action (YoGA) aimed at connecting people with nature and taking positive action to improve the environment.