After years of fighting, the Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society (CFPAS) has won compensation to restock part of the River Cam following a pollution in 2013.

Last January, it was reported that Anglian Water admitted it killed fish on the River Cam after years of denying that it was responsible following failures at its sewage treatment works at Milton in Cambridge which led to the deaths of hundreds of fish, including prize bream.

Anglian Water operates under a licence which allows up to 5 mg/l of ammonia to be discharged into the river but the discharge reached 19 mg/l. The Environment Agency dropped their case against Anglian Water leaving it to the anglers and Fish Legal to fight for compensation.

CFPAS, a member of Fish Legal, leases the fishing on the river downstream of the Milton works. Following the pollution they have reported long term damage, particularly at Baits Bite Lock where big bream had been caught in the past but whose numbers have since declined.

After drawn out arguments with the water company, Fish Legal issued the case at Court on behalf of its member. But at the eleventh hour, Anglian Water admitted that it was to blame for the fish deaths and has agreed to pay the angling club damages for the loss of amenity and loss of income from match fishing.

Anglian Water disputed whether the anglers were entitled to claim for restocking to help the fishery recover. Now the trial judge has ruled that the club is entitled to recover compensation for restocking.

However, it may not all be over as Anglian Water, which had operating profits of £336.6 million last year, has indicated that it wishes to appeal the decision.

Graham Tweed, President of CFPAS, commented: “CFPAS together with Fish Legal have battled to hold Anglian Water to account for killing hundreds of mature fish on the river Cam. We are delighted the court has ruled in our favour.”