The Environment Agency’s fish farm at Calverton near Nottingham, has achieved another record-breaking year, restocking rivers, lakes and ponds across England.
Funded by income from the sale of rod licences, and aimed at restoring or creating new fisheries, the EA’s fish restocking programme has produced a record 627,495 fish this year. As a result of the successful breeding programme, Environment Agency staff at Calverton have been on their travels stocking an impressive 433,938 of those fish into rivers and 193,557 into ponds and lakes.
The work at Calverton is essential in boosting fish stocks and giving nature a helping hand in rivers and lakes throughout England. Some are for fisheries that have suffered from pollution incidents or are recovering from poor environmental quality, and some introductions are focused where natural reproduction is low.
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 improve angling services.
Many of England’s industrialised rivers have seen improved water quality over the last 30 years and restocking from Calverton has played a vital part. By accelerating the restoration of natural fish stocks, wider river restoration has taken place in rivers such as the Great Ouse to encourage stronger, more resilient fisheries that do not rely on stocking in the long term.
Alan Henshaw, Farm Manager at the Environment Agency’s National Coarse Fish Farm, said:
“I am delighted that we’ve set a new record for the number of fish produced. The team have worked extremely hard this year to ensure that our work, benefits fisheries, ecosystems and anglers across England.
“As anglers and industry become increasingly concerned with issues regarding pollution, waste, and water quality, it is great that rod licence income is being directed towards efforts to improve fish stocks in England’s beautiful rivers, lakes and ponds and where possible, to create new fisheries.”
Heidi Stone, Fisheries Partnerships Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
“I am delighted that rod licence income from anglers across the country has enabled Calverton Fish Farm to have another record-breaking year for fish restocking.
“I am proud of the hard work that has been delivered by Environment Agency staff at Calverton which plays an important part in our wider efforts to deliver sustainable fisheries and increase opportunities for our anglers”.
“This is just one example of how rod licence income is reinvested directly back into our environment and angling services.”
Species stocked include: barbel, bream, chub, dace, roach, crucian carp, tench, rudd and grayling. Of the 433,938 fish stocked in rivers, 139,662 were barbel and 101,221 were roach – some of our most popular species with anglers. Fish were stocked across the country with the highest numbers seen in East Anglia and the North East.
River and Stillwater split: