COARSE fish numbers on the River Dee received a boost on 11 December 2003 with the ntroduction of an additional 12,000 one-year-old fish. They will be introduced at Farndon , Almere Ferry and Eccleston Ferry. Environment Agency Wales will be using extra funds generated from increased rod licence sales to fund the operation.
The fish comprise some 6,250 chub, 3,750 bream and 2,000 barbel. Supplied from the Environment Agency’s National Coarse Fish Hatchery at Calverton in Nottinghamshire. The young fish will naturalize, adapt and contribute to the improving fishery quality of the river.
Following a boost in income generated by increased rod licence sales, Environment Agency Wales placed bids for a share of the extra money. As a result, Wales has received an extra £71,000 for fish stocking and habitat restoration projects.
A contribution from the Dee Anglers Association recently added another 1,800 more mature chub of breeding quality. These were funded through donations received from the association’s membership. The fish came from an approved source and were ‘grown-on’ at the Agency’s Maerdy Hatchery, near Corwen, North Wales. This successful partnership has shown that anglers and the Agency working together can bring about significant positive results for the future.
Ken Parry, Fisheries Agency Technical Officer, North Wales added: ” The Agency in North Wales is pleased to be able to invest some of the angler’s licence money in projects that will have long-term benefits for the recovering coarse fishery in the lower River Dee. We are confident that anglers appreciate the efforts being made and are enjoying much improved sport as a result.”
Eric Humphries, the Welsh Team coarse angling coach and Fisheries Ecology and Recreation Advisory Committee member representing North Wales Coarse Anglers said: ” It is good to see these extra fish going into the Dee. I am pleased to see that following major pollution in 2000 the River Dee has made a significant return to full recovery, beyond all my expectations.”
The Agency money received was allocated to two particular projects namely the Restoration of the River Dee coarse fishery, and Habitat Improvements on the Lower River Dee.The two projects related to restocking of young coarse fish  to selected areas following studies in fish populations after the pollution and massive fish kill of July 2000, and  habitat restoration in those areas where overgrowth of trees and loss of bank-side vegetation is having a detrimental effect on fish development.
Anyone who sees pollution, illegal tipping of waste, poaching, fish in distress or danger to the natural environment can contact the Agency’s emergency hotline on 0800 80 70 60. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, calls are free and will be treated in the strictest confidence.