The Environment Agency’s fisheries experts are inviting North East fisheries managers and fishing clubs to learn how to make their fisheries more resilient to damage from predators.
Predatory seabirds like cormorants have been a concern for fishery owners for some time because of the potential impact on their fish stocks. Stillwater fisheries attract large numbers of cormorants, so there can be significant losses of fish.
Experts will explain and demonstrate methods of protecting fish from fish eating birds at a free open day on Saturday, October 13 at the Angel of the North fishery complex.
In the past some have opted for lethal control of cormorants such as shooting, but in many cases this is neither effective or appropriate and it is illegal unless a licence is granted by DEFRA.
Fisheries technical officer Gareth Pedley at the Environment Agency said: “We are finding that increasing numbers of cormorants are targeting fish in inland fisheries in the region, increasing pressure on fish stocks. It’s important that we find new environmentally friendly solutions for fisheries owners to protect their fish.”
Experts will show alternative methods including the use of refuges, in which fish can safely hide away from predators. These can be cages or hideaways created out of natural materials such as willow and hazel woven together, and these techniques will be shown at the event.
For further details and to book a place for the free event call Sarah Baillie on 0191 2034138. The Environment Agency is encouraging fisheries managers and fishing clubs to attend.