The Environment Agency is getting into the festive spirit by providing stocking fillers for anglers as its staff restock rivers with thousands of fish in the run up to Christmas.

The restocking activity is part of an annual programme, funded by income from rod licence sales. Calverton fish farm, the Environment Agency’s specialist fish breeding farm in Nottingham, produces between 400,000 and 500,000 fish each year.

The farm breeds nine species of fish and restocks rivers across England where numbers are low, have been depleted following a pollution incident or to create new fisheries and opportunities for anglers.

Alan Henshaw, fisheries team leader at the Environment Agency said:

“Our rivers have improved dramatically in water quality over the last 30 years and our annual restocking from Calverton has boosted natural fish stocks, benefiting rivers and lakes across England. All of this work is funded by money from rod licence sales to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

“The quality and range of fish produced as part of the restocking programme is testament to the hard work of the staff at Calverton farm.”

New techniques in Pond Rearing have delivered significant improvements in the average size of the 18 month-old fish. The farm breeds Chub, Dace, Barbel, Roach, Bream, Crucians, Rudd, Tench and Grayling

Some notable stockings that will take place:

·         34,781 mixed Chub, Dace and Roach stocked into the River Leadon in Gloucestershire.

·         29,750 mixed fish stocked into Rivers, Canals and Stillwaters across Cumbria and Lancashire in the North West.

·         600 Barbel into the River Dearne in South Yorkshire.

·         21,000 Roach, Bream, Crucians and Tench stocked into still waters and 7,600 Chub, Dace and Barbel stocked across rivers in Thames region.

·         6,400 fish comprising of 6 different species split between the River Wid, Blackwater and Colne in Anglian East region.

·         4,250 Roach, Bream and Tench into the Blind Yeo in Wessex plus more than 3,000 additional fish split into other waters in the area.

More stockings will continue into the New Year.

Pic: Wiku