The Environment Agency revealed today that the early Christmas present of fish from the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm near Nottingham last month to re-stock the Rivers Trent and Tame and other West Midlands waters reached a grand total of 95,500 fish.

They brought new hope to stretches of water that were affected by pollution or where fish stocks required a helping hand. All the fish were at least 18 months old and had been specially reared at Calverton for stocking into rivers.

In the River Trent, at Catton, Walton, Branston, Stapenhill, Burton and Winshill, all in the Burton on Trent area, the final total of fish stocked reached 36,500.

In Staffordshire, at Stone, Weston, Shugborough and Wolseley Bridge, a total of  24,000 fish found a new home in the River Trent before Christmas.

The River Tame received a final total of 24,500 fish, all released into the river at one of three sites at Kingsbury, Tamworth and Elford.

The River Itchen at Long Itchington received 3,500 fish made up of 1,000 chub, 1,000 dace and 1,500 roach.

In the River Churnet, 500 chub were released at Consell Forge and 2,000 grayling were released at Leek.

Gayton Brook and the River Sence also received 2,000 grayling each.  Goldenhill Pool received 150 tench and Consall Country Park received 400 tench.

Fisheries Officer Mick Buxton said “Anglers make such an important contribution when they buy their rod licences. It is thanks to them we were able to release so many thousands of fish into the Trent and Tame and other West Midlands waters. Rod licence income is vital in helping us to keep our rivers teeming with fish and to improve the sport of fishing for today’s and tomorrow’s anglers.

“These 95,000 fish were part of Calverton’s biggest re-stocking ever and represent the beginning of a long term programme aimed at reversing the damage done by pollution. They and their descendants will bring these rivers back to life.

“Anglers and members of the public have a vital role in looking after their future. We urge them to take care not to put anything down drains that might harm these fish and to report any instances of pollution to us straight away by calling our free 24-hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

Alan Henshaw, Team Leader at Calverton Fish Farm said “This year, we pulled out all the stops to return fish to the Rivers Trent and Tame, where pollution incidents had decimated fish populations.

“At any one time, there are about a million fish on site here at Calverton Fish Farm, waiting their turn to be released into rivers across England and Wales. However, this is the biggest stocking operation we have ever done in just one area.”