The Environment Agency has teamed up with a Hampshire trout fishery to re-stock a section of the River Stour in Dorset after the local fish population was virtually wiped out by pollution.
An estimated 15,000 fish died on the Stour and two of its tributaries last summer following a pollution spill. Despite a full investigation, the source was never traced, but it is believed to have come from a farm. The fish casualties included roach, chub, perch and pike.
Now, thanks to the support of the Rockbourne Trout Fishery and local anglers, the Agency has released some 10,000 roach into the Stour and Lydden to help the local fish population recover.
The roach were removed from two lakes at Rockbourne by Agency officers using nets. The fish were surplus to requirements as the fishery is primarily concerned with trout and was therefore willing to donate them to the restocking of the upper Stour.
The Agency was also helped by members of Sturminster Hinton Angling Club who suggested the best locations to release the fish. Members have agreed to report their catch figures to  the Agency to help it monitor local fish numbers.
‘This stocking is a terrific boost for the Stour and two of its tributaries that bore the brunt of last summer’s pollution. We are particularly grateful to Rockbourne Trout Fishery for their support and generous donation of the fish. said Andy Martin for the Environment Agency.
‘This latest introduction supports our ongoing programme of re-stocking on the Stour and other local rivers. In the past we have introduced bream, chub and roach reared at the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm,’ he added.
One person badly affected by last August’s pollution was Chris Bailey who owns Bagber Bridge fishery on the River Lydden, ‘The pollution virtually wiped out my fishery. I am very grateful to the Environment Agency for taking this care of the river and for helping by re-stocking. The number of fish greatly exceeded my expectations,’ he said.