Fish all over North Yorkshire will be stunned this summer during a survey to assess their health. Specially trained Agency officers will use electro-fishing techniques to stun fish so that they can be counted and measured before being returned to the water.
A current is passed through the water to temporarily knock the fish out so that they can be handled without causing them any distress.
Electro-fishing also allows Agency staff to remove a small number of scales from each fish, which will give an indication of their age and growth rates.
Agency officers will be operating from boats as well as from river banks to conduct the surveys on all the main areas in the region including the Swale, Ure, Wharfe, Nidd, Ouse, Derwent, Esk and
. Nets will also be used to catch fish during the survey.
Most species of river fish will be surveyed, including salmon, trout, grayling, dace, barbel, chub and pike.
Environmental Appraisal Team Leader for the Agency, Richard Jenkins said: “These annual surveys give us vital information, enabling us to assess the current status of fish stocks and identify any changes in populations that may have occurred over recent years.
“It is also invaluable for putting together future action plans for improving the local environment.”