Environment Agency creates home from home for young fish – Fishupdate.com

Environment Agency creates home from home for young fish Published:  31 March, 2004

THE Environment Agency has completed work on a refuge for young fish, or fry, on the River Mease near Tibberton, Shropshire

The work, which was completed at the end of last week, involved digging two off-stream pools on both banks of the river. The pools, which measure approximately 70m by 30m and were historically old oxbow lakes, have now been connected to the river.

Doing this has created a refuge for young fry, providing them with a habitat in which they can survive the winter protected from high flows in the main river channel. Once winter is over, the fish will leave the refuge and enter the river.

The pools will now be planted with marginal vegetation to enhance the habitat. As well as a fry refuge, the deeper areas of the pools will also provide an ideal spawning habitat for adult fish contributing more fry to complete the cycle.

The project will be completed with the planting of black poplars on the river bank and an otter holt will be incorporated in one of the pools.

The project cost approximately £11,000 and funding for the project has come completely from additional rod licence sales. Personnel from the Agency’s Emergency Work Force in Shrewsbury have carried out the project.

Speaking about the project, Charles Crundwell, an Agency Fisheries officer, says: “The creation of new habitats is an important part of the Agency’s ongoing commitment to fisheries in the Midlands, helping in the creation of natural self sustaining fisheries and this project is further example of this. The project is also a important example of how angling rod licence sales contribute directly to improved habitat on the ground. This project is one of many that is being completed with additional rod licence monies made available in October to the benefit of all coarse fish anglers.”