With the hot weather set to continue for the next few weeks, the Environment Agency and the Pike Anglers’ Club (PAC) are asking people to take extra care while fishing to help protect vulnerable fish stocks.
Prolonged hot weather can cause problems in rivers, lakes and drains such as low oxygen levels, low river flows, elevated water temperatures and algal blooms, which in turn can lead to increased levels of stress on fish populations and even fish deaths in extreme conditions.
Steve Lane, Fisheries Technical Specialist at the Environment Agency said:
The hot weather and high water temperatures can make life difficult for fish.
We’re asking anglers to take particular care while fishing as the dry weather continues to help us protect fish stocks.
Please return fish to the water as quickly as possible and avoid using keepnets if practical to do so, particularly on lakes, the Broads and rivers with low flows.
Some species such as pike and barbel can be particularly vulnerable in hot conditions.
John Currie, General Secretary of the Pike Anglers’ Club and Chairman of the Broads Angling Services Group’s (BASG) Pike Strategy Group and Environment Sub Group, said:
PAC would ask anglers to consider the conditions caused by the very hot weather before deciding to fish.
The shallow waters of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, the Fens and the Somerset Levels are of particular concern, though we are also aware of problems further north.
It’s not just oxygen levels that can cause fish problems in warm conditions, so we urge anglers to think carefully before fishing.
As ever, anglers can help us protect fish by reporting signs of dead or distressed fish, pollution or illegal fishing to the 24 hour Environment Agency Incident Hotline number 0800 80 70 60.
Anglers can find further advice and guidance from the Pike Anglers’ Club.