Press release

Environment Agency releases 67,000 fish in Yorkshire rivers

Barbel, chub, common bream, dace, grayling and roach populations boosted

Fish being released
Dr Jerome Masters releases barbel

Yorkshire rivers have benefited from a record-breaking year at the Environment Agency’s fish farm. Experts stocked more than 67,000 fish across Yorkshire into rivers and small still waters, including: the River Dearne, River Rother, Walton Nature reserve, the River Wharfe and Driffield West Beck.

Fish introduced into rivers, included: barbel, chub, common bream, dace, grayling and roach. Crucian carp were released into still waters at Walton Nature Reserve Fishery.

Last year, 2015, was the best year ever for the Environment Agency’s specialist fish breeding farm, resulting in record-breaking numbers of coarse fish being released into England’s rivers in 2015. In total right across the country, the Environment Agency stocked more than 452,220 fish and 1.3 million larvae into rivers.

They were all bred at Calverton fish farm, in Nottingham, the Environment Agency’s principal supply of coarse fish for restocking.

Every year for the last 31 years the farm has produced up to 450,000 fish of nine species for restocking into rivers following pollution incidents or to help restore fish stocks in rivers where numbers are low. All of its work is funded by rod licence income.

Dr Jerome Masters, Fisheries Officer for South and West Yorkshire, said:

Rivers across Yorkshire have improved significantly over the past 30 years, and concerted restocking using fish bred at Calverton has accelerated the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.

We’ve stocked tens of thousands of fish from Calverton right across Yorkshire rivers and stillwaters over the past year, but we’re not complacent. We’ll continue to target our restocking to ensure the continued restoration and ongoing health of our rivers.

Calverton fish farm team leader Alan Henshaw added:

Growth and production rates of fish that have been grown on the farm for 18 months have been the highest recorded at Calverton. Many rivers and lakes throughout England have benefited from these stockings and the quality of the fish is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of the staff.

Published 29 February 2016