Press release

Fish stocks boost for North East stillwaters

The Environment Agency has released thousands of young fish into North East stillwaters this week to give stocks a boost.

Image shows Paul Frear releasing fish into Greencroft Pond

The Environment Agency's Paul Frear releases fish into Greencroft Pond

More than 11,000 fish – roach, bream, tench, crucian carp and rudd – were released into six stillwaters in the region across County Durham, and Northumberland.

Those receiving a boost in County Durham were Greencoft Pond near Annfield Plain, and Wellfield Lake near Wingate, while in Northumberland fish were released into Hebron Lakes near Morpeth, Dissington Pond near Ponteland, the Environment Agency’s Wydon Water at Hexham and Northumbrian Water’s Whittle Dene reservoir at Harlow Hill.

All the fish were reared at the Environment Agency’s fish farm near Calverton, Nottinghamshire, using funding from rod licence sales.

The work is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing plan to develop and restore rivers and fisheries in the region, to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy angling.

Helping to develop fisheries

Paul Frear, Fisheries Officers for the Environment Agency in the North East, said:

Restocking is one of many things we do together with our partners to develop fisheries, including reducing the impact of pollution, improving habitats and removing barriers to fish migration.

This week we’ve been releasing coarse fish into stillwaters with the help of local angling clubs to help encourage members and those new to angling to get involved in what is a great pastime for people of all ages.

We’re pleased to be able to provide these young fish as part of our commitment to rod licence paying anglers. Restoration and the creation of new fisheries for all people to enjoy is a very important aspect of our work as is supporting our local day ticket fisheries.

Don Coe, Leisure Operations Manager at Northumbrian Water, added:

The fish provided by the Environment Agency will both be a major boost to stocks and provide a greater diversity of species for anglers to catch. It’s great to be working in partnership with the Environment Agency and local angling groups to enhance the region’s fishing venues in this way.

Image shows a tench
One of the tench released into North East stillwaters

Buy a fishing licence

The Environment Agency releases fish into our waterways annually. Fisheries officers target fish stocking activity using data from national fish surveys to identify where there are problems with poor breeding and survival, as well as supporting angling clubs to boost local fishing spots.

Many of our industrialised rivers have improved dramatically in water quality in the last 30 years and targeted and appropriate restocking has helped the restoration of natural fish stocks and viable fisheries.

Angling is a great way to keep healthy and enjoy the natural environment. All rod licence income is used to fund work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries.

Fishing is free for children under 16, although those aged between 12 and 16 still need a junior licence. For anyone over 16, a full annual licence costs from just £30, with some short term and concessionary licences also available.

Published 8 February 2019