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Hard work benefiting fish and anglers alike...

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Fisheries and biodiversity

Last month I wrote about how rod licence money helps to protect and improve fisheries. Since then, I have been talking with Simon Ward, one of our local fisheries specialists, to find out about our work in the Midlands.

Hydrogen peroxide pumps deployed to increase oxygen levels in the water
Hydrogen peroxide pumps deployed to increase oxygen levels in the water

Our top priority is responding quickly to fish in distress. Simon gave me a recent example where a fast response made a big difference.

Our local team helped out at Slacks Pond in Rotherham, when Sheffield Piscatorial Angling Club reported fish in distress. Our local officer quickly used hydrogen peroxide pumps to stabilise the water quality. Although some fish were lost, it could have been far worse had it not been reported and responded to so quickly.

Simon explained that tackling illegal fishing is another priority such as our ‘Operation Stone’ which recently targeted illegal fishing hotspots. Our officers challenged people fishing illegally on the River Severn, arresting two of them. With the help of  BBC Midlands Today we promoted the work with our simple but direct message if you catch fish illegally, we will catch you!

Healthy fisheries depend on healthy fish stocks, which is why we are removing or bypassing barriers to river fish migration. We are currently building Whatstandwell fish pass. When completed fish will be able to migrate around a weir, opening up more of the River Derwent for spawning, feeding and refuge, improving stocks for anglers.

Fish stocking plays an important role in restoring fisheries. Our fisheries teams work hard to use fish stocks to help restore natural populations. Grayling, for example, are absent from the upper River Ecclesbourne because of a significant barrier to migration. Our local fisheries teams have are now working closely with Derbyshire County Angling Club to correct this. We have currently stocked 400 young grayling from our Calverton Fish Farm above the weir to help restore the population to its former glory.

Fish pegs on the bank of a river for the use of anglers
Fish pegs can be fished in most river conditions

And it's not just the fish who are benefiting! Things are improving for anglers too! On the River Trent, we have built 30 long lasting, sturdy flat stone angling pegs on two club stretches. The Teme near Ludlow is benefiting, not only because fishing there is free, but from the three all-access fishing platforms and improved the paths for anglers that have been completed.

This crucial work would not be possible without our vital partnership working with local angling clubs and others to promote this great activity. Simon told me;

Our local fisheries officer in Nottinghamshire provided the Police with angling equipment to use in events focusing on young anglers, truancy, rehabilitation and environmental education. The police work in partnership with a local angling club who kindly allow the use of one of their ponds.

Finally our Head of Fisheries, Sarah Chare who greatly supports all this work told me;

I am always impressed with how much our fisheries teams are able to do, often working with partners, to provide a service to anglers. But, all this and more is only made possible because of the money we get from rod licence sales, so I’m also grateful for the continued support we get from a million anglers! Thank you!”

 If you're planning to go fishing make sure you have a valid rod licence, you can purchase one here, and remember under 12s can fish for free!

Paul Lidgett is a Senior Fisheries Adviser at our Head Office in Bristol.



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  1. Comment by Tina posted on

    Immigrants are fishing for food.I saw 5 of them on the Sheffield canal just rods and bait.What is being done about that?.

    • Replies to Tina>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Hi, please report any incidents of illegal fishing to our incident communication room on 0800 80 70 60. You can remain anonymous. Thank you in anticipation. ^Eileen

  2. Comment by Robert posted on

    Immigrants are taking the Bream and Carp from our leisure fishery ponds for food, they are also taking the ducks from the canal, so its about time the Agency hired some heavies to patrol our lakes and waterways at night.
    Or is that against the poachers human rights?

    • Replies to Robert>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Hi Robert, we appreciate your comment and the information that you have blogged. To ensure this is dealt with and investigated please can you report this to our incident communication service, you can remain anonymous and you will receive a reference number at the end of the call. Tel No: 0800 80 70 60. The more information that is collated this way via reported incidents means that our fisheries enforcement team can plan enforcement visits around the UK. Thank you in anticipation of you contacting us. ^Eileen

  3. Comment by Adam posted on

    Could we get some more fish in Riverlin pond? I'm not sure how many are in there for float fishing but I've been about 6-7 times this year and not caught anything there even though i went loads last year and always caught something.

  4. Comment by Michael Thomas posted on

    The Sankey / St Helens canal in Sankey valley park, south of the A57 is totally overgrown with Reeds & Lilly's, The reeds stretching from bank to bank in places and the lilly's covering everything else.
    This area used to be well used by local anglers but is now totally un-fishable during the summer months. The present conditions are surely not ideal for fish stocks, although the stretch does hold a good head of fish.
    Who can be contacted with regards to having this stretch cleared of excessive reeds, weeds & lilly's?

    • Replies to Michael Thomas>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Hi Michael, thank you this information. Please can you email this with possibly a postcode or a grid reference to: I tried to search on our internal map system but nothing came up. Once we have the addendum information we can investigate if we are responsible for the waterway and report to local teams. Thank you in anticpaiton

  5. Comment by stephen gray posted on

    There are always immigrants fishing the pools and canals that are local to me (the fens pool nature reserve,Dudley) the fish stocks have declined dramatically. I used to go to these pools when I was a child and we were able to catch pike after pike but if we go over there now were lucky to catch anything at all. Something really needs to be done about this because its ruining it for everyone.

    • Replies to stephen gray>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Hi there, Please can you report all incidents of illegal fishing to our incident communication room as often as you witness what you deem to be illegal. You can remain anonymous during the call and at the end you will receive an incident reference number. The more reports we receive via our incident room means that our fisheries enforcement officers can collate the information and set up visits around the country. Thank you in anticipation. ^Eileen

    • Replies to stephen gray>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Good morning, please, and we encourage all incidents of illegal fishing to be reported to our incident communication service on: 0800 80 70 60. the more information we receive enables our enforcement teams to collate the information and plan checks of waterways across the UK. You can remain anonymous during the call and at the end you will receive a reference number. Thank you in anticipation. ^Eileen

    • Replies to stephen gray>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Good morning Stephen, if you think illegal fishing is taking please we encourage people to call our incident communication service on our freephone number: 0800 80 70 60. Callers can remain anonymous and given a reference number at the end of the call. The more information we receive on incidents means that our enforcement teams around the UK can plan visits to waterways and carry out checks of individuals fishing. Thank you in anticipation of you contacting our incident room. ^Eileen

  6. Comment by dave b posted on

    how many officers do you have because every pond lake canal and river is being illegally fished around my area and even the park rangers won't do anything about it as they are to scared if you think this is a exaggeration drive round take a look and if you can find a angler with a licence who has not given up they will tell you

  7. Comment by John Armstrong posted on

    It seems every report is side stepped all we anglers hear is hot air and lies i am under the opinion that all the people that should do something just talk come on EA live up to your name and start action.
    I am a trout angler and have forgotten what a decent Tyne trout looks like but i am informed the river is in top condition by the EA i have fished this river for nearly sixty years and i know the fish stocks are dangerously low.
    Can you tell me what action i get to save the stocks in the main river?

    • Replies to John Armstrong>

      Comment by Environment Agency posted on

      Hello John

      Thanks for contacting us and raising your concerns over the level of trout in the Tyne

      The Fisheries and Biodiversity Team within the North East have taken a look at your comments and provided the following information.

      Some natural weather conditions, such as recent dry spells, can result in lower river levels which are not conducive to good trout fishing. We have experienced the driest September in 50 years

      Anglers have made comments to the EA that there is a demise of brown trout. In light of this we have been undertaking some angler catch studies. These studies have given results showing that the Tyne brown trout stocks seem healthy.

      You may be interested in comments made by a group of anglers fishing the Tyne on the 17th August this year – they said “Adult trout (318) were common throughout many of the sections, with Riding Mill and the Woodyard producing the greatest numbers. Three trout estimated between 2 and 3lb were caught

      We know there are plenty of trout in the Tyne (both juveniles in our fisheries surveys) and adult trout as demonstrated on the 17th August.


  8. Comment by phil schubert posted on

    Keep up the good work phil....

  9. Comment by simon posted on

    Hi is there any thing you can do a about coramants visting our pool its only been restocked a few years and will not cope with loosing so many fish there is no were for the fish to hide five coramants turned up the other day it the grapes pool bilston westmidlands wv146jg and to to make thigs worse furnace mill fishery came and netted it and took lots of fish out to sell today any help would be good thanks if not will av to stop fishing simon

  10. Comment by Derek posted on

    Hi, Couple of questions if I may:
    On two of the rivers I fish - The Dee in Farndon Cheshire, and the Dane near Holmes Chapel (Cheshire), have very few places where its safe to fish. What are the guidelines/policies around clubs creating safer pegs to fish from please?
    The River Dane is a small river, and suffers from rapid rises in water levels, it's also plagued by mature trees that have been blown down by the gales over the last few months, that lie in and across the water. What is the process for clubs to request help and assistance in getting these trees moved?

    • Replies to Derek>

      Comment by kathrynbooth posted on

      Good morning, responsibility lies with the riparian owner of watercourses to maintain. The River Dane is controlled by the Local Counicl/Internal Drainage Board. They may be able to offer assistance. Eileen


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