Somerset rivers stocked with fish in run-up to Christmas

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Somerset rivers stocked with fish in run-up to Christmas​


Thousands of fish have found new homes just in time for Christmas thanks to the Environment Agency’s annual restocking of Somerset’s rivers.

Published 22 December 2020

From: Environment Agency



fish-1.jpg
The Environment Agency has restocked several rivers in Somerset with fish

Every year, the Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm near Nottingham breeds coarse fish for release into rivers and still waters across England to help boost fish populations.
Officers from the Agency’s Bridgwater fisheries team spent a busy day on Thursday 17 December putting 2,900 fish into the River Sheppey and 1,450 into Marston Pond. The team also visited West Sedgemoor main drain to release another 1,259 fish.
Earlier they re-stocked 4 other rivers and still waters including the Frome, Yeo, Bird’s Quarry and Rust Pond with various species including chub, roach, tench, barbel, dace, rudd, bream and crucian carp.

The Rivers Frome and Sheppey lost a large number of fish following pollution incidents in 2016 and 2018 and will particularly benefit from the re-stocking that will help fish numbers recover.

Jim Flory of the Environment Agency said:
Somerset boasts many angling clubs which is evidence that there is a healthy amount of fish in the county’s waterway. But occasionally a helping hand is needed to restore the natural balance in the wake of an incident or decline.

The work of our National Fish Farm is funded by income from licence fees, so in the lead up to Christmas it’s great to see the fish farm continuing to produce strong and healthy fish needed for re-stocking and recovery.
The restocking is part of an annual programme funded by income from rod licence sales. Restocking occurs in winter because water temperatures are low and this minimises any stress on the fish, giving them the best possible survival rates.
Restocking is done where numbers are low, have been depleted following a pollution incident or to create new fisheries and opportunities for anglers.


You need a rod fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in England. Get yours from https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences.
 

david white

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Didn’t realise there were that many Eastern European’s needing food parcels in Somerset?
( tongue firmly in cheek, well ok maybe only a little bit .......... )
 

Robwooly

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Does seem odd doesn’t it, they did it with the Ouse here last winter and within days the river was about two fields wide!
I remember the reports and a lot of small Barbel went in the Ouse at Buckingham, looks like more barbel have been stocked in this report about Somerset, be interested to know if they are they naturally occurring there? I've fished a few of those Somerset rivers and they were not in anyway suitable for barbel where I fished, willing to stand corrected but it seems a weird stocking.

I know Barbel are the 'popular' fish among anglers but can the EA not see that certain rivers either can't support them or shouldn't have them?
 

tipitinmick

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Wouldn’t need to restock so bloody much if we stopped our Eastern European friends taking every fu###ing think they catch.
 

Silverfisher

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Wouldn’t need to restock so bloody much if we stopped our Eastern European friends taking every fu###ing think they catch.
I think it be fair most stockings are following pollution or habitat degradation not to mention the Black Death from above. But yes the antics of poachers certainly don't help!
 

tipitinmick

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I think it be fair most stockings are following pollution or habitat degradation not to mention the Black Death from above. But yes the antics of poachers certainly don't help!
Agree. Right behind you on that one. It’s just everywhere I go now the bailiffs are telling me that they are having fish taken by Eastern European’s. I’m fed up to the back teeth of removing empty Vodka bottles and disposable BBQ’s from the banks of our ponds. I’m a big lad with a short temper I’m gonna start banging a few before long if they carry on. They make your p!ss boil.
 

Silverfisher

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Agree. Right behind you on that one. It’s just everywhere I go now the bailiffs are telling me that they are having fish taken by Eastern European’s. I’m fed up to the back teeth of removing empty Vodka bottles and disposable BBQ’s from the banks of our ponds. I’m a big lad with a short temper I’m gonna start banging a few before long if they carry on. They make your p!ss boil.
It’s not too bad here generally on club waters especially those well trodden by proper anglers but on the quieter club bits and certainly the free bits you find all the same signs. Hooks and line left over that you could sea fish with, left over disposable BBQs, lager cans, luncheon meat and sweet corn all from the polish delicatessens. It’s bad enough that they take the fish but to leave places looking like a tip makes all of us anglers look bad. Only blessing is that most use such crude/poor tactics that they don’t catch enough to do masses of harm apart from their real favourite free hunting grounds.

It’s a shame as it reflects bad on the proper anglers from that part of the world. There’s some superb EE lure and fly anglers around here and one of the bailiffs is from that neck of the woods and he’s a proper allrounder.
 

abbo27

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I remember the reports and a lot of small Barbel went in the Ouse at Buckingham, looks like more barbel have been stocked in this report about Somerset, be interested to know if they are they naturally occurring there? I've fished a few of those Somerset rivers and they were not in anyway suitable for barbel where I fished, willing to stand corrected but it seems a weird stocking.

I know Barbel are the 'popular' fish among anglers but can the EA not see that certain rivers either can't support them or shouldn't have them?
They put them into the Frome in a couple of stretches the club I am in, own, so I will let you know in a couple of years. Another club which has rights to a section a bit further downstream states on its website a few barbel have come out at 6lb after stocking 5 years ago. They are in the Bristol Avon, of which the Frome is a tributary, though the section I fish is fragmented by weirs. Your question got me searching and I cam across this interesting article about amongst other things, the migratory habits of freshwater fish. I learned that some fish move up to 120km in a month and bream have homing instincts and can find their way back 35km upstream.
 

mike fox

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It’s not too bad here generally on club waters especially those well trodden by proper anglers but on the quieter club bits and certainly the free bits you find all the same signs. Hooks and line left over that you could sea fish with, left over disposable BBQs, lager cans, luncheon meat and sweet corn all from the polish delicatessens. It’s bad enough that they take the fish but to leave places looking like a tip makes all of us anglers look bad. Only blessing is that most use such crude/poor tactics that they don’t catch enough to do masses of harm apart from their real favourite free hunting grounds.

It’s a shame as it reflects bad on the proper anglers from that part of the world. There’s some superb EE lure and fly anglers around here and one of the bailiffs is from that neck of the woods and he’s a proper allrounder.
The best way to handle this problem is for your/a local club to write a story on the subject with photographic evidence (without directly mentioning the local EE population) and take it to the local press. You must however, emphasise that your story is NOT edited to 'fit to column space' and become distorted to the reader. Done correctly it publicly points the finger away from the genuine anglers.
 

mike fox

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They put them into the Frome in a couple of stretches the club I am in, own, so I will let you know in a couple of years. Another club which has rights to a section a bit further downstream states on its website a few barbel have come out at 6lb after stocking 5 years ago. They are in the Bristol Avon, of which the Frome is a tributary, though the section I fish is fragmented by weirs. Your question got me searching and I cam across this interesting article about amongst other things, the migratory habits of freshwater fish. I learned that some fish move up to 120km in a month and bream have homing instincts and can find their way back 35km upstream.
Barbel are known to be nomadic creatures and will move several miles to find a suitable habitat where they feel comfortable. As with all species the habitat of the entire river will not be suitable for every species to exist but somewhere will be. It's up to the angler to find those areas. The EA would not stock species into a habitat that would be totally alien to them.
 

Silverfisher

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The best way to handle this problem is for your/a local club to write a story on the subject with photographic evidence (without directly mentioning the local EE population) and take it to the local press. You must however, emphasise that your story is NOT edited to 'fit to column space' and become distorted to the reader. Done correctly it publicly points the finger away from the genuine anglers.
Thankfully on most the club stretches it's really not too bad at all as most the good stretches see so many genuine anglers that it doesn't leave much opportunity for undesirables to carry out their antics without scrutiny so whilst it does go on still it's minimal enough to not do much harm. The club also put a load of multi language signs up in recent seasons which has helped a bit as well although sometimes they just vandalise the signs then plead ignorance!

Away from the club waters on free bits where they can fish unopposed it can get quite bad from both the mess and stock plundering point of view though. Obviously that's the councils problem and like lots of council problems not a lot gets done about it.
 

mike fox

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Thankfully on most the club stretches it's really not too bad at all as most the good stretches see so many genuine anglers that it doesn't leave much opportunity for undesirables to carry out their antics without scrutiny so whilst it does go on still it's minimal enough to not do much harm. The club also put a load of multi language signs up in recent seasons which has helped a bit as well although sometimes they just vandalise the signs then plead ignorance!

Away from the club waters on free bits where they can fish unopposed it can get quite bad from both the mess and stock plundering point of view though. Obviously that's the councils problem and like lots of council problems not a lot gets done about it.
I believe it is still a duty of the local angling club to publicly exonerate their members as the general public will blame anglers regardless and tarnish the reputation of anglers generally. Fishing litter is an infliction of irresponsible human behaviour towards the environment and wherever possible should be addressed. Even though the area in question is council land, it is in the interests of the public to address the situation. I guarantee that if you notified your local MP of your intention to draw this situation of council failures to the public, something would be done about it. I did just that in Stockport and the council jumped to attention by providing an army of personnel, including the Police to rectify the problem. However, it doesn't end there, you have to keep the pressure on otherwise eventually things go back to square one.
Its that old adage, 'do nothing, don't complain'.
 
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