Anglers and fishery owners are being called on to help protect the nation’s stocks as we enter the most dangerous time of year for both running and stillwater venues.
Some of the biggest figures in fisheries management have this week published their expert advice to prevent fatalities as the hot, dry weather continues.
After carrying out numerous fish rescue operations at venues suffering from low oxygen levels caused by dropping water levels and decreased flows, Environment Agency chiefs have combined with leading scientists to offer advice for both anglers and fishery owners alike.
“This is the time when fish stocks are at their most vulnerable and those who stick their heads in the sand are asking for trouble,” said leading fisheries management consultant Dr Bruno Broughton.
“Many summer fish kills are avoidable with proper planning and rapid action.”
Environment Agency chiefs are not only urging fishery managers to act now but are also calling for anglers to be vigilant and keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs of fish in danger.
“The current warm and dry weather is affecting most of the country and it’s not just commercial fisheries that need to take precaution,” said an EA spokesperson.
The 2013 ‘Summer Advice for Fishery Owners’ and other information on how to protect fish stocks can be downloaded from the EA website at: www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
**If you see any fish in distress call the National Incident Hotline on: 0800 807060**
**KEEPING FISH STOCKS HEALTHY**
• Restrict bait and groundbait use to avoid unnecessary pressure on water quality.
• Keep a close eye on water levels and visit the water early in the morning when dissolved oxygen levels are at their lowest.
• Minimise the use of keepnets. If a match is planned consider using multiple weigh-ins to reduce stress.
• Avoid stocking or moving any fish.
• Think carefully before cutting weed as it helps hold up water levels and avoids disturbing silt.
• Avoid the use of keepnets in hot temperatures when water levels are low.
• Bird predation can be a problem when water levels are low so maintain as much rough and overhanging marginal cover as possible.
• If you’re introducing fish consider low stocking densities.