Rod licence cash saves fish stocks

The entire stock of one of the UK’s most popular commercial waters has been saved from a ‘total wipeout’ thanks to an emergency fish rescue funded by rod licence money.

Roy Marlow, owner of the Glebe Fishery in Leicestershire, has called for critics that claim they get nothing in return for their yearly permit to ‘get off the back’ of the Environment Agency after crisis teams saved the lives of over 4,000lb of carp and bream.

A highly-trained incident response team were dispatched to the banks of Glebe Pool 5 after an emergency phone call  following a thunder storm that had kick-started a rare chain of events causing oxygen levels to plummet and leaving thousands of fish gasping on the surface.

“I run a post-fishing check on all of my lakes just to make sure that the oxygen levels are correct, but early the next day the storm caused algae to die and the dissolved oxygen level was virtually zero at one end and just 15 per-cent at the other. It was every fishery owner’s worst nightmare,” Roy told Angling Times.

“I called the EA emergency hotline number on the back of my rod licence at 10am and a team from Nottingham were here just after 11am.

“They were amazing and with the help of some very expensive equipment coupled with their expertise stabilised the situation and prevented what would have been the total wipe out of £30,000 worth of fish.

“The next time a fishery owner moans that his lakes don’t get anything from the EA you’ll be able to point them to this story. As for anglers who wonder why they have to buy a licence when they only fish club lakes, this is where your hard-earned money goes.”

Environment Agency officials are calling for all fishery owners and anglers to keep a close eye on their waters in the coming weeks and to not hesitate in calling the emergency hotline if they see signs of fish in distress.

“If it wasn’t for the licence money then this situation would have had a very different outcome. It proves how vital this is to safeguard venues and the future of the sport,” said an EA spokesperson.

If you need to report an incident call the EA emergency incident hotline on: 0800 807060.

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