80,000 fish saved from Trent and Mersey Canal collapse

Anglers from the North-West have the Canal and River Trust to thank after the charity rescued a staggering quantity of fish from a canal near Rochdale.

Heavy rain from last month’s storms caused a small section of the Trent & Mersey Canal to collapse, sending gallons of water and debris into a nearby field, leaving around 80,000 fish stranded.

The incident occurred on the stretch of canal at Dutton, near Preston Brook which is run by
Warrington Angling Association. Specialist contractors, MEM Fisheries, and officers from the Trust rescued the fish from both the field and a small hold of water left in the cut, placing them into the safety of an un-affected section further along the waterway.

The vast majority of the 3,370lb of fish rescued were roach and perch but there were also plenty of decent sized chub, double figure carp and a good number of eels.

Helen Hall, a Trust press officer for the North-West region was extremely satisfied by how well the rescue went: “It was pleasing to see good numbers of eels present as they are a declining species and this short section of canal affected by the breech represented a very healthy fishery.

“Once the repair work has been completed these fish will move back in to the section and repopulate the area again,” she said.

Frank Lythgoe of Warrington D.A.A, the club which controls the stretch, was not surprised by the quality of fish in the canal:

“I knew there were some good fish in there as it is section with plenty of features and is not overly fished so I was glad the rescue was a success.

“This is a nice picturesque stretch which is a pleasure to fish all-year-round,” he added.
Repair work for the canal is set to top £1.5m which will come from the Trusts contingency fund as well as donations from the general public.