THE team behind the hugely successful Avon Roach Project has turned its attention to the river’s barbel, with work kicking off on a new drive.
Trevor Harrop’s project has been widely credited for the dramatic upturn in roach populations on the Hampshire Avon. So successful was the programme, which involved rearing fish in tanks for two years before reintroducing them to the river, that the team can now apply its experience to other species.
“We decided to initiate a scheme whereby the gravel at specific spawning sites on the river is desilted and cleaned at critical points in the year, optimising its effectiveness for spawning barbel,” Trevor said.
“The Environment Agency was in full support after we tabled the idea, and we’ve recently been raking gravels on known spawning areas.”
Trevor’s team have also established potential sites on the Dorset Stour, and he believes the same work could be done on other rivers, too.
“There’s no reason why what we do on the Avon can’t be replicated on other waters, with the right EA guidance,” he explained.
“It’s a relatively ‘no-fail’ undertaking, with no negative impact if you time it right, that has every chance to boost barbel population density.”
Watch this space for updates.