COMMERCIAL barge responsible for fish deaths on one of Britain’s best canals has been hit with restrictions in a bid to protect precious stocks.
Just over a year ago Angling Times first began investigating reports from regulars on West Yorkshire’s Aire and Calder Navigation that the equipment on the barge was inadvertently ‘mincing up’ roach, bream, perch, and pike in its wake. But when we pressed the Canal and River Trust (CRT) about the reports, it said its initial findings were ‘inconclusive’ and the fish deaths ‘could be the result of a number of root causes’.
However, now the Angling Trust has picked up the fight following further reports from Mirfield and Walton angling clubs, and has received written assurances from Richard Parry, the CEO of the CRT, that it will minimise the barge’s impact.
“We have imposed depth and speed restrictions on the barge to mitigate any further impact on fish,” he said.
“We will consider further restrictions if necessary and are insisting the barge operator ensures these restrictions are observed.”
Jamie Cook, the Trust’s CEO, is pleased that angling has come together to instigate change.
“We welcome Richard Parry’s intervention and his assurances over the restrictions placed upon this and other large freight barges causing damage to fish stocks,” he said.