PROOF of just how easily non-native species can escape into the country’s watercourses emerged last week after a pair of big catfish were discovered in a tiny stream in Greater Manchester.
The Environment Agency (EA) was called out after a member of the public reported seeing two ‘unusually long fish’ in the waterway at Stalybridge.
Fisheries officers were soon on the scene and identified the fish as non-native Wels catfish.
“Although this species can be legally kept in the UK under permit in stillwaters with no inlet or outlet streams, these had been stocked illegally into a lake upstream,” an EA spokesperson told us.
“They can carry harmful diseases and parasites, and can also impact on resident fish populations.
“We’re keen to prevent the spread of non-native species, so these fish were captured and humanely euthanised.
They weighed 25lb and 19lb.”
If you spot anything unusual in your local waterway, report it to the EA on 0800 807060