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Thousands of fish from Calverton Fish Farm used to restock Devon river after pollution incident

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More than 6,000 fish from a fish farm in Calverton have been used to restock a river in Devon after a pollution incident.

For the third year running, the Environment Agency has restocked the River Culm in Devon, following the incident, which took place back in 2019.

More than 6,000 fish have been released into the river this week, including dace, roach and chub, to boost numbers and give the river a helping hand to recover. The river will be monitored to see how these stockings have contributed to the river’s recovery.

Every year, the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm breeds coarse fish for release into rivers and still waters across England to help boost fish populations.

Restocking occurs in winter because water temperatures are lower and this minimises any stress on the fish during the stocking process, giving them the best possible survival rates.

Winter is a good time to introduce the fish, as it enables them to acclimatise to their new surroundings, ahead of their spawning season which usually begins in the spring and goes through to the summer for some species.

Fish also play a critical role in sustaining a river’s finely-balanced eco-system, so the wider natural environment will also get a festive boost.

Callum Underhill, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, said: “Devon and Cornwall has a variety of excellent fishing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy, from rivers and canals to still water venues.

“Sometimes they can benefit from a helping hand by adding excellent quality fish from our National Fish Farm.

“The work of our National Fish Farm in Calverton is funded by income from rod licence fees, so it shows how vital it is that anglers get the necessary rod licence when thinking of fishing, as all of these funds are reinvested back into angling and improving fisheries and the environment.”

Restocking is done where numbers are low, have been depleted following a pollution incident or to create new fisheries and opportunities for anglers.

You need a rod fishing licence to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel with a rod and line in England. Get yours from https://www.gov.uk/fishing-licences.

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