FISH SURVEY UNDER WAY ALONG THAMES



 

Pictures above from the 2014 survey show (left to right) Environment Agency's Dave Hellard, with a 20lb mirror carp found in Molesey Lock’s weir pool; Alex Deacon with an 8lb barbel found at Penton Hook Lock; Ade Bicknell with a 7lb salmon found at Marlow Lock

Environment Agency Fisheries Officers have been carrying out a fish survey along the lower reaches of the non-tidal River Thames.

A specialised electro-fishing ‘boom’ boat passes an electric current into the water to attract and momentarily stun fish, enabling them to be easily caught.

The fish are then caught and measured by the EA officers, before they are safely returned unharmed into the river.

The information collected provides a picture of the river’s fish population helping the agency to further understand how factors like water quality, flows and habitat, influence the health of rivers.

The boat has two booms which extend from the front of the boat through which the electric current is passed into the water. There are punts on the side of the boat where officers can catch the fish using nets.

The surveys are done at night because the fish are higher up in the water and there is less boat traffic - making it easier to navigate and fish.

Fisheries Officer, Stuart Keable, said: “The information collected in these annual surveys helps us to understand the population structure and range of fish species living in our rivers. The data collected helps inform our work to protect and improve the habitat in the Thames, much of which is funded by rod licence fees.

“The Thames Boom Boat survey last year found some excellent fish, with specimen barbell, pike and carp all recorded along with virtually every other species of fish that are present in the lower Thames.”

Story dated September 11th 2014

 

   
 
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