22nd Feb, 2018

Research shows scale of fish numbers

Rob George 9th Feb, 2018

A RESEARCH project has discovered a number of Britain’s rarest fish species in the River Severn in the city.

Monitoring work during the spring and summer found that around 15,000 twaite shad can make it above Upper Lode weir, near Tewkesbury before being halted by Diglis Weir in Worcester.

These monitoring results are significant because they indicate the current levels of twaite shad in the river which once supported millions of this species.

The research was conducted by the Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Canal and River Trust as part of the multi-million pound Unlocking the Severn project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and EU Life.

The information gathered will be vital for the project which aims to restore the shad’s access to 155 miles of the River Severn, north of Worcester, by providing fish passage solutions at a series of weirs the fish currently cannot swim over or around.

Environment Agency Fisheries Monitoring Specialist, Charles Crundwell said: “We had no idea how many shad we’d find – we thought a few thousand, but in fact results suggest we could have as many as 15,000 in the lower reaches of the river.

“This shows great promise that by unlocking the river there’s scope for a really thriving population.

“Plus the work to help the shad will open up the river for all fish species, so helping the shad will help everything else for the benefit of everyone – wildlife, residents, tourists and anglers.”

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