Fish rescued from ‘drying’ river

Lathkill Dale fish rescue, Environment Agency staff stun and catch fish before the river dries up.
Lathkill Dale fish rescue, Environment Agency staff stun and catch fish before the river dries up.
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HUNDREDS of stranded fish have been rescued from a parched stretch of river.

The Environment Agency saved shoals from 3km of the River Lathkill, at Over Haddon, that dries in summer and fills again in October.

Lathkill Dale fish rescue, Joel Rawlinson and Alex Lumsden putting trout into the transport tank

Lathkill Dale fish rescue, Joel Rawlinson and Alex Lumsden putting trout into the transport tank

Lower rainfall means the river flow disappears through limestone into mines underneath. Fish are moved downstream to an area flowing all year.

Simon Ward, fisheries team leader, said recent dry weather brought forward this year’s operation and may affect more wildlife.

He said: “We are monitoring the situation closely and will act quickly to alleviate such problems.”

Electric equipment stunned fish, then they were caught in a handnet and put in a water tank with oxygen, in Friday’s rescue. The rescue continues today.

To report problems, like fish gasping for air, call 0800 807060.