Caring for our fish

As part of our work as a charity, one of the three key roles of our national fisheries and angling team is to look after the wellbeing of our fish stocks.

Caring for our fish Caring for our fish

The job is wide ranging. From fish recues during winter works to consulting on fish passes, our team make sure our waterways have healthy fish stocks.

But why is it important to care for our fishy friends? 

  • fish are a superb indicator of good water quality. Non-anglers like to know that fish are thriving in our waterways. They've improved significantly since the industrial revolution
  • fish communities are a vital part of the wider food chain and support iconic species such as herons, grebes, kingfisher and otters
  • fish are a part of the UK’s natural biodiversity. All fish are protected under law with some species (or their habitat) having extra legal protection because they are critically endangered 
  • non-native fish species can cause harm to our ecosystems and we work to control their further spread
  • some historic navigations inadvertently cut off access for fish upstream to their natural spawning grounds, such as the shad on the River Severn
  • angling and the fish anglers catch are part of the heritage of our historic waterways
  • fish provide a sustainable resource for the sport of angling, which provides significant health and wellbeing benefits to its 1 million or so participants - which is why we also encourage people of all ages into fishing through our Let's Fish! campaign

So now you know. It's the work of the national angling and fisheries team to make sure are canals and rivers are not just for us humans, but for the abundant wildlife within this beautiful, watery ecosystem. 

Careful handling

This video, courtesy of David Murdoch of Luton Angling Club, shows you how specialists in fish movement and rescue, MEM, remove fish from the Grand Union Canal. Ready to carefully move them to their new home.

Last date edited: 17 September 2018