We are to rescue up to 300lbs of fish from Caen Hill Locks in Devizes, before one of the lock pounds and side ponds is drained to allow vital repairs to take place.
The team will use a technique called electrofishing, which involves using an electrical current to temporarily stop the fish from swimming so that they float to the surface. They’re then scooped up and transferred to large bins filled with fresh water. The fish aren’t harmed, and can be moved to a nearby unaffected stretch of canal.
Once the fish have been moved, a section of the 200 year-old lock flight will be completely drained to allow access to the lock gates. The repairs form part of our winter works programme, which sees £45million spent on essential repairs, restorations and routine maintenance to our canals and rivers in England and Wales.
Becca Dent, from the Canal & River Trust, said: “People are often amazed at the size and diversity of the fish that come out of our waterways, it’s actually the biggest freshwater fishery in the country. Fish are among our most important residents and we take their safety very seriously!
“Electrofishing allows us to safely locate and move the fish, without hurting them at all. It’s also a great chance to see the wide variety of life our canals support, and we’d expect species like roach, bream perch and carp to all make an appearance.”
For more information about Caen Hill lock flight visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/destination/52/caen-hill-locks.