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The charity making life better by water

Helping fish to cope with the heat-wave

This week Canal & River Trust teams have been carrying out emergency responses supporting the Environment Agency to help fish that have been suffering in the hot weather.

Fish suffer in hot weather as the water temperature rises, reducing the amount of oxygen in the water. The problem has been made worse by storms that have brought runoff that can contain pollutants into the waterways. Fish need oxygen to breathe so the charity has been installing aerators and pumps that put more oxygen into the water.

We're asking people to get in contact with the Environment Agency if they see that fish are in distress. Signs to look out for include fish gasping for air or floating on the surface, unable to dive. People should call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

Working with the Environment Agency

Peter Birch, head of environment at the Canal & River Trust says: “The glorious weather is good news for people who've been praying for some summer sun but it's not so welcome for some of the creatures that make their homes in our canals. It's strange to think about a fish drowning, but as the water heats up the oxygen levels drop and causes fish to suffer.

“Our teams have been working closely with the Environment Agency across the country responding to reports of fish that are in distress. We can use aerators to get more oxygen into the water and make conditions better for the fish. Our canals and rivers are rich ecosystems that support many types of fish including pike, bream, trout and carp amongst others, and we're working hard to help them through the heat-wave.”

Last Edited: 26 July 2013

photo of a location on the canals
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