News article created on 22 January 2015

Thousands of fish moved from the Droitwich Canal

We're moving thousands of fish from the Droitwich Barge Canal before draining the waterway to investigate a potential leak.

Over the next two days, the 1,300-metre stretch between Hawford Bottom Lock, close to the junction with the River Severn and Ladywood Top Lock will be emptied of water. This will allow engineers to thoroughly inspect the bottom of the canal as we've had reports of a potential leak onto neighbouring land.

Before this can happen, a specialist team will ‘rescue’ the fish from the canal and relocate them to safety.


The team will use a technique called electrofishing, which involves using an electrical current to temporarily disable the fish from swimming so 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.

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Droitwich canals are a haven for aquatic wildlife, and before we do any work our priority is to make sure that we protect the species that call the canals home. 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’re expecting to see thousands of fish including roach, bream and pike.”