News article created on 8 November 2018

Thousands of fish to be rescued ahead of major repair work

Fish who live in the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal will this week be temporarily rehomed by Glandŵr Cymru ahead of the charity carrying out a major project to repair the lining of the canal near Brecon.

Fish being relocated on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Fish being relocated on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal

A team of fisheries experts will brave the cold water on Friday, 10 November, to remove species such as roach, perch, eels, chub and bream. The fish will then be safely rehomed in another section of the canal. Following this, millions of litres of water will be drained from the canal enabling Glandŵr Cymru engineers to repair over half a mile of waterway wall, between Ty-Newydd bridge 160 and Brynich Turn bridge 162, near Brecon in Powys.   

The project is part of a £545,000 programme of repairs to canals across Wales over the winter months. The work includes seven locations along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal – which has been voted among the most popular attractions in the Brecon Beacons National Park – to help keep the canal watertight, replace and repair lock gates, and improve towpaths.

Meanwhile the Llangollen Canal in north Wales, which is home to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and its UNESCO World Heritage site, will see railing improvements on the aqueduct and upgrades to the 175-metre long Whitehouses Tunnel.   

Kevin Phillips, Glandŵr Cymru waterway supervisor, said: "The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal is one of the most beautiful canals anywhere in Britain, and it’s vital for the local economy. People live on, work on, and visit the canal, but at 200-years old it needs plenty of care and these works are a great example of the type of things we need to do to keep it in good condition.

"A method called electrofishing is used to collect the fish so that we can transfer them to another section of the canal. It’s a bit unusual to see the expert team wading through the water with theses contraptions that look a bit like metal detectors. These essentially tickle the fish so that they temporarily stop swimming and can be gently netted and rehomed. While we’ll be working on some key sections, the remainder of the canal is still open so I’d encourage everyone to come and discover all it has to offer."