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The charity making life better by water

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.

Man holding fish

It's important to care for our fish

The job is wide-ranging. From fish rescues during winter works on the canals to consulting on the design of new fish passes, our team make sure our waterways have healthy fish stocks.

  • 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, kingfishers 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 that anglers catch are part of the heritage of our historic waterways.
  • Fish provide a sustainable resource for the sport of angling, which has significant health and wellbeing benefits for its one million or so participants. This is why we also encourage people of all ages to try 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 our canals and rivers are healthy, thriving with fish, not just for us humans, but for the abundant wildlife within this beautiful, watery ecosystem.

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

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We need your support to keep canals and rivers alive. Donate today to make a difference

Last Edited: 23 April 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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