River sees rise in fish population after rejuvenation project
PUBLISHED: 13:17 02 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:17 02 June 2020
A Suffolk river has seen an increase in its fish population and cleaner water thanks to a year-long rejuvenation project.
A project costing almost £10,000 has successfully revivded the fish population at the River Stour, at Friars Meadow,in Sudbury, with a number of improvements carried out between 2018 and 2019.
Funded by fishing licence fees, the Environment Agency, Sudbury and Long Melford Angling Association and Sudbury Common Lands Charity worked together to create spawning areas, as well as the large scale removal of silt and vegetation and tree surgery.
The restoration has seen huge numbers of roach and rudd return to the river, after the clean-up operation improved the quality of the water.
Ben Norrington, Environment Agency fisheries officer in East Anglia, said: “We are really pleased that the project has been a success.
“I hope this highlights to fisheries owners the importance of spawning areas and shallow diverse river habitats for fish and wildlife.
“These results are a good indication of well spent fishing licence income and partnership involvement.”
John Weddup, from Sudbury and Long Melford Angling Association, said: “The whole project has been fantastic, it has been great working with the Environment Agency.
“We now have fish spawning around the whole island rather than being limited to one spot, which they were before the work.
“The water also has a higher levels of oxygen now which helps everything from biodiversity, fish and insects. The whole river is improving since the work and this benefits everyone not just anglers.”
Adrian Walters, from Sudbury Common Lands Charity, said: “Not only has the project been good for spawning fish it is also excellent for damsel and dragonflies and nesting warblers in the marginal vegetation.
“I saw a cuckoo drop into the reeds and reappear - presumably having laid an egg in a reed warbler’s nest.”