Issue date: 4 April 2011
British Waterways is relocating over half a tonne of fish from the side ponds of the Caen Hill Flight of Locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal. The purpose is to improve conditions for aquatic wildlife including dragonflies.
The relocation follows a successful trial project in 2009, which saw a tonne of fish removed from the ponds. Large fish stir up silt causing the growth of algae due to the subsequent release of nutrients in the water. Over recent years, the water in the side ponds has become less suitable for invertebrates such as dragonflies and damselflies, as well as scarce aquatic plants that rely on clear-water environments. By removing the large fish a more natural balance will be created in the ponds.
The 2009 trial was successful with aquatic plants, such as the rare potamogetons and hornworts returning to the ponds, together with an increase in dragon and damselfly populations and other invertebrates such as the water scorpion.
Many of the fish will be relocated along the Kennet & Avon Canal and a proportion will go to Toddbrook Reservoir in the Peak District.