Thousands of fish have been reintroduced to the River Irwell

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TODAY the Environment Agency have released 8000 fish into the Greater Manchester river following a decline in numbers.

The decline in fish was due to pollution and last years boxing day floods causing many of the smaller fish either died or were swept away.

One culprit of polluting the river is Tesco who were fined £8 million this year for leaking petrol into it – other companies are still being investigated. 

Trevor Oldfield, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, said: “Smaller fish suffered with the pollution that took place and due to the boxing day a lot of the fish got washed away as well; larger fish can withstand the flow.

By restocking it gives a bit of a natural recruitment of fish.”

Environment Agency

Fish being released into the Irwell. Photo source: Environment Agency

Chubb, barbel and dace fish were collected from Calverton Fish Farm near Nottingham and brought over to Salford.

The fish were also put in two other parts of the Irwell in Radcliffe and Burr’s County Park.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has also been working on restoring the River Irwell with their Kingfisher Trail which began in 2016.

Parts of the trail, including the River Irwell, are being improved so the people of Greater Manchester can appreciate nature more.

Alan Wright, communications manager for The Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: “We’re delighted the fish are being reintroduced and it ties in with the work we’re doing which is our Kingfisher Scheme – we’re trying to keep the river as clean as possible.

“We know the River is  improving as trout and salmon have been reported being seen there which is a good sign.”

If anyone would like to report an environmental issue please call the Environment Agency’s 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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