Friday, 16 April 2010

Petition launched to save fishing at Chasewater

Repairs to a Midlands reservoir will see fish removed to other waters.

But anglers have been told the venue they have enjoyed for more than a century will not be re-stocked once the work has been carried out.

Chasewater Dam was built in the late 18th Century to supply water for the growing network of canals. But 200 years later British Waterways and council officials say the 300ha water must be drained to stabilise its earth banks.

Now anglers have been told Lichfield council does not plan to replenish stocks after the £2.5m project is completed.

"The private contractors were willing to carry out the works for a considerable charge, but would sell the fish as part of the process," the council says.

"British Waterways on the other hand are happy to rehome the fish in local waterways, but once rehomed, the fish will be owned by British Waterways and will not be returned to Chasewater.

"Once the water levels and the ecology of the reservoir are back to acceptable levels, we could theoretically consider restocking the pools with new fish, but as we only make less than £500 from angling licenses a year, we won’t have available monies to do this. The lake’s SSSI status would also restrict how we could restock the reservoir, and no alien species or trout would be allowed back."

Fish including pike and bream are are already dying as water levels fall, according to newspaper reports.

A council blog details progress of the work here.

A petition has been launched, calling for re-stocking once work is complete. Click here to sign it.

+++More on this on Monday...

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