Fish moved to canal after Stanton blaze

Replenishing fish stocks at the Erewash Canal months after Stanton blaze.

Replenishing fish stocks at the Erewash Canal months after Stanton blaze.

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Fish have been moved more than 160 miles to re-stock a stretch of the Erewash Canal where thousands died after the fire at Stanton.

As many as 10,000 fish died in the canal following the blaze which burned for two months at Arcwood Recycling in September last year.

The new fish – mainly roach, perch and bream – were stunned by an electric pulse in the Kennet and Avon Canal, near Devizes, and zipped up the country in specially oxygenated water tanks before being released into their new home.

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at the Canal and River Trust, which is responsible for the move, said: “Species like roach and perch are already in good numbers on the Kennet and Avon Canal and this activity will not only help to restore the fish population on the Erewash following last year’s serious pollution incident but will also help to maintain biodiversity at Caen Hill.

“This is an important project for the Erewash Canal in particular where angling plays such an important role to the local communities and businesses.

“It will restore the ecological balance of the canal and also ensure that anglers can once again enjoy fishing along its whole length.”

He added that the project was ‘essential’ to make sure fish and other wildlife could continue to flourish in the waterway, popular with walkers, cyclists and anglers alike.

Pollutants from the ironworks leaked into the canal as firefighters tackled the blaze, causing oxygen levels to decline suddenly.

The trust rescued around 90 per cent of fish – more than 5000lbs – and relocated them to other parts of the canal unaffected by the pollution.

More than 60 firefighters from crews across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire battled the blaze at its height over nine days.

Arcwood Recycilng was evicted from the site after the fire had burned for about a month.