4/8/2017 – Electrofishing the Cale

The electrofishing team heading into the water.

Back in September 2013 the Environment Agency carried out a controlled Electro fish in the River Cale: the results were pretty sad, with only four fish being recorded over a 100 metre stretch of the river. In October 2014, in recognition of the work of C.A.T.C.H. over 2,500 fish were released into the Cale near to the skatepark. So today, 4th August 2017, there was a nervous wait for the results of another Electro fish.

Several small fish waiting to be counted and safely returned.

It is with a huge grin, and thanks to the hard work of so many, we are able to report that there was an abundance of fish. Seven species were identified and well over 50 fish were recorded in a similar stretch as the 2013 survey. Smaller species, notably loach, minnows and bullheads, were present in numbers too great to count, while roach, dace and chub were all present in good numbers – some of which were less than two years old, indicating that those released in 2014 have spawned new generations in the time since, while others have reached an impressive size. All of this is clear indication that the Cale is in a very healthy state as it flows through the Recreation ground.

Measuring the fish. This is a good-sized specimen.

It is important to note that the fish are not harmed, and are returned back to the same stretch of water once they have been held for a short while in a holding tank and recorded. We would like to express our thanks particularly to Wessex Water, The Environment Agency, Dorset Wildlife Trust, The Stour Catchment Initiative and everyone that joined us, helping to make it a day to remember.

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