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Fishing licence income funds £10,000 of equipment for use by West Norfolk angling clubs and fisheries

Waterways in West Norfolk will be among those which could benefit from £10,000 of new equipment designed to protect fish during the summer heat.

Fishing licence income has funded the gear which will help protect fisheries in East Anglia and save fish in distress due to the effects of hot and dry weather.

Environment Agency (EA) fisheries teams have bought a bank of equipment, including ten new aerators and eight hand-held dissolved oxygen meters, which will be available on loan to angling clubs and fisheries across the region to help if oxygen levels plummet as a result of warm weather.

As it gets hotter during the summer months, water temperature increases, which lowers dissolved oxygen levels and causes fish to become distressed and struggle for air. Water levels may decrease and algal blooms can also become more of a risk, both of which can impact oxygen levels.

The EA Fisheries team with the new equipment (11857958)
The EA Fisheries team with the new equipment (11857958)

Kye Jerrom, fisheries specialist for the EA in East Anglia, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to purchase these dissolved oxygen meters and aeration units thanks to fishing licence funding.

"We are preparing for a dry summer and potentially low water levels as we know these issues can impact fisheries and fishing, especially at lakes, and in extreme cases lead to fish deaths.

"We will loan this kit out to fisheries and angling clubs with potential water quality issues so they can monitor dissolved oxygen levels routinely, helping to prevent or prepare for fisheries incidents and alert us if things get worse."

The monitoring kit measures water quality, which can help predict algae blooms or detect very low oxygen levels. Environment Agency teams can be drafted in to assist with aeration, which helps re-oxygenate the water.

The equipment, which will be available to clubs or fisheries that have experienced issues in the past or are at high risk, was funded through the Fisheries Improvement Fund.

Steve Lane, fisheries specialist for the EA in East Anglia, said: "We have an aeration kit to loan out to angling clubs who can be emergency first responders. If an incident is ongoing, it can help for them to deploy the aerators and free up our resources to deal with other fisheries incidents."

Fishing licence income also funds two 24/7 dedicated fisheries duty officer who are on hand to assist fisheries with potential issues. If you spot dead or gasping fish report it to the incident hotline on 0800 807060.

Fishing licence income is essential for services like this.You can buy your licence by visiting www.gov.uk

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