It is a question which I often hear from anglers when they cough up their hard-earned cash every year to pay for their fishing licence: “What does the Environment Agency do with the money?”
Apart from a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, such as flood defence and pollution issues plus administration costs which receive very little publicity, one of their major projects is at Calverton in Nottinghamshire which is the home of a huge fish farm.
The main species bred there are barbel, chub and roach plus many other species and the resulting fish are used to replenish stocks all over the country.
The latest figures released by the Environment Agency show that over the past year more than 400,000 fish will have been released with our region, the North East, gaining the biggest share with 20 per cent of the haul, which works out at around 83,500 fish. The North West and Midlands both collected 15 per cent (63,000).
The numbers of the various species stocked were chub (91,000), barbel (67,000), roach (56,000), grayling (54,000), rudd (46,000), bream (39,000), tench (37,000) and dace (18,000).
I reported recently that the River Aire below Keighley and several other places down to Thwaites Mill in Leeds had had an influx of barbel in the eight- to-nine inch category and these were thriving for fish from an earlier stocking a few years ago are now in the four-pound class.
From an article in The Yorkshire Evening Post on 27 February 2013