HEAVY rainfall and flooding that has wreaked havoc in many parts of the country is seriously bad news for fish.

A leading fish expert believes the 2019 floods will have caused long-term damage, as well harming fry survival.

As Angler’s Mail revealed, some stillwaters have been badly affected by recent floods.

Ferryboat Farm Fisheries in South Yorkshire was totally flooded.

Even Oxfordshire’s top carp water Linear Fisheries had a break because of dangerous ground conditions.

Top environmental consultant Dr Ian Wellby, who runs Blue Roof Ltd, also believes that the flooding will have caused unwanted fish getting into rivers.

A lot of anglers have been wondering: what do floods mean for fish? Ian told Angler’s Mail the basics…

He said: “Fish struggle in floods to maintain their place in the river, particularly if the river has been impacted by flood defence-type operations where the river is straightened and widened, like many of our British rivers.

“Essentially, the fish, particularly the smaller fish, need to get out of the very high flows, and will seek shelter in areas of lower flow.

“If these are not available, the fish often get swept along with the current, either being washed out of the river at the estuary or pushed out onto the flood plains.

“This often means that they become stranded on the flood plain.

“The Environment Agency often do sterling work finding these fish and returning them to the river.

“River fisheries can help by creating habitat, such as back channels or connection to gravel pits.

“These make good refuges for the fish to escape from the full flow of the flood.

“The other problem is flooding that impacts on stillwaters in the flood plain, where fish can be washed out of their home into the river.

“This has led to lots of carp and also non-native species, such as sturgeon and catfish, being washed into our rivers,” Ian added.

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