Maggot Times - February 2003
The Environment Agency, in partnership with local Angling organisations, are releasing 2500 Barbel into the River Stour. The stocking will take place on February 20 at 5 sites across the River, from Brundon Mill to Nayland.
Historically it is believed that Barbel were present in the River Stour, but numbers had reached a low level probably due to modifications to the river and loss of suitable habitat. The Environment Agency aims to make the population sustainable with a phased stocking programme and environmental enhancements.
This is the second phase of Barbel stocking in the River, last year 3600 Barbel were released at a number of sites from Stoke-by-Clare to Boxted. The Barbel being released have been marked with a coloured dye in one of their fin rays so that their future growth, survival and movement can be monitored.
The sites chosen were identified by Dr Paul Garner, in a study commissioned by the Environment Agency, and will ensure suitable habitat for all life stages of the Barbel. Furthermore a series of habitat improvements are planned for this year to enhance spawning and fry habitat for Barbel and other fish species in the river.
The River Stour is the only river in Essex with the potential for a thriving Barbel population. Anglers welcome the opportunity for a river Barbel fishery in this area and are working in partnership with the Agency to ensure the long-term success of this project.
More than 1,000 fish have died after a major pollution mishap in Lincolnshire. The Environment Agency says 10 miles of the River Slea near Sleaford have been polluted by pesticide.
The incident happened on Sunday between Sleaford and South Kyme.
Peter Clarricoates, a retired Environment Agency worker who lives in the area said:
"It is a complete wipe out and something very nasty has gone through there, it looked like something more deadly than a gallon of paint thinner, that's for sure.
"I have seen dead fish and eels all over - everything in the river seemed dead,"
The river was stocked with dace, pike, roach and trout, he said.
The Environment Agency is cleaning up the river after the category-one incident.
The exact source of the pollution is not yet known.
Other eyewitnesses reported seeing hundreds of dead fish lying on the riverbed over an extended length of the river.
Headline: Fish Don't Feel Pain
The biggest ever study into fish neurology has found that the brain of a fish is not developed enough to feel pain or feel fear.
James D Rose, 60, a professor of zoology and physiology at the University Of Wyoming, USA, has published the report in the American academic journal ‘Reviews In Fisheries Science’ and has compared the nervous systems and responses of fish and mammals and found that pain is an emotional or psychological response controlled by a part of the brain that is not present in fish.
He said that previous studies that claimed that fish do feel pain were confusing the emotion with the fish’s ability to detect when it had an injury.
Professor Rose stated: “A person who is anaesthetised in an operating theatre will still respond physically to an external stimulus but will not feel pain.
“There are people who aren’t comfortable with my findings but even those who don’t accept them have yet to raise any scientific challenge.”
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