Barbel released into River Swale as part of improvement project

Member of Richmond & District Angling Society releases a batch of barbel into the River Swale.

The fish population of the River Swale has been boosted with the release of more than 2,000 juvenile barbel into the river.

The release in the river below Richmond is part of an initiative by the Environment Agency and Richmond & District Angling Society (R&DAS).

It is hoped that a further 6,000 barbel will be released into selective fisheries above Topcliffe Weir over three years to give nature a helping hand.

The stocking is being carried out in response to declining numbers of barbel above this barrier in recent years.

The fish are being sourced from the Environment Agency’s hatchery at Calverton in Nottinghamshire.

R&DAS secretary Phil Brown said that the society was carrying out a programme of habitat improvement along several miles of river fished by its members between Richmond and Great Langton.

Based on a survey carried out by the Wild Trout Trust, R&DAS had embarked on a series of activities to improve habitat for fish to feed, shelter and breed in the river and its feeder streams.

The club says the work would also benefit other wildlife such as aquatic insects and species which feed on them.

David Morley, Environment Agency fisheries technical officer for the River Swale, said that the EA had been involved in similar initiatives on Yorkshire rivers over recent years collaborating with clubs whose members were prepared to roll up their sleeves.

“Projects on rivers throughout the Yorkshire region have improved conditions for both wildlife and anglers.

“With the help of angling clubs and habitat improvement groups such as the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, along with cooperation from environmentally aware landowners, a lot has been achieved and I am sure that the River Swale will see similar benefits as the improvement projects roll out.”


  1. Great news, long overdue recognition of this problem. Lets hope they’re not cannon fodder for the otters and cormorants. Habitat improvement also needs to be considered to replace lost willows and damaged bankside. Its not a simple solution to put in some fish and think its fixed, more complex than that, although its a start.

  2. As an avid angler on the swale for umpteen years i commend you for your conservation work,water managment,fish stocking etc but until you address the serious otter problem all you are doing is feeding otters.

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