Erewash Canal to be restocked with thousands of fish after pollution from recycling centre fire
THOUSANDS of fish are to moved into Erewash Canal following the massive fire at a nearby recycling centre which burned for nearly two months last year.
The blaze at the Arcwood recycling centre in Lows Lane, Stanton by Dale, which started on September 15, was attended by fire crews continuously for nine days and, at its height, had 60 firefighters in attendance.
About 8,000 tonnes of wood at the plant went up in smoke, with plumes visible from the M1.
The majority of the £298,000 cost to taxpayers, however, was caused by the unexpected impact on wildlife and the danger posed by the fire to the environment.
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The Environment Agency spent two weeks on site and rescued 100,000 fish in the canal as water being used to extinugish the fire began to de-oxygenate the water.
Thousands of fish were killed but replacement fish are now being moved from the Kennet and Avon Canal, while lock repairs are being carried out on the Bath Flight.
The creatures - mainly roach, perch and bream - will be temporarily stunned with a low electric pulse from a probe, before being netted and transported in vehicles with specially oxygenated water tanks.
Oda Dijksterhuis, ecologist at the Canal and River Trust, behind the project, said: "Species like roach and perch are already in good numbers on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
"This activity will not only help to restore the fish population on the Erewash Canal following last year's serious pollution incident but will also help to maintain biodiversity at Caen Hill.
"We have carried out similar relocation projects in the last three or four years at Caen Hill. The results have been fantastic for other aquatic wildlife, with water clarity improving significantly and various rare and special water creatures, as well as aquatic plant,s returning that we haven't seen in the canal for years."