Rescue op to save fish

Following the breach of the Union Canal last week after storms tore through West Lothian on Tuesday evening, resident fish in the canal had been left stranded.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 8:32 am
A rescue operation swung into action to save the stranded fish.

As part of the repair works, The Forth Rivers Trust undertook the difficult job of rescuing over 1000 fish from the pools of water downstream of the breach.

The seven-strong expert team has now rescued a variety of freshwater fish including; pike, perch, roach, eel, three spined stickleback and brown trout safely returning them to their natural habitat in the canal.

Now that water has receded to a manageable level the team of fish experts will continue their work using specialised techniques such as electrofishing and seine netting to safely catch and transfer the fish back into the canal system.

Dr Olivia Lassiere, Scottish Canals’ Environment Manager commented: “Scottish Canals has now carried out a series of initial works. Alongside our partners we have secured the area and completely stopped the flow of water at the breach, this was a challenging and difficult task completed by our professional team of maintenance staff.

“Scottish Canals is committed to responding to emerging environmental challenges by reducing our impact and enhancing the environment, it is integral to what Scottish Canals does now, and to our future success.

“In 2015 we published our ten-year environmental strategy which sets out how we will respond to emerging environmental challenges.

“We are committed to driving the conversation around climate change and who it affects such as our canal users, local resident and wildlife.