Rains could do damage to Delph

CHRIS BISHOP There are fears flooding could threaten fish populations in the Delph, where heavy rains have seen the Ouse Washes flood and heavy run-offs.Yesterday, the RSPB said 1,000 pairs of birds had lost their eggs or newly-hatched chicks as levels rose over the weekend, including some of Britain's rarest waders.

CHRIS BISHOP

There are fears flooding could threaten fish populations in the Delph, where heavy rains have seen the Ouse Washes flood and heavy run-offs.

Yesterday, the RSPB said 1,000 pairs of birds had lost their eggs or newly-hatched chicks as levels rose over the weekend, including some of Britain's rarest waders.

Last night Environment Agency fisheries scientist Paul Wilkanowski said: “Strong flows at this time of the the year are generally bad news for fish fry. Most river species spawn between March and late May.


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“The fry in mid June will be extremely small and poor swimmers unable to maintain position instream during periods of high flows. “This can result in a downstream displacement and potentially fry can be flushed out into the tidal river where they are likely to perish.

“Another result of this summer flooding is the potential for poor quality water to drain back into the river after sitting on the washland for several weeks. This situation in past years has led to major fish kills in the lower reaches of the Delph.”

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The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain fears some rivers in the Fens exhibit missing year classes of pike, meaning there are seasons when they fail to spawn successfully in some areas due to fluctuating levels and run-offs.

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