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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Fish in drained reservoir are distressed, say anglers

Fish in drained reservoir are distressed, say anglers

ANGLERS have complained about fish in distress being picked off by birds in the last remaining waters of Llanishen Reservoir.

Hobby fishermen accused the Environment Agency of not doing enough to protect wildlife when it approved reservoir owner Western Power Distribution’s bid to drain the historic site.

The Agency said last night that it had launched an immediate investigation but had not found any fish in distress.

It said site owner Western Power Distribution had a system in place to move fish to other water bodies and it would make sure this was followed.

David Bond, secretary of the Cardiff Fly Fishing Association, said the system was not working well enough to protect the last fish.

He said: “Now it’s just a few large puddles. You have got fish in there – the cormorants are waiting around the edge just picking the fish out from the shallow water.”

The 63-year-old fly-fished at Llanishen Reservoir for around four years in the mid-1990s, before Western Power Distribution (WPD) acquired the reservoir from the Hyder group in 2000.

Mr Bond was warned by several members of the fly-fishing group about the number of cormorants at the reservoir.

He said: “Through fishing for the number of years that I did, I know there are lots of species. There are brown trout and eels; they are a protected species and there are probably many other fish as well.

“I know there are large eels in there because when we were fly-fishing we caught them over 8lb. It was specimen fish.

“I can’t understand that the Environment Agency are letting them pump the reservoir right down.

“That has destroyed the environment for that area – the frogs, toads, weasels, stoats, grass snakes, adders – it was a mini environment in there and it’s all gone.”

Andrew Hill, chairman of Reservoir Action Group (RAG), said: “There are a lot of small fish like sticklebacks. They have been coming through the channel out through the tunnel below the reservoir.

“There is a lot of fish left in the remaining water, you can see them breaking the surface. All the herons in Christendom are having a feast now.”

WPD, which is fighting a battle to build more than 300 homes at the Grade II listed site, despite being repeatedly refused planning permission, declined to comment.

It was granted permission to drain the site because the reservoir’s inspecting engineer said it could be justified, in the event of a change of use, to inspect a pipe beneath the floor of the reservoir.

A spokesman from Environment Agency Wales said: “We have received reports of fish in distress at the reservoir and we launched an immediate investigation. However, after visiting the site we did not find any evidence to back up the reports.

“We are already keeping a close eye on any impact on wildlife and the environment of the work in Llanishen.”

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