Fight Invasive Species
Managing Our Fisheries:Fight Invasive Species | Control Predators | Keep Fish Healthy
Our country's watercourses are plagued with non-native invasive plants and animals which damage fisheries, the ecology of the water, and in some cases cause physical harm to anglers and other water users. Signal crayfish eat fish eggs, small fish and water plants, mink take fish, water voles and birds. Cormorants take small fish and cause injury and stress to larger specimens. Floating pennywort chokes rivers and streams and can starve fish of oxygen. Himalayan balsam takes over whole stretches of riverbanks, leaving them exposed to erosion when it dies back in the autumn and the waterway damaged by siltation. Giant hogweed infests whole river systems and prevents anglers reaching the water - even momentary contact with the skin causes painful blisters.
These problems are not new, but there is a lack of coordinated action to address these problems which affect not only the enjoyment of angling, but also the health of river ecosystems. Government agencies are good at talking about these issues but do very little unless we put them under pressure.
Stopping the spread of invasive species at the start is considerably cheaper than trying to remove the problem after a couple of seasons' growth.
What we will do:
- Campaign for Government and its agencies to take and fund concerted action throughout the Country.
- Continue to develop our project, funded by the Environment Agency, to work with clubs, fisheries and riparian owners to map non-native invasive weeds and animals.
- Provide fact sheets and identification charts to member clubs, fisheries and riparian owners and develop an online reporting tool. Offer advice to members for remedial action and where to report actions taken (e.g. contacting local council about knotweed and giant hogweed, pulling Himalayan balsam etc.). Click HERE for more info.
- Provide detailed information to the Environment Agency and the Local Government Association and continue to work with the Non Native Species Secretariat in developing national campaigns against damaging non native species.
- Employ volunteer co-ordinators to lead work parties clearing invasive weeds.
- Bid for funding to take action on a catchment basis in partnership with Rivers Trusts and consultatives.
- Develop sophisticated mapping systems for monitoring the presence of invasive species and recording action taken to address the problems.
- Implement political campaigns for action to be taken and funding to be made available for control and eradication of invasive species.