More than 1000 fish rescued after last week’s storm left 30m hole in Union Canal

Work is ongoing to rescue more fish stranded as a result of last week’s incident, reports The Forth Rivers Trust.
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More than 1000 fish, stranded as a result of the breach in the Union Canal, have been rescued.

As mass flooding and thunderstorms battered the country last week (Aug 12), a 30 metre-wide hole was reported in the Linlithgow area where part of the embankment was washed away in the storm.

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Since then, a series of initial works have been carried out by Scottish Canals and their partners to secure the area and completely stop the flow of water at the breach.

As part of the works, The Forth Rivers Trust have undertaken the professional and diligent job of rescuing over 1000 fish from the pools of water downstream of the breach.

However, work is still ongoing to rescue more fish which have been stranded as a result of the incident.

Dr Olivia Lassiere, Scottish Canals’ Environment Manager, said: "Following last week’s severe weather across Scotland which resulted in a breach of the Union Canal near the A801 between Polmont and Muiravonside, Scottish Canals has now carried out a series of initial works.

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“Alongside our partners we have secured the area and completely stopped the flow of water at the breach, this was a challenging task completed by our professional team.

Following last week’s severe weather, which resulted in a breach of the Union Canal, Scottish Canals has now carried out a series of initial works.Following last week’s severe weather, which resulted in a breach of the Union Canal, Scottish Canals has now carried out a series of initial works.
Following last week’s severe weather, which resulted in a breach of the Union Canal, Scottish Canals has now carried out a series of initial works.

“As part of the works, The Forth Rivers Trust have undertaken the professional and diligent 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 returning them to their natural habitat in the canal.

“Over the course of the weekend staff from both Scottish Canals and the Forth Rivers Trust maintained a presence onsite to monitor the water levels of larger pools downstream of the breach which were too large for to mount an effective rescue operation.

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“Now that water has receded to a manageable level the team of fish experts will continue their work today.”

The team are using techniques including electrofishing and seine netting to safely catch and transfer the fish from the pools back into the canal.

The statement added: “We are grateful for our partners’ quick response and diligence in rescuing canal fish which were stranded as a result of this incident.”

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