On the 26th May 2021 we had the pleasure of welcoming Lewis Thomas, the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Officer for the Hertfordshire & North London (Colne Catchment) to our Chorleywood site.
Lewis contacted us few weeks before his visit as TMC Chorleywood site sits just on the river Chess; the water hugs our site and forms a large pond with a little stream just connecting it with the main river Chess. It’s exactly this spot that Lewis had chosen for the release of 1000 grayling fingerlings!
1000 little grayling were kept in very large plastic bags with water and lots of oxygenated air. Lewis was ever so carful in handling the bags and, as you can see from the video, it was a smooth & successful operation.
Grayling (Thymallus thymallus) are beautiful freshwater fish also known as the ‘Lady of the stream’ with their silvery body, large scales, light coloured belly, and an eye catching large dorsal fin with streaks of green, orange, purple and red.Their ideal water habitat is quick flowing and well-oxygenated water with clean gravel beds, and like brown trout, they love a good sequence of pool, riffle, glide and run.
The grayling population, that once thrived in the river Chess had all but disappeared due to pollution, low flows and barriers to fish migration. With many of the Impact being addressed and flows being the best they have been in a number of years through abstraction reductions now was the time to start the Grayling reintroduction initiative.
What Lewis did today is part of a three to five year initiative from the Environment Agency aiming to boost the population of Grayling within the river Chess.
Lewis, together with a colleague, released about 4000 2 month old grayling in three different locations along the Chess.
The grayling released in May were bred at the Calverton Fish Farm on the outskirts of Nottingham, and their ‘parents’ come from the river Derwent in Yorkshire. Coincidentally, these little grayling were reared under our very own Biolumen LED Lighting System! This system offers the unique ability to give the correct spectrum and fine level control for breeding and research applications in aquaculture and agriculture. The other areas chosen for their reintroduction to the wild were the Chess at Scott Bridge Mill (1000), above Latimer lakes on the Little Chess (2000). The project is funded through Rod Licence revenue.
TMC is proud to associate with the Environment Agency, who share our same love for nature preservation and for the environment in general.
We thank Lewis for the opportunity to share this experience and we look forwards checking the progress of the grayling soon!
Please click here to see the video!