Rescue parties have been set up in parts of the UK in an attempt to save fish and invertebrates that are struggling to deal with rapidly changing conditions brought about by the recent drought.
Jim Gurling, one of five rescuers deployed on the river Rye in Yorkshire by the Environment Agency said, speaking to the Guardian, “Never ever has it dried up this early in the year. It has a terrible effect. The fish can potentially die in the pools that develop. All the invertebrate life, which is normally absolutely amazing because it is such a healthy river, lose their habitat.”
The team was able to save 128 brown trout, as well as a range of other species, from the river using an electric current to drive the fish into nets, before putting them into tanks and returning them to a free flowing part of the river further upstream. Although Ryedale experienced showers on Tuesday, the rain will not reverse the damage that has already been done.
The current drought is affecting a variety of other rivers in England and rescue efforts will continue should the drought persist. To find out how you can help, visit the Environment Agency’s website or contact its 24-hour hotline on 0800 80 70 60.