Rare arctic fish released into Welsh lakes to help increase numbers

Wales Environment Agency rear 7,500 Arctic Char in an effort to combat diminishing stocks of one of Britain’s rarest fish species

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Two thousand young ‘Arctic Char’ have been added to two lakes in Wales in order to increase numbers of a declining species.

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Following a recent survey of Arctic Char in Llyn Padarn, Llanberis, there was concern that their numbers were falling. After the news, the Environment Agency Wales (EAW) reared 7500 fish to a length of 15cm in order to help restock the lake.
So far, 800 fish have been released into the lake and 1,600 have also been added to Llyn Crafnant, a lake in the Conwy Valley.

No other freshwater fish ventures as far north as the Arctic Char, a native to arctic waters, and in Wales it can only be found in a few cold deep lakes in the north of the country.

EAW area manager David Edwell said “The Arctic char need a good habitat to thrive… Setting up the secondary population is a safety net – but we are determined to find a way to improve the conditions at Llyn Padarn so they can continue to inhabit the lake.

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With the agency keen to protect the species, all the fish released into the rivers have been clipped to help anglers distinguish between the protected Arctic Char and other fish.