Monday, October 08, 2007

Migrating pike are caught on camera

Pike have been caught on camera using a fish pass built to enable them to migrate from a tidal river.

Digital CCTV technology is being used by the Environment Agency to monitor migrating fish numbers in the River Nene.

It monitors all fish which pass through Dog in a Doublet sluice, near Peterborough.

Data is then recorded and hours of footage can be downloaded from the computer on site.

EA scientists then have the laborious task of watching the footage and noting down each fish that goes past.

Some of the fish that have already been caught on candid camera include roach, eel and some large specimens of pike.

Technical specialist Chris Randall said: "This new technology helps us to get a picture of the species and number of fish using the pass, an indicator of the quality of the health of the river.

"It also makes monitoring more efficient, as our staff no longer have to spend time going to and from Dog in a Doublet to empty the fish traps. This means that we can use our limited resources to improve fisheries elsewhere in the region.

‘This is the first time the Environment Agency in Anglian Region has made use of this CCTV technology to monitor fish numbers and if successful we will consider using it where other more traditional techniques are not available."