Stocks of roach had fallen to an alarming low in the Avon, which flows from Wiltshire to the south coast. However, two anglers, Trevor Harrop and Adam Price fixed nets to wooden boards to replicate the walls of water moss that roach use to spawn in.
Once the eggs are laid they are taken to Mr. Harrop’s home in Hampshire to hatch. Four years later, after growing in private ponds, they are released into the Avon. The scheme, hailed as a success by the Environment Agency and natural England, is now being deployed in other rivers.
Mr Harrop said: “You can now look over bridges on the Avon at places like Ibsley and see huge shoals of fish in areas that were all but devoid of fish ten years ago”. He added that the scheme would now wind down as the roach population recovered.