A group of Devon pupils have released over 100 tiny salmon fry into the River Culm as part of World Fish Migration Day, which took place recently.
The fish were delivered to the Culmstock Primary School in Devon as part of a project called ‘Salmon in the Classroom’, run by local environmental charity, the Westcountry Rivers Trust. In the days leading up to the event, the fry, which had been reared in a local hatchery, were taken by a group of the children to their local river where they were released into the water.
John Hickey from the Westcountry Rivers Trust said: “While visiting the release site, the children also had some close encounters with the bugs and beasties that live in the river. A sample was taken to identify which aquatic invertebrates were living in the river water. There were some unusual species in the sample taken on the Culm, including stoneflies.”
'Salmon in the Classroom' is part of the Axe and Exe River Improvement Project, funded by the Environment Agency’s Catchment Restoration Fund. The Westcountry Rivers Trust is the lead partner in this project. The released fry will help boost the wild salmon population in the River Culm, as part of conservation efforts to prevent further decline of Atlantic salmon populations in the UK.
The pupils of Culmstock Primary School are hopeful that the fry they have released will one day make it back to the Culm to breed, ensuring that the Atlantic salmon has a future in the rivers of the Westcountry.
The goal of World Fish Migration Day is to raise public awareness for free routes for migratory fish and healthy rivers worldwide. For more information, visit www.worldfishmigrationday.com