Back in 1990, a hundred barbel were released into the Irwell as an experiment to see if they would survive and breed in our dirty old river. Sadly, most died and the few survivors never really established themselves as breeding colony to re-populate the river. Maybe they did breed - but variable Irwell water quality would have quickly killed off any eggs or fry.
There have been tremendous improvements in water quality during the last few years - so the EA have decided to start a four year re-stocking program to try to establish a breeding population of fish in the river.
The first couple of hundred fish were stocked this afternoon at two points along the river, with more fish to come next year and the year after. Great news.
The fish are this years fry, and we hope that they will grow over the next couple of years.
And here they are in their new home - IRWELL BARBEL ! :)