PBA has an outstanding reputation in aquatic ecology, and are proud to offer a variety of fisheries services, including: fish survey, fish rescues, habitat survey and restoration, and fisheries management.
Fish are a prominent feature of most freshwater systems, and are amongst the most highly protected fauna. Fish surveys and rescues are often required for developments affecting all types of watercourses or still water (channel realignment, abstraction, hydro schemes, or any in-channel works etc.).
Electro-fishing surveys may be conducted as either 100m single sweeps or 50m three-run depletion surveys. These can be used to assess which fish species are present, numbers (density) present, the population structure (via ageing) and the condition of fish. All surveys are carried out to the Environment Agency’s Electric Fishing Code of Practice, or those of relevant country agencies. Electrofishing consent is required before we can undertake a survey or rescue. Fish measurements are taken and when required fish ageing and/or fish health checks undertaken.
Survey data from 100m single sweeps can be used to assess the population status and WFD status. Data collected from 50m three-sweep depletion surveys allows even greater interpretation, such as statistical comparison between sites and over years.
Other fish survey methods include fyke netting, seine-netting and specialist class/age sampling techniques, and PBA applies the highest regard to biosecurity in every case.
Fish rescues are required to prevent fish stranding, when engineering works (re-alignment, in-channel construction etc.) on a river or stream require the diversion or removal of waters. Generally, fish rescues may include repeat electro-fishing runs, though a wider range of techniques are also employed to achieve effective and removal, whilst maintaining
the highest standards of animal welfare.
Fish habitat and restoration
PBA conduct fish habitat surveys and assessments, including bed substrate analysis, and provide advice on methods and techniques for improving sites for spawning and shelter. Improving access for fish to upstream reaches is driven by the WFD; works can include designing, and installing fish/eel passes and the removal of barriers.
As truly Applied Ecologists, we can also assist with practical fisheries planning and management. Our personnel have been involved in the re-naturalising of native brown trout populations at two well-known fisheries, and are currently participating in major catchment restoration works. We are also able to call upon extensive experience in fish habitat management and improvement, and bring to bear a wealth of practical experience and related sciences.
In addition, we have national expertise in crayfish survey and mitigation; services which are often required along-side fish works. Please visit our White-clawed crayfish page for more information.
If you have any queries or think you may require these services please contact us.