Iconic Ice Age species found in Ennerdale Water no longer on the brink of extinction

A recent survey of the Arctic Charr has found an increase in the population in Ennerdale Water in Cumbria.

The Ennerdale Arctic Charr Restoration project, led by the Environment Agency with money from fishing licences and delivered in partnership with the Forestry Commission and Wild Ennerdale, was set up to boost numbers of the iconic Ice Age relic species in Ennerdale Water.

The species was on the brink of extinction and the fish found in Ennerdale are thought to be the last spawning in an English river.

During November, the spawning season, the Environment Agency monitors the unique English Charr as they migrate into nearby river tributaries. This year’s survey has shown that Charr numbers have increased significantly and the project is now in the monitoring phase.

Peter McCollough, Fisheries Officer at the Environment Agency, said:
We have been working hard to protect Arctic Charr which was a species sadly at the brink of extinction. This restoration project was set up to boost numbers and we are pleased to see this is making a real difference. This project is one of many ways in which money from fishing licence sales is used to protect and improve fisheries.

While undertaking this year’s survey, the Cumbria and Lancashire Fisheries Operations teams collected 40 separate samples of Arctic Charr DNA for the University of Glasgow as part of wider research projects into UK Arctic Charr populations.

This project has been part funded by money generated from fishing licence sales. All revenue generated from fishing licence sales is reinvested in maintaining, improving and developing fisheries. Work undertaken by the fisheries team includes tackling illegal fishing, protecting and restoring habitats for fish and improving facilities for anglers.