Brown trout are found in streams and upper reaches of rivers wherever the water is clean, clear and fast. However, diffuse pollution, land drainage, flood control measures and lack of systematic habitat management have led to a decline in stocks and distribution.
This, combined with the increasing popularity of fly fishing, has led riparian owners to rely on stocking of fry and adult fish for their fisheries. Stocking will continue to make sense if income from fishermen helps pay for habitat management, but it is important that wild native brown trout are conserved and sustained on all river trout fisheries. One method of ensuring the wild population isn't affected by stocked fish is through the use of triploid stocking.
Our studies aim to understand the ramifications of stocking in order to ascertain what methods are most favourable to the natural wild stock. In addition, with others, we are undertaking and evaluating habitat restoration programmes on selected river catchments.