We at FiveRivers are experts in fish rescue and fish removal – it’s the reason why we’ve been chosen to work on projects with clients across the whole of the UK.

We’re here to ensure that projects such as channel diversion, dewatering and drain downs can be completed on time, on budget and according to legislation. Our fish rescue and fish removal specialists are trained and competent to work on construction sites, and are all CSCS trained to the appropriate level, including site supervision (SSSTS). Our experience of river engineering means we understand the needs of our clients, and we will work with you and/or your sub-contractors to develop a programme that keeps your project on schedule whilst minimising the environmental impact of your scheme.

We’re able to obtain all permits and consents on your behalf and can solve issues which you cannot solve alone, with liaison, consulting and early contractor involvement offered by our specialist fisheries ecologists.

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Fish rescue
In depth

What is fish rescue / fish removal?

Fish rescue or fish removal is an important element of any project which involves the dewatering or management of rivers, canals and lakes, among other types of waterbodies. The fish rescue/fish removal service also covers reservoir maintenance or decommissioning; bridge and culvert repairs; and the capture and movement of fish to a safe environment to protect them and prevent mortality. Fish removals/fish rescues may also be required for fisheries management purposes such as stock biomass reduction.

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Five Rivers’ well-trained team during a fish rescue
In depth

How do fish rescues/fish removals work?

Fish rescues/fish removals use the same techniques as those utilised in fish surveys: a combination of electric fishing and netting are used to safely capture and relocate fish present in a body of water. Once fish are caught, they are temporarily held to highest of welfare standards until they are moved to a receptor location agreed with the regulatory bodies. Our purpose-built transport tanks for fish removals/fish rescues are vehicle mounted allowing us to access any site and project of any scale. Our team leads have extensive electric fishing experience and are trained to manage operations on sensitive construction sites holding Site Supervisor SSSTS, CSCS and First Aid qualifications. All operatives are trained in-house to rigorous standards and hold current CSCS cards.

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Our well-trained team undertaking a fish removal
In depth

Why are fish rescues and fish removals necessary?

Wild fish populations are protected by UK and EU legislation, and are typically a regulatory condition of environmental permits, formerly known as Flood Defence Consents (FDC). Works that pose a risk of fish mortality require a fish rescue or fish removal; for this, we would recommend early engagement in order to precent programme delays. Our fish rescue/fish removal services include reactive and bespoke solutions to mitigate any risk to the environment, so get in touch to discuss your project needs.

We can provide full liaison with regulatory bodies (e.g. Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales etc.) and apply for all necessary consents saving you time and budget. In some circumstances a statutory Fish Health Check may be required and we provide sample collection and a health check undertaken by an Environment Agency-approved practitioner.

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Further Reading

Related Case Studies

Newton Valence Fish Removal

Working closely with the client to undertake a fish rescue; removing non-native goldfish (Carassius auratus) from the Newton Valence village pond, to assist recovery of the local common toad (Bufo bufo) population and enhance wider biodiversity at the site.

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Lower Neuadd fish rescue

FiveRivers were commissioned to undertake a large-scale fish removal and translocation from the Lower Neuadd reservoir in Wales. The project was delivered in two phases over two months.

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River re-alignment and river restoration on the Misbourne

The aim of this River Restoration project was the reconnection of the River Misbourne to its former paleo channel in the centre of the floodplain and restoration of the existing river channel for a total length of 1.14 km.

Learn more

Do you have a project in mind?

Tom Grayling - Director of Monitoring and Natural Capital at FiveRivers (5R)

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Talk to an expert in
fish rescue and fish removal.

Tom Grayling

Director of Monitoring and Natural Capital

Get in touch by either phone or email to speak with Tom and discuss your fish rescue/fish removal needs.