Freight back on Aire & Calder after silly fish deaths claim

Published: Thursday, 17 March 2022

COMMON sense has prevailed with freight resumed on the Aire & Calder Navigation.

Freight stopped for eight weeks

This was after Canal & River Trust stopped the freight for eight weeks after the Angling Trust made the ridiculous claim that a barge had killed 100 fish on the wide waterway.

Aire CalderThe trust took the decision to pause freight, believing the reports from the Angling Trust following reports in December 2021 and January 2022 of fish deaths on a localised stretch of the navigation at Knottingley caused by a passing boat.

However, extensive investigation, led by the Trust’s environmental and fisheries teams, with the assistance of local freight operators, has involved analysing silt and water samples taken from several locations along the navigation during pre-arranged freight barge passages. (The picture shows the wide Aire & Calder Navigation.)

Did not cause the deaths

The trust now admits it was not a barge that called the deaths—if in fact there were any deaths—with Sean McGinley, Director Yorkshire & North East, explaining the findings:

“The tests we have conducted have not identified anything in the silt samples we have taken which would explain the fish deaths or which give us cause for concern."

One good thing however has come from this Angling Trust fiasco—the Trust will be dredging more sections of Aire & Calder in April to support ongoing freight movements.