VIDEO: Major fish rescue ahead of canal lock maintenance project in Sheffield

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Hundreds of fish are being relocated during vital restoration and repair work to a Sheffield canal lock.

Fish rescue specialists MEM Fisheries are using an electrofishing technique to temporarily stun the fish, so they float to the surface and can be transferred to unaffected stretches of the canal.

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. Pictured with the new gates are Mark Lowndes, and Paul Tonge with the new gates.

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. Pictured with the new gates are Mark Lowndes, and Paul Tonge with the new gates.

Trust maintenance specialists will be replacing the lock gates – for the first time in nearly 30 years – during the work

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager, said: “The Sheffield and Tinsley Navigation is an important habitat for a variety of fish and before we do any work our priority is to make sure we protect the species that call the canals home.

“Electrofishing allows us to safely locate and move the fish, without hurting them at all.

“It’s also a great chance to see the variety of life our canals support and we’re expecting to see hundreds of fish including roach, bream and pike.”

“Electrofishing allows us to safely locate and move the fish, without hurting them at all.

The work comes as part of the Canal and River Trust’s £45 million five-month maintenance programme for canals and rivers across England and Wales.

The lock gates were last changed in 1987.

During the works a special behind the scenes open day into the drained lock is planned. This Sunday, between 9.30am and 3.30pm visitors will get a chance to walk along the drained lock floor at lock 10 and find out about how the heritage work is carried out.

Richard Parry, trust chief executive, said: “The trust cares for a remarkable network of historic waterways which are still working just as they were designed to 200 years ago.

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. The fish are rescued from the water and transfered to a safe part of the lock.

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. The fish are rescued from the water and transfered to a safe part of the lock.

“Keeping them open and safe requires a huge amount of planning, investment and craftsmanship and involves a range of experts, from civil engineers and hydrologists to heritage experts and ecologists.

“This winter we are spending £45 million on essential repairs and restorations and routine maintenance to our canals and rivers. By showcasing this work to the public, we can give them a glimpse of the craftsmanship of the waterways’ original 18th Century design and the scale of the work we do to care for it.

“We hope this will inspire more people to get involved, to enjoy and help support their local canal or river navigation.”

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. The fish are rescued from the water and transfered to a safe part of the lock.

A fish rescue took place at lock 10 on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal near Meadowhall ahead of a major project to replace the lock gates. The fish are rescued from the water and transfered to a safe part of the lock.