Moves to help boost eel numbers

A conservation scheme to help increase the number of eels is being introduced to rivers in Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria.

Eel passes, which are constructed using bristle boards the eels can push against, allow the fish to get past weirs and flood defences.

Inflatable buoys will also be attached to drainage flaps to keep them open to allow endangered eels to swim upriver.

The scheme is funded by the Co-operative Group and the Rivers Trust.

Conservationists hope that the eels, who are all born in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda, will be able to swim as far as Lake Windermere, where they haven't been sighted in more than 30 years.

Eels are an important part of the food chain, which help maintain otter and bittern populations.

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