Shropshire anglers rescue dying fish

Volunteers at Snailbeach Pool
Image caption The fish have been taken to other pools

Anglers have joined forces to rescue fish from a pool which had shrunk because of a lack of rain.

Volunteers from Shropshire Anglers' Federation used nets to collect the carp, roach and perch from Snailbeach Pool.

Federation chairman and water bailiff, John Roberts, said low rainfall and a possible leak were to blame for the water loss.

The fish will be kept elsewhere until the problems at Snailbeach are solved.

The larger fish were left struggling to survive and some of the smaller ones died as the water level dropped.

The federation manages all Shropshire Council owned pools and were asked by the council to come in and save the fish.

John Roberts said the problem had arisen very suddenly.

He said: "In two days there's probably two feet of bank gone."

Part of history

He said he thought a leak in an old valve in the pool, which was used to power static steam engines for the lead mines, was partly to blame for the sudden loss of water.

The pool was built around 1810 and Mr Roberts said it was a shame to lose it.

"It's part of history and it's a great pity to see it going," he said.

Watching the rescue operation were local twins Vincent and Vivian Chidley, who remember the last time the pool went dry.

Image caption Some of the smaller fish in Snailbeach Pool died

"It was in June 1955. Father got up to go work and all the fish were out in the overflow level in the trench. It remained dry all that summer," Vincent Chidley said.

Mr Roberts described the trench as the pool's "saviour".

"It's supposed to be 15ft (4.5m) deep, four or five paces wide and 70 yards (64m) long.

"What's happened is that it has filled up over the years with sludge so that the fish have got about a foot of water to swim around in," he said.

He wants to ask Shropshire Council Highways department to put in gullies to bring rain from the road at Lordshill, above the pool, to provide more water and keep it topped up.

Among the rescued fish were a carp weighing about 16lb (7.3kgs) and four or five weighing about 10lb (4.5kgs).

Mr Roberts said Snailbeach Pool would be restocked in a couple of years when the conditions were right.

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