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Don’t bring fish to public pools – “it’s not fair on the fish”

Published: Thursday, 15th June 2017

Anglers and fish owners are being asked not to bring fish to public pools as Birmingham City Council takes steps to remove fish from Shenley Fields pool after 150 fish died there.

Birmingham City Council’s parks service manager, Joe Hayden, said: “The pool at Shenley Fields Recreation Ground is shallow and mainly fed by rainwater. It has therefore struggled for many years to sustain the fish population which has appeared there over time.

The council has not stocked the pool with fish, they have been brought there by unknown third parties. We suspect that this has been done by anglers to enable fishing and by people whose fish have outgrown their private garden ponds. Many of the fish there are large, ornamental species and are entirely unsuitable for this location.

Despite prolonged, and costly efforts to improve oxygenation of the pool there is an immediate fish welfare issue and so we have had to take urgent action to protect the fish.

“We would urge people not to bring fish to public pools. It’s not fair on the fish, and it’s an unnecessary financial burden to the city.”

Advisory notices will be put up around the park and the council will continue to monitor the pool.

Background information:

  • During warm weather, algal blooms form in pools which deplete the amount of oxygen within the water. This, together with excessive fish numbers and lack of fresh water inflow, can lead to adverse conditions quickly forming, which is what has happened at Shenley Pool.
  • Current conditions have significantly deteriorated and are severely impacting on the oxygen levels with the pool causing fish distress and fatalities (approximately 150 dead fish in the last two weeks).
  • Despite prolonged and costly efforts to improve oxygenation by aeration with pumps and jetting fresh water into the pool, conditions within the pool ecology have continued to deteriorate to a point where there is now an immediate fish welfare issue.
  • Officers at the council sought guidance from the Environment Agency and agreed that the most appropriate option was to remove the fish.
  • A local fishery has been commissioned to undertake the operation quickly in order to save as many fish as possible. The fish will then be relocated to more suitable pools within the city.


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