Fish removals and rescues

There are times when, due to unforeseen events or scheduled work, fish need to be rescued and we are well equipped and very experienced in this type of work. There are generally two types of fish rescue work; these are planned rescues and emergency rescues. Depending on the type of fish rescue required we can ensure the correct equipment and methods are used to minimise stress and fatalities in the fish population and ensure that work is completed to a high professional standard.


Emergency fish rescue is unfortunately common during the hot summer months when diurnal shifts of oxygen and pH can cause catastrophic algal crashes resulting in virtually oxygen depleted conditions, Typically these situations occur most commonly between July and October on heavily stocked, shallow and silty lakes and ponds.

We can provide a 24 hour call out service anywhere in the UK and are normally mobile within 45 minutes of receiving a call. We will provide a minimum of: two aerators with generator or one aerator and one high volume pump, two staff and fish handling equipment. We regret that we cannot move fish under any circumstance move fish to another water unless there is valid Environment Agency consent in place or the Environment Agency give us direct permission. If you would like us to undertake an emergency fish rescue please contact us on 07782 109180. Please be aware that minimum charges apply for this service, these will be discussed at the time of your call.

Emergency fish rescues are expensive and as such we would prefer to visit at a time when there is no emergency to look at your water and offer advice on measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of sudden fish mortality. It is worth considering that by the time you realise there are fish dying in your water that it is simply a damage limitation exercise, probably a beneficial one but this will depend on individual circumstances.

Planned fish rescues

These are the easier type of rescue to undertake as we have the advantage of being able to plan the work and ensure that the fish can be moved, to another location if necessary Typically a planned removal will be required prior to engineering work that will necessitate the water being drained or work that could affect fish populations.

Typically where this sort of rescue is undertaken there will be a survey prior to the actual fish rescue. This allows both us and the client to understand the dynamics of the fish population and plan accordingly, and also allows for a health test to be completed. Once the survey is complete we will have a good understanding of the species, size and number of fish present, we also have the health status allowing us to ascertain if the fish can be moved to another lake or in some cases, unfortunately have to be humanely culled. When culling is required we use modern fish euthanasia drugs to ensure no suffering.

Once the survey results have been reviewed by the client we can then plan for moving the fish to a suitable home, sometimes to return to the original water at a later date and sometimes to be rehomed permanently. In the past year we have donated thousands of Roach and Rudd to the Environment Agency on behalf of our clients for re-stocking other waters.

Typically these planned rescues rely on a tight timescale and are, usually, subject to authorisation from the Environment Agency. We can plan and undertake a fish survey and rescue in less than 7 days. Obviously these projects vary enormously so please contact our consultants for further advice.

To demonstrate some of our expertise in this area some of our projects include:

  • A survey and fish rescues for National Trust and varied properties prior to de-silting/engineering works
  • A dedicated lamprey rescue at a lake being drained for de-silting
  • A survey and fish rescue for a utility company decommissioning a reservoir
  • A fish rescue for a lake affected by drought

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