THE recent period of extended dry weather has forced environmental experts to act to preserve fish populations.

Sections of the River Tarrant have ran dry in recent weeks and actions was needed.

Officers from the Environment Agency have rescued fish from the North Dorset river and transferred them to the nearby River Stour.

Several species were involved in the move, include salmon and brown trout, which are particularly prominent in the River Tarrant.

The action by the Environment Agency comes after reportedly the driest June since 1925.

A spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency has been rescuing fish from the River Tarrant due to the prolonged dry weather.

“The River Tarrant is one of England’s most productive brown trout locations and the main spawning ground for salmon and trout in the middle reaches of the nearby River Stour.

“Due to the unusual nature of the chalk stream, downstream sections can dry up – leaving fish stranded upstream and open to predation.”

Sine the end of June, Environment Agency teams have responded to 44 signifcant environmental incidents across the country, including algal blooms, low river flows and fish rescues.

The work in North Dorset to clear part of the River Tarrant and transfer fish to the River Stour was carried out over several days.

“We do this by catching fish using our electro-fishing method,” the spokesperson added.

“Fish are drawn to the electrical current emitted through a halo-tipped pole and caught, put aside, and later released. We also clear away vegetation to find any hidden fish.

“The number of fish rescued from each stretch varies, but around 3,000 fish are rescued during a low flow year like the one being experienced.”