The Canal & River Trust has rescued over 7,000 fish following a collapsed culvert beneath the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Melling.
Engineers were called out following reports of water flowing out of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Melling on the 12th of June. They worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning, assisting emergency services to stop the flow of water which initially channelled into an adjacent field.
They then organised a fish rescue over three days, retrieving fish from the canal but also some that had been washed into the nearby field. Over 7,000 fish, including: bream, carp, pike, roach, and some eels, weighing a total of 1100lb, were safely put back into the canal away from the drained section.
The canal is currently closed to navigation from Bridge 10 (Holmes Swing Bridge) into Liverpool.
Canal & River Trust engineers are now installing more permanent damns at Bridge 9C (Spencer’s Lane) and Bridge 10 (Holmes Swing Bridge) on site to safely secure the affected area which is about 500 metres, to enable them to investigate the cause of the collapse and determine a programme of works to fix the canal.
Richard Spencer, project manager at the Trust, says: “We’ve been working hard to stop the flow of the water over the last few days and installing more permanent damns. Due to the remote location, we’re now currently working with local landowners to enable us to gain access with our machinery so we can fully understand the cause of the collapsed pipe and plan a programme of repairs.”
Steve Bergquist, customer operations manager at the Trust, adds: “I would like to thank the emergency services that helped, working together we managed to stop the flow of water quickly. We’ve been working with the affected boaters to keep them updated and offer any help we can but they have been very supportive and we’re really grateful. We’re doing all we can to get it fix as quickly possible.”