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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Fears demon shrimp may invade Cumbria's rivers

Conservationists have warned of ‘killer’ shrimp which could invade Cumbrian rivers.

River Eden photo

With the start of the trout fishing season at the weekend, the threat to the River Eden and its tributaries is increasing with the advance of invasive non-native species.

People are now being warned to be careful not to move any problem species from one stretch of water to another.

Paul Greaves, River Action Group co-ordinator for Eden Rivers Trust, said it was vital anglers and swimmers were aware of the risk.

“We want them to join us in taking all reasonable precautions to prevent the spread,” he said.

He said the demon shrimp, and its more aggressive relation the killer shrimp, have completely altered the natural balance in many European rivers by attacking and wiping out the natural populations of aquatic insects.

They have been introduced from the Eastern European area surrounding the Black Sea, and have recently been discovered in a river in Cheshire.

Eden Rivers Trust is encouraging anyone that is using equipment in a river or lake to take some easy to follow bio-security steps before and after.

It includes checking equipment and clothing for live organisms, vegetation or seeds, particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect.

The trust also advises that all equipment, clothing and footwear should be cleaned thoroughly and that if any living material is found, it should be left at the river or lake.

All equipment and clothing should be dried for 48 hours as some species can live for many days in moist conditions, and if it isn’t possible to dry equipment then soak it in hot tap water for at least 15 minutes.

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