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Hook, line and stinker.

Byline: HYWEL TREWYN

ANGLERS have voiced fears that raw sewage is killing prehistoric fish which they say could become extinct.

Secretary of the Seiont, Gwyrfai and Llyfni Fishing Society Huw Hughes warns the torgoch or Arctic charr in Llyn Padarn, Llanberis could become extinct in three years' time.

The Environment Agency has called on Dwe r Cymru to stop all sewage discharges into the lake.

Huw, a Gwynedd councillor said: "It's what we have been saying for 20 years. There have been at least two expert reports saying the same thing. The catch returns tell the same story.

"It is time for Dwer Cymru, the Countryside Council for Wales, First Hydro and the Welsh Government to join and have a massive stocking of the Torgoch but also of the salmon and sea trout. We need help.

An Environment Agency Wales spokesman said: "We estimate that numbers have fallen by 70% in the last 10 years alone and we only located around 600 charr in our acoustic survey.

"This is why we have established a back up population in another deep water lake in north Wales using eggs from the Llyn Padarn stock. Last year we put 6,800 young charr in this lake and we hope to put more in this year. We also put 800 charr into Llyn Padarn last year.

"A bigger priority is to tackle the causes behind the drop in population. The charr like cold, clean water that is high in oxygen.

The nutrients entering the lake from the sewage works, and warmer water from the nearby hydropower electric works, are both likely to be having an effect on the charr.

"We have done all we can and introduced higher standards to reduce the amount of sewage discharging into the lake but there are limits to our powers. We now believe that the only answer is to stop all discharges so this lake can recover."

"This is vital as the sewage is not only harming this species, but along with the weather conditions was proven to have caused algal bloom in 2009."

A Dwr Cymru spokesman said: "We understand the views of the Environment Agency Wales (EAW) and agree we have more knowledge regarding sources of pollution and their affects on the environment.

"Our discharges into Llyn Padarn are compliant with EAW's stringent regulatory requirements and, there are other contributing factors to the issues at Llyn Padarn, including diffuse pollution from sources including agriculture which need to be taken into account."

welshnews@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Under threat: The rare Arctic Charr like cold, clean waters Arctic Charr stocks have been boosted in Llyn Padarn (right) but at last survey there were only around 600 in the lake
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Survey
Geographic Code:0ARCT
Date:Feb 9, 2012
Words:453
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