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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 02:05 GMT
Asian fish risking native species
Asian Topmouth Gudgeon
The gudgeon spreads a parasite deadly to trout and salmon
Some of the UK's main coarse and game fisheries are at risk from an invading species which spreads an infectious parasite deadly to salmon and trout.

The Asian Topmouth Gudgeon is now directly threatening native fish in the Trent, Severn and Yorkshire Ouse, says the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology.

A silver fish, which grows up to 10cm (4in) in length, the gudgeon is one of the most invasive fish in Europe.

It also eats of eggs of native species and competes for other food sources.

According to scientists it is thriving in lakes and ponds and is a major threat to rivers.

Lake poisoning

Earlier in the year, the Environment Agency removed topmouth gudgeon from a lake - the Ratherheath Tarn near Kendal, in Cumbria - by trapping the native species, poisoning the lake and then slowly reintroducing the indigenous fish.

An agency spokeswoman said they may have to take similar action in other areas to stop the fish spreading.

In Hampshire, the fish has already invaded the River Test, which is regarded as one of the most famous chalk streams in the world.

Originally from eastern Asia, the Asian Topmouth Gudgeon has been accidentally introduced to waters across Europe causing widespread damage.


SEE ALSO
Lake's alien fish to be poisoned
21 Feb 05 |  Cumbria
Salmon numbers double on the Ouse
09 Nov 05 |  North Yorkshire
New fears over ones that got away
12 May 05 |  Scotland

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