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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Salmon thrive in cleaned-up river
Baby salmon
The salmon seem to be thriving in the river
Another 10,000 baby salmon are being released into a formerly-polluted river, after evidence proved fish stocks are starting to thrive.

The fish are being released into the River Churnet in Staffordshire, a river which was once one of the worst polluted in Europe.

Salmon were reintroduced to the river last year and Environment Agency staff say they are still there and feeding.

It is hoped they will go to the Atlantic before returning to breed.

The salmon are being released at Consall Forge, near Leek and Cheadle.

For many years, this historic salmon river was little more than an open sewer
Fisheries officer Mich Buxton
An Environment Agency spokesman said some of last year's babies have moved downstream and next year will begin their journey to the North Atlantic.

Only a few, perhaps 100, are expected to survive to return to the Churnet as adults and breed.

The Churnet was traditionally a salmon river but populations declined as a result of 19th Century industrial pollution.

The spokesman said it was possibly the worst polluted in Europe but recent improvements to water quality have made it possible to return the fish to its natural home.

Fisheries officer Mick Brewer said: "For many years, this historic salmon river was little more than an open sewer.

"Now it is a beautiful river once more, and it is wonderful to see the salmon back again, bringing new life to the Churnet."

A similar exercise has been carried out in the nearby River Dove.

Salmon back in river 100 years on
23 Sep 06 |  Staffordshire

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