ENVIRONMENT Agency fisheries teams have removed three non-native bighead and silver carp from Shakerley Mere.

The lake is managed by Lymm Angling Club, which contacted the agency and requested specialist help to remove the bighead and silver carp, which averaged 40lbs, from their fishery.

Bighead and silver carp are native to China and Eastern Asia. Living in large rivers and floodplain lakes, they can grow to more than 100lb and largely feed on phytoplankton.

They have been widely introduced in Europe and North America as food and sport fish and to improve water quality, but outside their native range they can be highly invasive, out-competing native fish for food and habitat and introducing parasites and disease.

As well as harming our native species, bighead carp have an alarming response to danger, jumping out of the water, which can pose real risks of injury to boaters and anglers.

Big head carp were first recorded in the wild in England in 2005. Both species are listed under the Import of Live Fish Act as Category 5 species, of highest risk, and it is illegal to stock or keep them in the freshwater environment.

Andy Eaves, an Environment Agency fisheries officer, who was involved in the eradication, said: “Fishery owners play a vital role in our work to tackle non-native species and we encourage any other clubs to contact us if they suspect they are present.

“Our staff netted the fishery and removed three large silver and bighead carp, and no further non-native fish are believed to be present in the lake.

“If left unchecked, non-native fish can pose a serious risk to our fisheries and the economy. Where we can contain and eradicate them sustainably, we will take prompt action to remove them.”

Have you found any invasive fish? Report sightings to the Environment Agency at non-natives@environment-agency.gov.uk , call 03708 506506 or via AquaInvaders app downloadable at naturelocator.org/aquainvaders.html.