DEMON and killer shrimp are threatening Cumbrian waters as the fishing season begins.
With the start of the trout fishing season today (March 15), 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 body of water to another.
Paul Greaves, River Action Group Coordinator for Eden Rivers Trust, said: “It is vital that everyone using rivers and lakes for recreation is aware of the risk of moving undesirable animals and plants around and joins us in taking all reasonable precautions to prevent their spread.”
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.
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Eden Rivers Trust are encouraging anyone that is using equipment in a river or lake to take some easy to follow biosecurity steps before and after.
This 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.
For more information on non-native invasive species visit www.nonnativespecies.org
For details of the work of Eden Rivers Trust visit www.edenriverstrust.org.uk