New efforts to protect rare UK fish


Fish conservationists are trying to ensure the longterm survival of a rare variety of fish found only in a single lake in Wales.

The Gwyniad, a form of the coregonine salmonid whitefish, Coregonus lavaretus, is found only in Llyn Tegid near Bala in Wales.

Experts fear that the tiny population and geographic range of the fish could put it at risk of extinction if pollution or disease ever occured in the lake.

According to a report from the BBC, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency are catching the Gwyniad at night and stripping them of their eggs and milt.

The fertilised fish eggs are then being used to stock a similar lake called Llyn Arenig.

Arwel Morris, lake warden at Llyn Tegid told the BBC that he expected the fish to do well in their new home: "We can't be certain, but the quality of the lake is the same as here at Llyn Tegid.

"The idea is to net the lake during the evening hours after dusk - we go out about five or six times, netting and hopefully getting the stock we need."

Coregonus lavaretus does occur elsewhere in the UK, including in parts of Scotland, such as Loch Lomond. However, it is usually referred to be its local name and there is quite a lot of confusion on the taxonomy of the species.

For more information on this species see FishBase.