Angling club closes down at 'clean' Salford Quays

Tom McMullen believes the fish dwindled when zebra mussels were introduced

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An angling club is being forced to close after almost 25 years due to a shortage of fish in Salford Quays.

Ordsall Angling Club has decided to close after failing to catch a single fish in their last four competitions.

Club treasurer Tom McMullen believes the fish dwindled when zebra mussels were introduced to clean up the water.

The company which manages the water at the Quays denied the tiny mussels were to blame and said everybody benefited from keeping the quays clean.

Mr McMullen said: "We're getting nothing coming through so the only things that are left are the bigger fish, the specimen fish and that sort of thing.

"So for match men and a father wanting to fetch his kids on here for a little days fishing, they will never catch anything."

The water, which was once heavily polluted, is so clean it is now used for watersports.

Dr Keith Hendry, Managing Director of APEM Ltd, said: "We want to keep the water as clean as possible and as clear as possible so the whole society can benefit.

"People can now walk along the quayside and see clean and clear water."

He said the clean water allowed birds to see the fish which were in the water more easily, and the growth of plants at the bottom of the Quays could also be enticing them down to feed and out of the reach of anglers.

Zebra mussels are a freshwater mussel, similar in shape to marine mussels but smaller in size and covered in distinctive brown and yellow zig-zag stripes.

They out-compete native mussels, which experts fear could lead to their extinction.

They also filter the water very effectively, making it so clear that plant growth increases dramatically and can sometimes cause problems as the plants choke the waterway.

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