15,000 fish had to be rescued at a stretch of canal in Newport.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) teamed up with Newport City Council and the Pontymister Angling club to save the fish on Saturday, August 26 at Fourteen Locks, a land-locked section of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.

A breach in this section of the canal caused water to leak out and drop to a critically low level, putting the lives of the fish in danger.

The mixed coarse fish, such as roach, carp, bream and rudd, were captured using nets and some being stunned using electric fishing techniques. They were then transported safely further up the canal in a large tank towed by a NRW truck.

Jon Goldsworthy, Operations Manager for NRW, said: "Our rivers and canals are home to a rich variety of plants and animals, and are important recreational hubs which help boost the local economy.

"We knew we had to act quickly to rescue the fish as the water and oxygen levels were falling quickly.

"With the help of our partners and volunteers, we mmanaged to save thousands of fish.  They may not have survived for much longer in those conditions.

"Newport City Council, who own the site, will continue to monitor the canal and put plans in place to fix the leak and move any remaining fish."

Fourteen Locks Canal Centre manager Kate Wickens said the evacuation began at 8am on Saturday.

She said: “The water getting low, and it does happen every year, but the dry weather meant it was very low.

“We called up other outlets including Caerphilly to make sure the water was coming through to is, but over the weekend water was even lower, even though got rain.”

“The water was dropping to a level where it was dangerous for the fish. Natural Resources Wales came down to test the water and found that the oxygen level was low, so the decision was made that we had to emergency evacuate them.

“It was spur of the moment decision that we had to do, had no choice, but was definitely the right decision. Otherwise we would have kids seeing 15,000 dead fish on top of the water during the bank holiday weekend.”