The Landscape Guide

The River Thames is said to have clean water and to be teeming with fish.

See index page for Chelsea to Tower Thames Landscape Strategy

The Evening Standard reports that 'More than 125 species, including wild salmon, trout, Dover sole, plaice, haddock and bass, now live in the 215-mile waterway which was declared biologically dead in 1957. The stocks are attracting predators including porpoise, seals and dolphins which have been spotted as far upstream as London Bridge... It's cleaner now than it has been for more than 200 years... Colonies of rare seahorses, right, have been found. The short-snouted seahorses, which are protected, were discovered by experts from the Zoological Society of London and are being monitored. In 2006, an 18ft northern bottlenosed whale swam up the Thames. It later died.' This is a great success - but not quite as great as is boasted. Anglers report finding and catching few fish in the Central London Thames. The explanation may be that although 125 species of fish can be found the actual numbers of each species is small because:

  • occasional discharges of raw sewage deplete the oxygen supply and kill the fish (see Thames Tideway Tunnel)
  • the near-total lack of green aquatic and marginal-aquatic vegetation means there is little for the fish to eat