Fishing was the unlikely spectator sport on Canal St Martin today.   It wasn’t an angling match but a team of freshwater ecologists, clearing fish from the canal ahead of the once in a decade repair and clean up operation.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here they are, posing for photos at the next bridge upstream, before setting off on a sweep down a netted section of the canal.  Most of the water has already been drained.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the fishing team in action

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and some of the catch being transferred to a tank on one of a fleet of waiting vehicles.  Apart from easily recognisable eels and pike, I don’t know what the fish were.  Some were surprisingly large and there was wide variety of shapes and sizes,

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

not including this one.

 

P.S.   A report by France TV tells me that around 4.5 tonnes of fish were rescued over three days and transferred upstream to the Bassin de la Villette.  Common fish in the canal include pike-perch (or zander), carp (weighing up to 20kg), catfish and sun perch.