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Warm weather killing thousands of fish

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:53 03 August 2018

Evironment Agency staff on the water of the River Colne rescuing fish in distress. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Evironment Agency staff on the water of the River Colne rescuing fish in distress. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Archant

A mass rescue operation has been launched by the Environment Agency is recent days as the ongoing heatwave puts millions of fish in danger.

Evironment Agency staff on the water of the River Colne rescuing fish in distress. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCYEvironment Agency staff on the water of the River Colne rescuing fish in distress. Picture: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

A mass rescue operation has been launched by the Environment Agency as the ongoing heatwave puts millions of fish in danger.

Thousands of fish have already died across East Anglia as a result of an explosion of deadly blue-green algae in various waters including the River Colne, River Blackwater and River Gipping as well as the lakes at Ipswich Golf Club.

Blue-green algae has also closed the lake at Alton Water.

The algae, which is thriving thanks to the warm temperatures seen throughout summer 2018, reduces the oxygen level in the water, which can be fatal for marine life.

The Environment Agency are working to save as many fish as possible from affected waterways.

A spokesman said: “Fish in distress and fish kills have been reported at multiple sites across East Anglia affecting over 6,000 fish.

“Although many fish have died, thousands more have been rescued and relocated too, thanks to the hard work and dedication by our officers.

“They have been deploying aeration equipment and using hydrogen peroxide in affected stretches of rivers to boost oxygen levels.

“They are also monitoring the oxygen levels in some rivers in case aeration is needed.”

The spokesman said they would expect some issues with oxygen in the summer months.

“At this time of year we regularly respond to reports of fish in distress due to natural processes reducing oxygen levels in the water. Hot, sunny weather can lead to low flows in rivers and still water fisheries start to warm up.”

The Environment Agency have also struggled with the effects of the thunderstorm that hit the region last weekend.

Debris accumulated in the drainage systems after the long dry spell has been flushed into rivers by the heavy rainfall.

It causes the algae and micro-organisms in the rivers to rapidly multiply which causes a significant drop in oxygen levels, resulting in the fish being starved of oxygen.

Anyone seeing dead fish or fish gasping for breath is asked to contact the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060.

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