Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Thousands of fish perish in Suffolk due to warm weather

13:32 08 July 2015

Dead fish in the River Lark at Eastgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

Dead fish in the River Lark at Eastgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.

Mariam Ghaemi

More than 1,000 fish have died in the River Lark in Bury St Edmunds due to the weather in what is the largest kill there in recent years.

The Environment Agency out saving fish on the River Lark at Bury St Edmunds.The Environment Agency out saving fish on the River Lark at Bury St Edmunds.

Members of the public spotted the floating corpses in the river next to the Abbey Gardens, where it flows alongside Eastgate Street.

The Environment Agency estimates 1,500 fish of various sizes and species have perished - including perch, pike, roach, chub and dace - due to the combined effects of hot temperatures, low flow and low oxygen levels, coupled with the weekend’s torrential rain, which stirred up sediment at the bottom of the river.

The River Gipping at Needham Market has also been affected, where the agency reports 1,000 small to medium fish have died, while about 100 fish have died on the River Blackwater in Bocking, north Essex.

Speaking of the River Lark, an Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “This is the largest fish kill in recent years on the Lark at this location, although we have attended similar, smaller scale events previously. The last incident was in 2013, however this did not include any fish mortalities.”

Penny Stevens, from Stowmarket, came across the dead fish in Bury on Monday and reported it to the agency.

“It’s awful,” she said. “The kids were all coming out of school and saw it.”

The agency spokeswoman said over the weekend its team dosed the river with hydrogen peroxide to increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water after levels “dropped quite severely”.

She said they went out again on Monday and the oxygen levels in the river had stabilised, but they would be keeping a close eye on the situation.

The landowner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said they had been advised by the agency to leave the dead fish in the river “because the process of pulling them out disturbs the substrate and makes matters worse”.

However, after inspecting the area yesterday morning the council will be discussing this with them further.

An Environment Agency spokesman said dead and distressed fish on the River Gipping, in Needham Market, were reported to them on Sunday afternoon.

“We identified the likely cause to be low levels of oxygen in the water, a natural occurrence usually brought on by hot weather. Shortly after we put two aerators into the river to re-oxygenate the water. The aerators will remain in place until oxygen levels return to safe levels for the fish,” he said.

The deceased fish in the River Blackwater were spotted as they drifted downstream to Braintree. About 50-60 fish also died on the River Chelmer, in Chelmsford. Both of these rivers recovered naturally, the agency said.

Members of the public who spot fish in distress are asked to call the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Frankel welcomes guests to Newmarket National Heritage Centre

Her Majesty The Queen is to officially open the new £15million National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in the Suffolk town of Newmarket, where many of her own horses are trained and stabled.

A driver has reported they may have seen missing airman Corrie McKeague walking towards Honington in the early hours of September 24

A driver who may have seen missing airman Corrie McKeague has come forward to police.

Abnormal loads will be making their way along the roads of Suffolk over the next two weeks

Motorists in Suffolk are being warned to watch out for traffic delays as three abnormal loads slowly make their way long the county’s roads over the next two weeks.

The 352d Special Operations Wing held a memorial on June 20 to say goodbye to SSgt Hunter Davis of the 352 SOMXS who lost his life in a tragic vehicle accident June 7.

Sending a text while driving most likely caused the death of a Suffolk airman, who lost control of his car moments after using his phone, an inquest has heard.

Tributes have been paid to 31-year-old Lee Pennycuick who died on Friday

The family of 31-year-old Lee Pennycuick from Colchester, who died suddenly on Friday, say they are “overwhelmed” by the support the family have received after more than £3,300 was raised to pay for Lee’s wake – in just one day.

Archant Suffolk have moved into their new
 offices at 120 Princes Street, Ipswich.

Archant’s new Suffolk headquarters opened for business this morning at the junction of Princes Street and Portman Road in Ipswich.

The cake was missing a few cherries and the squirrel has lost his nuts

My husband baked a cake. I was warned this could happen, writes Lynne Mortimer.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24