Fish wiped out by pollution

Effluent pouring into a river has virtually wiped out the fish in a stretch of the watercourse in Staffordshire.

An Environment Agency survey of the River Trent, which was carried out today (October 15), following last week’s pollution incident, found almost no evidence of living fish.

The electric fishing survey looked in detail at about 700 metres of the watercourse.

In the main River Trent it found only two solitary brook lampreys alive, these are likely to have survived because they bury themselves in sediment.

In the entrance to the Scotch Brook, a tributary of the Trent, just one brown trout, two dace, one roach and a few bullhead had survived.

Yesterday, the outcome of a similar survey of eight kilometres of the River Trent downstream between Wolseley Bridge and Armitage, was much more promising.

It showed that there had been a limited impact, if any, on that stretch of the Trent.

Environmental monitoring team leader, Rowland Ely, said: “The results of our fish surveys were broadly what we expected.

“We cannot introduce new fish until there is enough there for them to eat and water quality good enough for them to thrive in.

“When we have the full picture we will be able to decide whether the Trent can support the introduction of young fish, or whether we need to wait a while.”

Luke Walsh

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