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Dead fish on River Nene

In a disconcerting turn of events in Peterborough an estimated 100,000 dead fish are lining the banks of a tributary the River Nene.

As concerns over water quality rise, authorities have issued warnings urging the public to steer clear of the park’s waterways until further investigations shed light on this puzzling occurrence. The Nene Park Trust, custodian of this natural haven, made the unsettling discovery and promptly issued a cautionary advisory, attributing the phenomenon to suspected pollution entering the park from the southern streams. While the exact cause of the fish deaths remains elusive, the Trust’s proactive stance emphasises the paramount importance of safeguarding both the environment and public health.

Joanna Bacon, representing the Nene Park Trust, urged visitors to exercise caution, emphasising the need to keep away from the water and to leash their pets as a precautionary measure. This temporary cautionary stance, while aiming to ensure safety, highlights the gravity of the situation and the urgency of a conclusive assessment.

The Environment Agency swiftly responded, dispatching their personnel to the site to monitor and investigate the unfolding environmental crisis. Their immediate actions, including the installation of booms to contain suspicious sheens spotted on the river, underscore the urgency and seriousness with which they approach potential ecological threats.

As investigations unfold, concern lingers over the potential environmental impact and the health of the River Nene’s aquatic ecosystem. The situation serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our natural landscapes and the imperative to remain vigilant stewards of these precious environments.

With ongoing monitoring and investigations, a concerted effort is underway to ascertain the cause of this distressing event. Until then, the collective hope is for a swift resolution that not only addresses the immediate concerns but also reinforces the commitment to safeguarding the ecological integrity of Peterborough’s cherished natural spaces. The incident appears to be localised and contained within the Goldie Cut tributary of the River Nene but, as a known overwintering site it is, without doubt, going to have a detrimental impact on anglers and fishing clubs in the local area for many years to come.

We will continue to monitor events as they unfold and hope to cover how the situation progresses in future articles, hoping to one day see this venue returned to its former glory as a healthy refuge for so many fish.

We spoke to one local angler and he said  “Obviously it’s devastating to see such an instant and tragic impact on our local river and its fish stocks. To see so many fish simply wiped out in a single day really is an emotional sight given how much work goes in locally in terms of habitat improvements and environmental projects. It is vitally important that those responsible are tracked down and made to pay in order to mitigate the impact that has been made here and make some steps towards repairing the damage done to a once peaceful and healthy fishery”

Tragic death of 100,000 fish

Images courtesy of: Rob Harris 

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Written by Steve
Steve's been an angler since the age of 12, when he caught his first perch on his local canal in Warwickshire. An avid float angler for over 30 years, Steve's just as passionate about angling now, whether stick float fishing on the Avon or at his local gravel pit fishing for spring time Tench.


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