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Dead fish probe along River Weaver
OFFICIALS are at a loss to explain what caused thousands of dead fish to surface along the River Weaver between Church Minshull and Winsford over the weekend.
It is known that the watercourse rapidly deoxygenised, but the Environment Agency have not confirmed whether the disaster is linked to algae blooms reported throughout the north west, or if it is the result of a toxin entering the river.
Guy Humphreys, fisheries manager for the Winsford and District Anglers Association, raised the alarm on Saturday.
He said: “There were so many fish dead or dying that I could have walked across the water on them. There’s tens of thousands of fish have been killed.”
The EA has classed the incident as Category 1 – the highest degree of severity for environmental disasters.
The agency intercepted the ‘slug’ of the deoxygenised water at Newbridge, near the Winsford salt mines on Monday.
They began pumping jets of hydrogen peroxide into the water to produce concentrated bursts of oxygen.
Early readings confirmed oxygen levels of just 2 per cent, in water that would normally read between 50-100 per cent.
Mr Humphreys said the incident was ‘soul destroying’, as fish stocks in the region had only recently begun to recover from a similar disaster in 2008.
The EA are due to release confirmation of the disaster’s cause later this week.