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Hundreds of dead and distressed fish seen in River Lark




Several residents in Bury St Edmunds were alarmed to see hundreds of dead and distressed fish in the River Lark last Monday.

Between Eastgate Street and the Abbey Gardens near Abbot’s bridge one man, who was walking near the River, said you could visibly see dead fish on the surface.

Michael John-Middlemiss, another resident who lives in the area, said that the water level in the River Lark had dropped.

Fish have started to die in large numbers in the river between Eastgate street and the Abbey Gardens. The water is lower than usual with a large amount of algae. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Fish have started to die in large numbers in the river between Eastgate street and the Abbey Gardens. The water is lower than usual with a large amount of algae. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Both residents reported the dead and distressed fish to the Environment Agency.

Last Tuesday an Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We received reports of fish deaths and fish in distress on the River Lark in Bury St Edmunds and attended the scene yesterday.

“Due to low water levels near Eastgate weir, dissolved oxygen levels are very low at 8 per cent, which has led to around 300 fish deaths. The majority are roach fry. A similar number were found to be in distress but due to low water levels, it would not be possible to try any remedial methods to rescue them.

“Last summer we removed a large number of fish from this section of the Lark in anticipation of the dry weather effects and placed them elsewhere. This action has meant many more fish have been saved.

“To report any further incidents or fish in distress, please call our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

Anglian Water said they were working with the Environment Agency and that there was no particular reason why the water levels were low and that they had not taken any water from further upstream.

Fish have started to die in large numbers in the river between Eastgate street and the Abbey Gardens. The water is lower than usual with a large amount of algae. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Fish have started to die in large numbers in the river between Eastgate street and the Abbey Gardens. The water is lower than usual with a large amount of algae. Picture by Mecha Morton.


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