Fish kill on one of country’s top bagging waters leaves scientists baffled.
Managers of one of the Midland’s most popular commercial fisheries have been left baffled this week by a sudden and mass fish kill that has affected just one species in the venue.
Last week bailiffs at Northamptonshire’s Drayton Reservoir, famed for its huge hauls of carp, were one morning greeted by a carpet of thousands of dead roach on the fishery’s surface. Despite calling in experts from the Environment Agency who have performed multiple tests on the fish and the water, no explanation for the deaths can be found, leaving both the scientist and staff at the reservoir concerned that further fish kills could be on the cards.
“Although it’s a small number of roach that have died compared to the amount that is in here, it’s still very worrying, mainly because no one can tell me what has killed then,” fishery bailiff Mark Ryder told Match Fishing. “The EA found no signs of disease or parasites and in five years of looking after the reservoir I have never seen anything like it.
“I did think it could be to do with spawning due to the weather being all over the place maybe placing extra stress on the fish, but I would have thought more fish would be affected by this. I’ve got the EA coming down again this week to run more test, but it’s possible we’ll never know what happened.”
Although well known for its carp, Drayton also holds large numbers of roach to specimen proportions with fish to over 2lb having been washed up during the mystery deaths. Worryingly for staff and anglers fish are still dying at the venue, as the Canal and River Trust’s (formerly British Waterways) National Fisheries Manager John Ellis, confirmed.
““The investigation has so far ruled out any contamination from parasites, pollution and poisonous algae,” said Mr Ellis. “The possibility that the deaths could have been caused by low oxygen levels has also been tested for and dismissed.
“It could however have been a spawning related incident as the water may not have been warm enough for the fish to release their eggs.”
The latter explanation of the deaths could well have been caused due to recent erratic weather conditions. However scientists are still EA scientists have revealed that they believe the most likely cause of the kill is an internal bacterial infection or virus that has not yet been detected.
None of the reservoirs other species, including the carp have been affected by the mystery deaths.