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Why STRESS could have killed 200 fish at Meltham Mills reservoir

The Environment Agency investigated after repair works

The dead fish found in Meltham Mills reservoir(Image: Joe Bates)

Investigators are to take no further action over the deaths of hundreds of fish at a Huddersfield reservoir.

The Environment Agency launched an investigation earlier this month (Sept) after the entire stock of about 200 fish at Meltham Mills reservoir were found floating in the water or lying on the banking.

The incident happened after water levels at the reservoir were reduced over a six to eight week period to carry out essential repair work to the valves used to control the flow of the water in an emergency.

The reservoir is owned by property rental and development company Towndoor and leased to Windybank Fishing Club.

The dead fish found in Meltham Mills reservoir(Image: Joe Bates)

In a statement following the incident, Towndoor managing director Dan Bamforth said the company and fishing club were “deeply saddened by the loss of the fish and what can only be described as an accident and unplanned event.”

He said it appeared the water level dropped more quickly than the fishing club anticipated and the silt build up was many times greater than expected. Once there was sign of the fish being in distress and in shallow water the valve sets were closed by Towndoor straight away.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency has investigated the death of fish at Meltham Mills Reservoir earlier this month.

“The combination of low waters levels, the weather and possible stress from other external factors resulted in the deaths. Our officers are satisfied that no further action is needed in relation to this incident.”

The spokesperson said: “Should anyone see any dead fish or pollution in a watercourse that may be affecting wildlife, they are urged to report the matter to us on our incident hotline on 0800 807060 so we can investigate.”

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