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Fish in Boston waterway are found dead or dying

Pike are among the species found dead in a Lincolnshire drain.

A “significant number” of dead fish have been found in a waterway in Boston, Lincolnshire, says the Environment Agency (EA). Several species, including roach, common bream, pike, perch and tench, were found dead or dying as the agency discovered low oxygen levels and ammonia in the Maud Foster drain. 

Officers used chemical aeration to raise oxygen levels and took samples for testing. Ammonia occurs naturally in rivers but is also discharged into waterways from field run-off and untreated human effluent. Elevated levels can kill or harm aquatic life. 

According to the Institution of Environmental Sciences only 36% of UK rivers, lakes and coastal waters are classified as being in high or good status, while a pitiful 14% of English rivers are in good ecological status. No rivers have attained good chemical status.

The EA said its officers were maintaining vigilance at the site. A spokesman added: “We are very grateful to members of the public who reported this incident. If you spot any fish in distress, please report it to us.”