Hundreds of fish found dead at popular angling spot in Wellow

A major clean-up operation has taken place after hundreds of fish were found ‘in distress’ and dead at popular fishing spot Wellow Dam.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 11:47 am

Around 700 bream, tench, ide, skimmers, roach and carp died when oxygen levels plummeted amid changing weather conditions and the suspected emergence of an algae bloom.

The dam is used by the Thoresby Angling Club, which took decades to build up fish stocks.

Devastated club chairman Raymond Davis said he was ‘heartbroken’ to discover more than 60 per cent of the silver fish ‘dead or gasping for life’.

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Efforts are made to re-oxygenate Wellow Dam were hundreds of dead fish were found.

Shocked club members immediately set to work to pump oxygen back into the water in a desperate bid to save the remaining fish.

Mr Davis said: “The Environment Agency investigated but they said it was not a poisoning but to do with oxygen and nitrates levels, an algae bloom developed with temperatures getting high and oxygen levels were stripped.

"You expect a few dead ones at the spawning season. I just wasn’t expecting what I saw, it was horrendous fish were dying.

Wellow Dam.

"We ran pumps for 14 hours on Wednesday that seemed to settle it, but on Thursday more floated up.

“We had some 2-3llb bream, some 10 years old. Just one of those would cost £50 to replace. The breeding stock has been seriously depleted, it takes years to build it up. We must have lost at least 700 silver fish, but that will go up as they float up from the bottom.”

The club fears it could lose thousands of pounds due to the cancellation of matches and restocking costs – as well as buying pumps for the clean-up operation.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Our officers responded to reports of fish in distress at a pond near Wellow, Nottinghamshire.

“Our investigations found that the cause is a drop in dissolved oxygen levels in the water. This is due to natural changes in atmospheric pressure.

“Sadly, this is common at this time of year as hot, sunny weather can lead to low flows in rivers, and small still waters are particularly susceptible as ponds and lakes start to warm up.

“We are continuing to work closely with the local fishing club to increase levels of oxygen.”

Anyone who witnesses fish in distress, contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.