Fish kill sparks pollution probe

John Webster surveys the extent of the fish kill on the Threemilewater river near Mossley Mill. INNT 10-038-FP
John Webster surveys the extent of the fish kill on the Threemilewater river near Mossley Mill. INNT 10-038-FP
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NORTHERN Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officials and local anglers are working to trace the source of a pollutant that caused a fish kill on a section of the Threemilewater river between Mossley Mill and Doagh Road.

More than 120 trout and salmon parr have been found dead along the short stretch of the waterway over the past few days.

While the incident was only reported to the authorities on Friday (March 2), it’s believed the first signs the fish kill were noticed by contractors working along the river on February 24 - just days before the opening of the fishing season on March 1.

John Webster, Chairman of Threemilewater Conservation and Angling Association, believes the pollutant may have entered the river through one of a number of pipes which flow into the waterway near the railway line beside Mossley Mill.

“It’s an absolute disaster. There’s a new path going in along that section of the river and it’ll be very picturesque, but now there are no trout in the river,” he told the Times.

“This is a major setback because the fish were an inch long up to eight inches long and they had been spawning, but that whole spawning cycle has now been wiped out.”

NIEA officials and members of the angling club are now working to identify the source of the pollution, including finding out where the pipes which enter the river near the mill come from and what, if anything, they are discharging.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...